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I was wondering if there is a way to, when using OS X's (10.8) default application switcher (Cmd+Tab) to hide applications that don't have any windows open but are still running?

For example, I'm running the Osfoora Twitter client but have closed all of its windows. If I Cmd-Tab, Osfoora is still displayed in the application list (as it should, by default) — however, I find that this is often interfering when I'm quickly switching apps, as right now the switcher has a nasty habit of keeping Osfoora as one of the first items in the activity switcher.

I figured that there probably should be a way to hide any applications from the application switcher that don't have any windows open (i.e., that I am no longer actively using) — so is there?

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Why don't you just quit the program with Cmd + Q – pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 2:09
Because I want to keep it running — like a Twitter client, I still want my timeline to be there when I open it and to receive any notifications – Kristaps A. Nov 20 '12 at 11:22
ah ok get your point – pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 13:25

The automatic termination feature introduced in 10.7 should already do that, but it only works with some applications and only in some cases. If you for example open Preview, open at least one window in it, close all windows, and focus another application, Preview should be hidden from the Dock and the application switcher. The process is not actually terminated, but there might be some changes in how it is managed.

Witch and Switché have options to always hide applications with no open windows:

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Thanks, I'll check those two out! But I suppose there isn't any way to do this with the stock switcher? – Kristaps A. Nov 20 '12 at 11:25

Open the Info.plist of the application you intend to perform this on and add the following:

<string >1</string>

The Info.plist can usually be found at /Applications/[app name].app/Contents/Info.plist with the [app name] obviously being the name of your app.

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HyperSwitch offers complete replacement for the default CMD+Tab behaviour on Mac very much similar as to what we have in Windows: switching between the windows instead of the applications. This also means that any application with no window are ignored when hitting CMD+TAB, and also very conveniently any window with no application icons in the dock can be switched to using CMD+TAB unlike the default OSX behaviour where these windows can only be activated by other means like using mouse or so. Unfortunately however this replacement does not order the windows according to their last activation but the first ordering is based on desktops and activation history only after.

If you prefer you can also not replace CMD+TAB but create another shortcut for ALT+TAB or CTRL+TAB resulting in a setup where the default behaviour and HyperSwitch window based switcher works together side by side.

HyperSwitch window switcher shortcut options

I'd be curious about any explanation from Apple about the default OSX behaviour, but I'm afraid it's just like The Emperor's New Clothes; no-one would admit that it makes no sense at all thinking it must be their fault if millions of other users are happy with it.

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