Bay Mac’s Help Desk

With Steve Paris

Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Q: I often use multiple apps on my Mac, and sometimes need to refer to one app while I work on another, and it can get annoying to click on each window to bring it to the fore every time, and when I click on a different window by mistake, pandemonium can ensue – especially when I have a lot of pages open. Is there an easier way to do this?

A: I can think of two methods that could help. The first is the Application Switcher which you invoke by holding down the Command key and then pressing the Tab key once. You can then cycle through your open apps while getting the Command key pressed, by hitting that tab key over and over again. Now the beauty of the Application Switcher is it lists your apps in the order in which they were used. So, if you work solely between two apps, you can just hold the Command key, hit the Tab key and then release both immediately (without even giving your computer time to display the Application Switcher) to go to the previous open app you were working in.

Another method is Split View. As its name implies, this newer method splits your screen into two, letting you display two windows side by side.

Start with one of the docu-ments you need to work on and hover top left over its green button. A menu appears. Choose ‘Tile Window to Left of Screen’ or ‘Tile Window to Right of Screen’. As you do this, all your other windows shrink and are displayed on the other side. Hover over them until you find the second window you need, click on it, and it’ll be displayed next to your first one. It’s like full screen mode for two windows.

The advantage of this method over the first one is you can have two windows from the same app side by side.

To get out of Split View, just move the cursor to the top until you see the red, yellow and green buttons on the left of one of the pages and click on the green button. This closes that window and puts the other into full screen mode.


Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.



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