inessential by Brent Simmons

Close, minimize, or hide?

Are you a closer, minimizer, or hider?

(I’m talking about windows, of course.)

Me, I usually have a few applications open at a time, like most people, and I tend to leave them running. I’ve noticed that different people do different things when switching applications. Some people close their windows, other people minimize, and other people hide applications.

I’m a hider, and have been since the System 7 days. This way I don’t have to destroy the context of the app when I switch to another app—the windows stay open, stay where they are: they’re just hidden.

I often use the cmd-option-H keystroke (the Hide Others command) so that I can concentrate on the app I’m working on without distractions. (Though there are times, of course, when I want more than one application visible.)

Another thing I often do is option-click on the desktop. This used to hide everything except the Finder, except that these days it seems to hide only what was the frontmost app. But cmd-option click works, and I’m trying to remember it. (Also, this trick works for clicking on the window of any app, not just the desktop.)

I rarely do a cmd-H (which hides the current application) because I don’t know what will come to the front.

I almost never close a window unless I’m truly finished with it. (I’ll close a document window when I’m finished editing whatever it is.) And I almost never minimize windows either—this way my Dock is more stable, a place for applications rather than documents. (I also have my Applications and Home folders in the Dock.) (I like a clean Dock with big icons.)

As cool as Exposé is—it is really, truly cool—I always forget that it exists.