Switching Between Windows

Windows provides the ability to run more than one application or program at a time. Unfortunately, the size limitation of most screens makes it difficult to see everything about all applications you can have running. The Taskbar at the bottom of your screen allows you to switch between running applications simply by clicking on the button associated with a particular program. In addition to using the Taskbar to change between active applications, you can use the <Alt><Tab> key combination to quickly switch tasks.

You can switch windows simply by clicking on the appropriate icon on the Taskbar. And since the Taskbar is always available to you, why have another method of accomplishing the same thing? Well, this is true, but it requires you to move your hand from the keyboard, grab the mouse, move it to the Taskbar and click on a different application. All of this takes time. With <Alt><Tab>, you keep your fingers on the keyboard, but can quickly switch between applications. Here's how it works.

Press and hold down the <Alt> key. Tap the <Tab> key and a window will pop up in the middle of your screen showing you all the applications you currently have running on your machine. One application will be highlighted with a box around it. If this is the application you want to switch to, then release the <Alt> key and that application will come to the foreground. If the highlighted application isn't the one you want, simply continue to tap the <Tab> key until the application you want is selected and then release the <Alt> key. It's just that easy. And you never move your hands from the keyboard.

Windows 98/ME/XP provide another neat feature. You can actually have more than one monitor attached to your system. You can have one monitor with one application on it and another application running on the second monitor. You still need to be able to switch between these applications.

 Hughes Glantzberg

Last Revised: 02/24/2005

Created by
The PC Help Desk
(Hughes Glantzberg)