Close, Minimize, Hide, or Exposé

Tuesday, 2005-04-12; 00:30:00

So this question has been making the rounds on the Mac-related weblogs, but it's an interesting one nonetheless. When you have many apps open on the Mac, do you tend to close windows you're not currently using, minimize them, hide them, or do you use exposé to navigate around the mess while leaving the clutter in place?

Me? I'm a hider.

Closing them isn't too convenient, because then you have to open, and that's not always trivial to do -- most apps will automatically spawn a new window if there are none open when you click on their Dock icon, but not always. Furthermore, the context of that newly opened window isn't always the one you want... if you have a specific folder open in the Finder and you close it, clicking on the Finder in the Dock will just make a window located at your home folder.

Minimizing isn't convenient either, because if you're working in an app with multiple windows, you have to minimize all of them. Yes I know you can minimize them all at once by pressing option when you minimize one of the windows, but you can't do the same thing for un-minimizing. (And no, un-minimizing does not mean maximizing. Zooming does not mean maximizing either.)

Hiding is the most convenient because it quickly hides all the windows that you're not using, and you can also do it very quickly by option-clicking on a window in another app -- this hides the app that you were previously in. Very convenient.

Exposé is cool, but I'm not used to it, and old habits are hard to break. (I've always been a hider, and this habit stems from the Classic Mac OS days.) I do confess, however, that I use the "Reveal Desktop" option of Exposé (also known as the F11 key) ALL the time. It's just so convenient, and I store a lot of stuff on the Desktop.

I think one of the main reasons that I don't use Exposé other than the "Reveal Desktop" option is precisely because I'm a hider. Exposé doesn't include hided windows (or for that matter, minimized windows) when using the "Show All Windows" (F9) or "Show Current App's Windows" (F10) functions, so it's useless to use them since a lot of my windows are hidden. If Exposé added an option to include hidden and minimized windows in the F9 and F10 functions, I think it would be a lot more useful for me.

So how about you... do you close, minimize, hide, or exposé your windows?

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