Hooray for Expose!

As a Macintosh user, it is not uncommon for me to have dozens of windows open on my computer. I usually have several Finder windows open so that I can copy files between different folders and hard drives. I probably have two or three different Safari windows, at least a couple in Mail, my Address Book, iCal, and at least a couple of windows open for any application that I am using.

Trying to get to the desktop can be a daunting task. With the advent of Mac OS 10.3, Apple Inc. introduced Expose´. Suddenly pressing one key (F11) cleared away all the window and let me get to the files on my desktop!
As a Macintosh user, it is not uncommon for me to have dozens of windows open on my computer. I usually have several Finder windows open so that I can copy files between different folders and hard drives. I probably have two or three different Safari windows, at least a couple in Mail, my Address Book, iCal, and at least a couple of windows open for any application that I am using.

Trying to get to the desktop can be a daunting task. With the advent of Mac OS 10.3, Apple Inc. introduced Expose´. Suddenly pressing one key (F11) cleared away all the window and let me get to the files on my desktop!

A few weeks ago, I bought a new iMac. Instead of my trusty old white extended keyboard, I received a beautiful, very thin aluminum one. Instead of 15 function keys, I now have 19. However, most the Function Keys over the main part of the keyboard have acquired new default actions. Instead of pressing F12 to get to the Dashboard, it is now assigned to F4. The F3 key now activates the part of Expose that tiles all open window on the computer. However, the ease my beloved F11 functionality is lost. To hide all the windows required holding down the Function (fn) key that is in the group of keys above the arrow keys while clicking the F11 key. It is just too difficult!



Today, a visit to the Mac OS X Hints website showed a different way to reveal the entire desktop. The anonymous poster suggested three new key combinations that will work:

  • Control-F3 will show all windows from the current application
  • Option-F3 will open Exposé's preferences
  • Command-F3 will show the desktop.

While this tip will only work on the new aluminum keyboards, Apple has stopped producing the white plastic ones, so as we buy new computers, this change will affect more and more of us.

If you would like help learning about the little-know features of the Mac OS, remember our training sessions at
Bob LeVitus Consulting. Tutoring is scheduled in one hour increments and using our special software, we can see and help your control your keyboard and mouse. Our tutoring sessions are only $60.00 per hour!

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