Reverse Direction In The Task Switcher With This Keyboard Tip [OS X Tips]

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MacBook-Air-backlit-keyboard.jpg

You know the Task Switcher, right? It’s the keyboard command you use to switch between apps on your Mac. The list of apps in the Task Switcher grows or shrinks as you open and close apps. Sometimes that list can grow pretty large. If you go very fast you might skip past the app you want and find yourself having to go through the entire list again since it wraps around automatically at the end.

But you don’t have to loop around if you don’t want to. Instead, why not change direction and go back to the app you just passed? Here’s how.

If you aren’t familiar with the Mac OS X Task Switcher you should be, since it will let you quickly switch between apps using the Command+Tab keyboard combination. The first time you press those keys the Task Switch pops up on your screen. It looks something like this one:

If you continue to press Command+Tab the Task Switcher will go from app to app just repeat until the one you want to switch to is selected (i.e. like Safari is above) and that app jump to the front. If the list is very long and you overshoot your target then you can reverse direction rather than continuing to press Command+Tab until it wraps around again.

You reverse direction by pressing the tilde or ~ key on the keyboard while the Task Switcher is displayed and while still pressing and holding the Command key. If you release the tilde key and press Tab again then you’ll go in a forward direction just like before. Toggle between both keys as needed until you have selected the app you want to switch too.

I like how Apple set this up since the Tab and tilde keys are both close together making it easy to switch between the two. You don’t need to be a contortionists or have unusually long fingers to get the job done.