20 October 2010

Getting Apple's Exposé feature on Windows 7

You need Switcher for Windows 7.  It can also be downloaded from CNET.

The computer power user, and especially a software developer, might have half a dozen windows open at times...per running application.  A few dozen tabs in Firefox, spread over a few windows.  Half a dozen Windows Explorer windows.  A Skype window.  A few Emacs windows.  Maybe a Pidgin window or two.  A few Visual Studio windows.  A Git GUI window or two.  You get the idea.

When things get messy, I want organization.  But when things just get over-whelming, I want a bird's eye view of everything.  And I mean everything.

Apple's Exposé is just ingenious for that.  It shows you all the windows you have open, laid out all for you to see all at once, on your giant 17'' LCD monitor.  That's the whole reason for getting a 17''+ size monitor, so you can see everything!

Ubuntu gives you the same feature, arguably with less polish, through Compiz's Scale Plugin.

What does Windows 7 have?  Nothing built-in.  You might think Aero Peek is the comparable feature, but nope, says another blogger, who I'll agree with.  How about Win7's Flip 3D feature?  If Flip 3D is an attempt to copy Exposé, it's a horrible attempt.  Why would anyone cascade the windows in 3D, showing me just the top of that stack of windows, using the entire screen?  When I have 30 windows open, I don't want to win-tab 15 times to get to the window I want!  Absolutely frustrating.

But there's Switcher, which is a fantastic clone of Exposé.  And it can also be downloaded from CNET.

I can finally be productive on Windows again.  Now if only there was a good multiple-copy-paste clipboard program for Windows...

No comments: