This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.
How to: Minimize And Hide Applications And Windows
Did you know you can minimise or hide any window or application you currently have open? In this tip we will take a look at these basic but important controls specifically aiming it towards new users of the Mac.
Using minmize and hide gives users even greater control over their applications and windows. Minimising and hiding is particularly important for users with smaller displays.
We will first take a look at the minimise functionality. Minimize is the ability to take an open application window and hide it within the applications icon in the Dock. When you perform the keyboard shortcut Command + M you will notice the current open and front most window in the application will recede into the associated Dock icon. You will also note the application remains opens allowing you to open or create new documents.
If you have multiple windows open in an application such as Safari then only the active window in front of the other windows will minimise. This thereby allows you to continue working within the other open windows that are located in the background.
Instead of using the keyboard command for minimizing you can also navigate to Window > Minimize from the Menu Bar.
Additionally you can also achieve the same result by clicking the round orange button located at the top right of your window. You will notice when you roll the mouse over this area you will see the (-) sign within the button.
In order to continue working in the window you have just minimized simply click on the application icon in the dock and it will reappear. If you have more than one window open in that application you will need to click hold down your mouse button (or right click) in order to bring up a view of the windows you currently have open so you can select the one you wish to work in.
Next we have the hide functionality. Hide is the ability to hide all open windows from view on your Mac’s display. It will also hide the application from view and another non hidden application or the Finder will take its place.
To hide an application and all open associated windows simply press Command + H, or navigate to Safari > Hide Safari from the Menu Bar. Each application will have its specific name listed. Within the same Menu Bar area you can also select Hide Others. Selecting Hide Others will immediately hide all other open applications on your Mac. The keyboard shortcut for Hide Others is Option + Command + H.
When you wish to unhide (by clicking the application icon in the Dock) all windows associated to that specific application will reappear on your Mac. This differs from the approach of minimize where you are bringing back a single window at a time.