Windows task-switcher (Alt+Tab or Win+Tab) sucks. It’s as simple as that. The much hyped Flip-3D (first introduced in Windows Vista) may look cool but is practically worthless. It definitely doesn’t make switching do another window any easier. I don’t know anyone who actually finds Flip-3D productive. The task-switcher found in Mac Operating Systems – called Expose, is a much better option. It displays all open windows as thumbnails on the screen. I had written about a free application (XNeat Windows Manager) to get Expose like task-switcher in Windows. However, recently I came across a better alternative called Switcher.
Switcher features 3 main modes –
Tile – This mode is similar to Expose and shrinks the windows until you can see all the Windows.
Grid – This is my favourite mode. Its similar to Tile and shrinks the windows to make them fit inside the screen. However instead of scattering them all over the place arranges them in a neat grid. In fact even Apple decided to implement a similar feature in its upcoming operating system Snow Leopard.
Dock – In this mode the maximum screenspace is dedicated to the active window and the other windows are displayed as think strips that occupy the top edge of the screen.
Take a look at the video to get an idea about each effect.
Video by DownloadSquad
What I love about Switcher is that it numbers each window and you can select any window by simple pressing the appropriate number. You can also select any window by typing in its title. Switcher includes a handy search funtion that will automatically highlight the appropriate window. Switcher comes with a predefined set of hotkeys which can be customised according to your comfort. You can also change the styling of windows when displayed in overlay mode. As an added bonus switcher works even with multi-monitor setups.
Switcher is a fantastic application. What impressed me about switcher is its usability. Its head and shoulders above other similar freeware alternatives and even puts premium software like Top Desk to shame. The only drawback of Switcher is that it requires Aero. Hence it will only work with Windows Vista and Seven computers that have Aero enabled. In case you are using an Aero enabled computer running Windows Vista or Seven give this software a try. Its a boon to all multi-taskers.
Download Switcher (397 KB)
Platforms Supported : Windows Vista and Seven with Aero Enabled
License : Freeware
Version Reviewed : 2.0