Getting Started with TaskSwitchXP
Once you have installed TaskSwitchXP on your computer, ensure that TaskSwitchXP is running by pressing Alt+Tab key combination. If there are more than one tasks running, you should see the new switcher window (if not, click here).
TaskSwitchXP works entirely in the same way as the standard Windows Alt-Tab task switcher, i.e. when the hotkey combination Alt+Tab (or Alt+Shift+Tab) is pressed, TaskSwitchXP generates the list of open windows (tasks) in which the end user is working.
This list of open windows is presented as a group of icons, with one outlined by a selection rectangle. As the end user continues to hold the Alt key and presses the Tab key, the selection rectangle moves to the next icon. The selected icon represents the application that Windows will bring to the foreground once the Alt key is released.
In addition to the standard method, TaskSwitchXP allows you to navigate the list using arrow and number keys, Page Up/Down, Home/End, etc. Also you can select a task from the list using the mouse wheel and cursor. TaskSwitchXP provides you the ability to delete and sort list items to quickly find required task and switch to.
You should forget about old Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc)... Now you can easily get the information on processes and quickly manage running applications directly from the switcher window!
By default, TaskSwitchXP displays the information bar with a simple description of the selected application. You can replace this description by process name and identifier that let you know, which application has created the selected window. In most cases, it is enough! If you want to see full information on process (i.e. duration, CPU time, memory usage, etc), use the advanced info tip.
To show the advanced process info tip, display the switcher window and:
- Middle-click the preview area.
- Press F1 or I shortcut key.
- Right-click a blank area and choose "Show Process Info" from the context menu.
- Right-click the preview area or selected task(s), to show the task context menu.
The task context menu contains the following commands:
- Switch To (Enter, Space)
- Minimize (F2, M)
- Minimize to Tray (F3, N)
- Cascade (C)
- Tile Horizontally (H)
- Tile Vertically (V)
- Restore (F6, <)
- Maximize (F7, >)
- Close (F4, X)
- End Process (F8, T)
- One process can own several windows! Therefore, when you will choose "End Process" for a task, the related tasks can be terminated also. Be ensure, that you terminate only desired tasks!
- For safety, TaskSwitchXP does not terminate process of the Windows Shell (e.g. Explorer.exe, if you are running the standard Windows Shell). When you choose "End Process" for a Shell task, TaskSwitchXP posts only a close signal.
Often you want to close or restore all windows on your desktop, for this purpose you can easily mark all task items and then perform a mass action. Also you can visually tile or cascade a few windows of different applications (unlike the standard Windows desktop, which allows the user to tile/cascade only all open windows or windows of one Taskbar group at once).
You can mark some list items as multiple selected:
- Hold Ctrl or Shift and left-click them;
- Middle-click a list item or a blank area;
- Hold the Shift and press an arrow key;
- Press Insert or S shortcut key (Backspace, D - unmark).
To mark/unmark all list items, you can:
- Double-click a blank area of the switcher window.
- Right-click a blank area and choose "Select All" (or "Select None") from the context menu.
- Press A shortcut key to mark all items and Shift+A to unmark all.
TaskSwitchXP allows you quickly to switch between multitudinous tasks of one application (e.g. Internet Explorer, or Microsoft Word). In this mode, TaskSwitchXP automatically filters all instances of the currently foreground application.
You can activate Instances Switcher in a few different ways:
- Hit the Ctrl+Alt+Tab key combination (Instance Switcher hotkey must be enabled).
- Right-click the TaskSwitchXP tray icon and choose Instances list from the context menu.
- Press the Instances list hotkey (by default Win+F11).
- Assign action for TaskSwitchXP tray icon (e.g. middle-click).
- You can release the Ctrl key after first pressing Ctrl+Alt+Tab and then use Tab and arrow keys to navigate the list.
- Also you can hold the Ctrl key when the switcher window is already displayed, so TaskSwitchXP will jump to the next/previous instance of the currently selected application.
Minimizing to System Tray
TaskSwitchXP allows you easy to hide a rarely used application to the System Tray and restore it now when it is needed.
To minimize an application to the System Tray, you can:
- Right-click on a list item to show the task context menu and then select "Minimize to Tray" command.
- Press F3 or N shortcut key to hide the currently selected tasks.
- Right-click on the Minimize button of the main application window(option "Minimize windows to tray by right-click on Minimize button" on the General page must be enabled).
- You can also quick hide the foreground application by the "Minimize to Tray" hotkey and show the last hidden now by the "Restore from Tray" hotkey.
Hidden application can be restored back from the System Tray by simple click on its tray icon. You can also right-click on its tray icon to show the context menu and then close this task or perform a mass action to all tasks hidden by TaskSwitchXP.
TaskSwitchXP Is Outdated. Get A Better Alt-Tab Here →
VistaSwitcher is a reincarnation of TaskSwitchXP, the key new features include:
- Outstanding UI, semi-transparent backgrounds and antialiased fonts
- Live window and desktop previews under Windows Vista and 7
- Despite the name, it works on Windows XP too ;))