My move from OS X to Vista – Day 3

I know it is a cliche that you don’t really realise just how much you love something until it is gone but I am proving that true with this move to Vista from OS X!

What is it that I miss so much? Exposé!

Exposé is a fabulous, much underrated feature of OS X whereby you can, at the click of a key or the flick of a mouse, expose all the windows you have open (or expose all the windows you have open for a particular app, or you can call up the desktop, or the screensaver).

This is an incredible timesaving feature. I regularly have multiple emails open. The ability to hit F10 (or flick into the top left corner) to move between windows of just the Mail app, is fantastic. Similarly for browser windows, or any other app where you are likely to have multiple windows open and need to move between them.

Expose in action

There are a couple of Exposé clones out there for Vista but I have yet to find one which will emulate the app window tiling.

I now find myself constantly let down when I flick the mouse up to the top left corner in Vista and nothing happens 🙁

20 thoughts on “My move from OS X to Vista – Day 3”

  1. Good question Paul.

    I don’t use QuickSilver. I have it installed but can’t see any reasons for using it – probably lack of vision on my part.

    Spotlight I really love – esp because I have over ten year’s emails stored on my Mac (over 100,000 emails!). I can find an email from years ago in a heartbeat.

    I don’t have anything like that number of emails in Outlook or Thunderbird on the Vaio so I can’t really compare the two.

    There are three search boxes in Outlook though which is a bit ridiculous!

  2. I agree this is the most underated feature of OSX and when ever I use Windows it annoys me that there isn’t a similar feature that can be used.

    You say you used F10 to use Expose, you do realise you can do it with One Click of the Mouse which is even faster. This is one feature you will truly miss. Good Luch 😀

  3. thebigman87 – yes I know you can do it with the mouse as well but I turned this off on my mouse because with my awkward fingers I was accidentally setting it off the whole time!!!

  4. thebigman87, thank you. I never realised I could assign Expose, Desktop and Dashboard to the other buttons on my Microsoft mouse. Much more usable now. I used to have it set to the corners of the screen for Expose but it irritated the bejeezus out of anyone else who used my computer.

  5. This is going to sound really corny Paul but that is exactly why I love blogging and blogs – the information exchange which occurs on blogs is phenomenal.

  6. Yea my family have a Problem with it too as they aren’t used to my Mouse or the controls, been a Windows User all my life (even if it has been brief) only switched about 6 months ago.

    I surprised no one has made an App to include a feature if not the same very similar in Windows, I know they messed with the Alt+Tab but it not as easy as Expose.

    I must use this feature 20-30 times a day, as I always have multiple windows on my desktop.

  7. Tom _when_ you return to Mac OS X, you’ll really need to check out Quicksilver.

    For me, it’s half about having a tidy dock as everything else, but launching ms word or photoshop in the split second it takes is still one of the things that makes me happy every day.

    …and that’s just the tip of it…

  8. Tom

    I second what Paul says about Quicksilver. Prior to using it, my Dock was stuffed to the gills with every app I thought I might ever use. But now, I just keep the essentials in the Dock and launch everything else with QS. I can type two or three letters of a contact’s name and when their name appears, press return and a new Mail messgae to that contact comes up. If I need to open a folder in the Finder, I just start to type the name of the folder and when it shows up, hit return and there it is, open in a new Finder window.

    I have specific documents that I use regularly set up with Triggers, so that when I need to open them I just use a combination of two keys, without even having to call up the QS dialog.

    Between it and Spotlight, I rarely if ever have to trawl through either the Finder or my Address Book. If you have already got yourself into the Spotlight habit, QS will be a doddle.

    And I know that I am only scratching the surface of QS’s capabilities.

  9. In contrast to your Vista experience Tom, I’m now a few days into my switch from Vista to OSX on my new iMac and the experience has been a completely positive one. I just can’t fault it.

    I hope you don’t have to suffer the Vista experience for too long. I’ve been there, done that and I’m trading in the t-shirt for an OSX one.

  10. I have Expose set such that clicking the scroll wheel on my mouse has the same effect as hitting F9. Whenever I find myself on a Windows computer with a scroll mouse, I find myself trying to use the feature, then disappointed where it doesn’t work.

  11. I love squeezing the wireless mighty mouse to get that F10 effect. I am so frickin jealous you’ve got 10 years of email. By rights, I should have close on 15 years. But successive hard disk failures on PC architecture put paid to that. Of course ever since I switched to my beloved Mac and decided to live in the cloud – no worries.

    How much longer are you going to stick this torture out Tom?

  12. The most useful feature in Vista for me is the ‘Quicksilver’ like: Press the Windows Key, start typing the first few letters of the app you want to open. It will also jump to a file or folder (try typing c:\ after pressing the windows key) and much more – see the help files.

    I’m not suggesting Vista will win over OsX heart and minds – but it’s not quite as bad as many think. For example the integrated firewall advanced options are very impressive (just hit Windows key and type ‘Firewa’ and you’ll be able to choose to open the advanced options.

  13. Just to quote from the Vista help file to make a Quicksilver comparison easier:

    The Search box
    The Search box is one of the most convenient ways to find things on your computer. The exact location of the items doesn’t matter—the Search box will scour your programs and all of the folders in your personal folder (which includes Documents, Pictures, Music, Desktop, and other common locations). It will also search your e‑mail messages, saved instant messages, appointments, and contacts.

    To use the Search box, open the Start menu and start typing. You don’t need to click inside the box first. As you type, the search results appear above the Search box in the left pane of the Start menu.

    A program, file, or folder will appear as a search result if:

    Any word in its title matches or begins with your search term.

    Any text in the actual contents of the file—such as the text in a word-processing document—matches or begins with your search term.

    Any word in a property of the file, such as the author, matches or begins with your search term. (For more information about file properties, see View the properties for a file.)

    Click any search result to open it. Or, click the Clear button to clear the search results and return to the main programs list. You can also click See all results to display the search results in a folder with more advanced options; or Search the Internet to open your web browser and search the Internet for your term. If your search produced no results, you can click Search Everywhere to search your entire computer.

    Besides programs, files and folders, and communications, the Search box also looks through your Internet favorites and the history of websites you’ve visited. If any of these webpages include the search term, they appear under a heading called “Favorites and History.”

  14. Hi Tom,
    I’m finding Expose function so annoying. I have to used both OS (XP and OS X), and found XP better, OS X is not for everyone. It’s not for everyday users also. Expose as Idea was not so bad, still I’m enoying in Mouse with two buttons and one scroll.

  15. Hi Tom,

    There actually is a Vista Gadget (3rd party) which mimicks OSX’s Expose feature. You can also choose Flip 3D as the visualization option for it -so whatever you prefer. More info about it on 10 here:

    I tried it, but personally i prefer the ALT-TAB key or flip 3D. For me that’s faster, and it gives a good overview too…

    Looking forward to meeting you in Copenhagen at Reboot! 🙂

    Regards 🙂

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