Full-screen windows focus your attention

Full-screen windows focus your attention
Mac Tip #506, 05 October 2011

Some people like to clear their computer screen of distractions such as windows from other applications. Lion now lets a window take over the entire screen, including the menu Bar. Here’s how to enter and exit full-screen.


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Lion lets apps take over the screen

Click the arrows to go Fullscreen.

Click the arrows to go Fullscreen.

A new feature in Lion is full-screen mode.

Before now you could use various window resizing techniques to get a window to fill up the whole screen below the Menu Bar, and a rare few apps would actually take over the entire screen. But now with Lion most apps can completely fill the screen, removing the menu Bar too.

Look in the top right corner of any window. If you see a pair of arrows as show in my screenshot then that app has a full-screen mode.

Click the arrows once to fill the entire screen with that window.

Esc or cursor to top to back out

Once you’re in full-screen mode you no longer have a Menu Bar and the double arrow disappears too. This may leave you wondering how to get back into a normal windowed view.

Try pressing the esc key at the top left of the keyboard. You may need to press it more than once. That should return you to a normal mode with a Menu bar at the top of the screen.

The blue arrows let you escape Fullscreen.

The blue arrows let you escape Fullscreen.

Another option is to move the cursor to the very top of the screen. That causes the Menu Bar to appear. At the right end is a blue rectangle containing two inward-facing white arrows. Click the icon to escape full-screen mode. The window should return to the size it was before you entered full-screen.

Switch apps with Command Tab

While you’re in full-screen mode you can still use Command (⌘) Tab to switch apps.

Hold down the Command (⌘) key and press Tab. The App Switcher appears. Press Tab repeatedly while still holding down Command (⌘) to select an app to switch to. Release the keys when the correct app is highlighted to bring that app to the front.

How did this Tip about full-screen mode help you? Tell us in the Comments at the website.

Credit where it’s due

This Tip was written by Miraz Jordan, http://mactips.info, and is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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One Comment;

  1. Miraz Jordan said:

    Colin Jackson emailed:

    “I find I use this a lot under Lion, but mainly because of the trackpad or mouse gesture that lets me switch easily from the full screen app to other desktop(s). It’s three fingers sideways on the pad, 2 on the mouse (as I’m sure you know).

    For all its bugginess, Lion has greatly improved the use of my Macs by harmonizing desktop spaces and full screen apps and making them all easily accessible.”

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