Windows enables switching from one application window to another by pressing Alt+Tab– what could be easier?
Well, quite a lot, especially when you’ve got 30 or 40 windows open but are only interested in the ones belonging to the current application.
NeoSmart Technologies has just released Easy Window Switcher, a freeware tool which supports an OS X-style Alt+’ (Alt+backtick) hotkey to switch between the current app’s windows only.
The program doesn’t require installation. It’ll ask if you want to run it at startup, but otherwise it can just be used as required, without cluttering your PC with shortcuts, new system tray icons or anything else.
This simplicity has a down side, as we couldn’t see any way to close the program. But with a RAM requirement of under 1MB it’s not exactly going to drain your resources, and in an emergency you can always shut it down from Task Manager.
Windows can do something similar without needing third-party software. Open three Explorer windows, for instance, then hold down Ctrl as you left-click their taskbar button and you’ll toggle between those windows only.
This doesn’t always work in quite the same way. Ctrl+clicking cycles through Internet Explorer tabs even if they’re in the same window, Alt+’ doesn’t. If there’s only one window open, Ctrl+clicking minimises it, which could be annoying; Alt+’ sensibly does nothing at all.
Which is best? It’s all down to personal preference, but if you’re looking for a mouse-free hotkey approach then Easy Window Switcher has to be the winner. Grab a copy and check it out for yourself.
Easy Window Switcher is a free tool for Windows 7 and later.