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I sometimes have many running applications and switching between them with Alt+Tab becomes very tedious. I would like to be able to switch between tasks/windows more quickly. The perfect solution for me would be an application that lets me start typing a window's title and offers a classic auto-complete drop down list to choose from.

Does anybody know of a technique, tool, or lightweight application that offers something similar to this?

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7 Answers 7

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There is a free application called Switcher that boasts many features, one of which is a keyword search integration amongst all open applications. You can read a review of the application on Technospot.

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It is however, somewhat slow when having an integrated graphics chip like in many laptops. I rarely used it on my laptop with a GMA 950 because of that. –  Joey Oct 10 '09 at 9:21
    
It's pretty configurable (or at least, it is now), so you can turn off all the fancy animations and stuff, hopefully getting a bit more performance. –  Phoshi Oct 10 '09 at 10:54

Windows Task Manager may actually be what you want.  Invoke it (e.g., by Ctrl+Shift+Esc), go to the “Applications” tab (if you aren’t there already), select the task you want to go to (click or cursor down or type the first letter of its name), and press Enter or click on “Switch To” or double-click on the task name.

Another answer is Win+n; it will go to the nth task on the taskbar.  If you want a certain combination (e.g., Win+5) to always go to a certain program, you should pin it to the taskbar.  (If the task has multiple windows, hold Win while you press n repeatedly, and it will cycle through the windows.)

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You might try a little app I wrote, Switcheroo, which is an incremental-search task-switcher for windows:

alt text

Switcheroo is for anyone who spends more time using a keyboard than a mouse. Instead of alt-tabbing through a (long) list of open windows, Switcheroo allows you to quickly switch to any window by typing in just a few characters of its title. It's inspired by Emacs's IDO mode buffer switching.

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Here's another one: iSwitcher is an autohotkey script that:

filters through a list of open windows as you type—with a semi-transparent dialog accessible by simply pressing the Caps Lock key.

enter image description here

More info at Lifehacker

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Had a similar problem and solved it by writing this alternative task switcher: http://www.oelgaard.dk/software/torkilstaskswitcher/

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Well I'm not really using it yet, but Enso let's you hold caps lock and type what you want to do - including "go windowname" and it auto-completes with dropdown.

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I thought Enso's hotkey was capslock? A stellar use of the key, I must admit, and one I nicked using autohotkey :D –  Phoshi Oct 10 '09 at 11:29
1  
Yes of course, my fingers typed something completely different from what my brain wanted me to ^^ most likely something about auto-completion usually being related to the tab key perhaps? Thx ^^ –  Oskar Duveborn Oct 10 '09 at 11:58

The lovely autohotkey scripting language!

#NoTrayIcon 
settitlematchmode, RegEx
regex= i)%1%
sleep 100
winactivate, %regex%
ExitApp
Return

This takes a command line option of what window you want to switch to (case insensitive regex), so is perfect for somebody already using an application launcher such as Executor, Launchy, so on.

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+1 I used to use a similar script with SlickRun. Now I use it with Promptu, which is sort of an expanded SlickRun in which value lists can be configured, so I can do 'ff' and Promptu will translate it to 'FireFox,' or 'xl' to 'Microsoft Excel', for example. –  Jay Jun 10 '10 at 16:09

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