For any Windows users that are switching to Mac, or even OS X power users, Witch is an absolute life saver. Any long-time Windows user knows that the fastest way to switch applications or windows isn't the taskbar, it's good old Alt+Tab. However, to switchers the OS X equivalent doesn't quite cut it. Apple+Tab switches applications and Apple+` switches application windows. It’s two keyboard chords to do the work of one in Windows. But the real frustration, is that if the application window is minimized Apple+Tab (or Apple+`) doesn’t un-minimize it. Which is super annoying, why would anyone want to switch to an application and not see it? That's where Witch comes in. Witch is an application switcher AND a window switching in one handy keyboard chord. But best of all it will automatically un-minimize windows, it will even re-launch an application if it doesn’t have any windows (i.e. Finder). It uses a nice little heads-up display which lists all windows, plus it's very customizable (almost to the point of confusion). Read on for some handy customization tips for Windows Switchers.
Download Witch (via Shiflett.org)
For Windows switchers these customization tips may make using Witch a little easier.
First, change "Sort windows by" to "Window activity order." This is how Windows does it and it'll help you switch windows faster if that's what you're used to. The default option is for sorting by Application activity order, which is nice because it groups all application windows, but if you're frequently switching between a single application with a lot of windows and other applications it's all little annoying. Second, check the box for "Show an relaunch item for windowless/hidden applications." By default if the application doesn't have any windows, Witch won't display it on the heads-up list. Checking this box will relaunch the application to display the default window. This is very handy for switching to the Finder as it should display your user folder when you relaunch it.
Also, I turned off application names, I find that the list of windows is a little easier to read without them. This setting is under the "Other" Tab.
I'd be so psyched if Apple bought up Witch like they did with CoverFlow. It'll probably never happen, so let's all hope that Peter Maurer never stops working on it. Maybe, we'll at least see Apple+Tab, un-minimize a window in Leopard...
Now, if anyone can figure out how to permanently disable Apple+Tab please let me know. Apple+Tab is dead to me...
It looks like a program called "PullTab" will disable Apple+Tab. Does anyone have any experience with this? Does it disable Apple+Tab for all users or users that activate it?
Update 2: Lifehacker.com to the rescue
Lifehacker.com featured Witch as their download of the day, and users left some great comments. Best of all came from Clayton D. who clued us all in to this great walkthrough of installing Witch and using PullTab to replace Apple+Tab.
Other great comments expose what I've be suspecting for some time: long-time mac users don't minimize. If they do anything, they Hide.