The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Maximise a window!

I was really glad to find this tip (thanks to MacOSXHints), because I have been asked how to do this so many times and I didn't really have a good answer to it. There is really no known way of maximizing a window that was minimized to the Dock without using the mouse. The only way that I know is with the Ctrl-F3 shortcut, and even that is just too slow to use it efficiently. The problem is that when using Command-Tab, even if all the windows in the application you are switching too are minimized, it won't maximize any of them. Here is how you can use the shortcut from MacOSXHints:

1. Press Command-Tab until you are on the application you want to switch too.
2. Without releasing Command, press on Option and then release Command.
3. The window should maximize from the Dock.

What doesn't work with this tip is that it won't maximize any window if there is already a window open in this application that is not minimized. It basically works just like clicking on the icon in the Dock of an already open application.


Blogger tommy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 11, 2008 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger raw photo design said...


March 11, 2008 at 12:52 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 11, 2008 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger Ged said...


Sometimes when I click on the green maximize window button at the top left of all open application windows, the window will maximize to full size, and other times it will resize to a completely random size - sometimes this can be smaller than the original! Why does this change so often? Is there any way of ensuring all windows will maximize to full screen when the green button is pressed, or am I doing something ridiculously stupid?

March 11, 2008 at 2:04 AM  
Blogger Bike faller said...

No you're not doing anything wrong (or stupid). It's just that Macs arenot designed to work with maximized windows.

I think it's a good think to look at three or four apps at the same time, or just to awitch between them more easily (winth one click).

March 11, 2008 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Graham Harper said...

Excuse my ignornance but I can't get it to work. Is this a leopard only tip, i'm running Tiger. P.S. Great blog, I check it every day! Kepp the tips coming.

March 11, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Rohit said...

Just a note. Moderator, please do not entertain these Free iPhone stuff....they work through referrals and that is all these people care for. I come to this website first thing in the morning...and seriously with all this spam going, it is not pleasing to see this here...

Graham, minimize the window first and then use the instructions should work. Great tip!

March 11, 2008 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger jonyeow said...

doesn't work on my mac.. i'm running osx tiger

March 11, 2008 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I learned something new today :-)

I've been using the "Witch" application (free) to de-minimize my windows. It might be a little quicker to use this program, Though without it, it's one less program running in the background. I might rethink using Witch now...
-Mac Tips

March 11, 2008 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger joeyang said...

is there a shortcut for the green + button on the top left of windows? that would be really helpful.

March 11, 2008 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Andrew said...

another way to do this is do download the witch application which is amazing for everyday use. Lets you access all windows (not just apps) via a shortcut. Using witch you can maximize a minimized window by switching to it.

March 11, 2008 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Jeroen Bollen said...

i have been using witch for quite some time, together with spiritedaway. they keep my desktop clean from 'thousands' of open windows, and at the same time maintains each individual window at just a shortcut away! both are free programs and work on leopard as well as tiger. the big difference with the command-tab shortcut is that witch actually indicates each individual open window, even if you have several windows open in the same program. e.g. if you have three documents open in pages, it will show the three documents grouped under the header 'pages', and you can easily select either one of the three, using the same shortcut repeatedly.

btw, when using the green 'maximize' button, the window normally 'maximizes' according to the text it is showing. notice that, in general, the 'maximized' window exactly encloses the text it is showing. that seems to be 'apple's' definition of maximizing (makes sense, though personally i prefer the 'completely maximized" window)

March 11, 2008 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Brecht said...

Dis doesn't work for me (Tiger)
Also i heard that you could quit programs from the app switcher by tapping Command + Q while switching. This also doesn't work for me...

March 11, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Greg said...


Yeah, as somebody else answered, you can assign a shortcut to the green '+' using the program Witch. I assigned Option + command + z (for zoom) to maximize the window.

I set Option + Command + d to "de-minimize" my Finder windows.

March 11, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

Leopard only? It doesn't work on my Tiger. I like the key arrangement of +tab (or +`), but IMO the program itself is close to useless. I wish I could get rid of this program and use Witch with Com+tab.

March 11, 2008 at 4:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have a related question: I use Adium on my Mac for IM and Gchat. In the program's preferences, you can set up a great function called the "global shortcut" with which you can choose any keystroke command to bring the program to the front. Is there any way to set Global Shortcuts for other programs to bring them to the front automatically?

March 11, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Guru said...

This is the great tip.

Also, sometimes applications like Adobe Indesign and Acrobat doesn't hide, when I Press Command+H or choosing the Hide application from Menu, bur it works fine sometimes. Anybody can realize the same, any tip to this?

March 12, 2008 at 2:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It doesn't work in my Tiger either.

March 12, 2008 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger akisurane said...


I was searching this for too long and once I thought it is not exist in MAC but then I thought no it can't be there has to be a way.


Hold Shift and press the green maximize button.

Cheers and thank you much for this TIP here
it was great guys.

September 14, 2011 at 3:39 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

thanks for the tip... very helpful!

September 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger m2ckan said...

Excellent! Thanx!

March 24, 2012 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks Very Helpful

July 25, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks very Useful advice^^

July 25, 2012 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love to read and appreciate your work.

January 17, 2013 at 1:28 AM  

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