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Expose for Windows Vista/7 [Clone] | Posted at 9:16 AM

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I use an iMac at work and whatever you say about Mac, one thing is for sure, Expose is genius. I am almost angry that this functionality isn't in Windows 7. Nobody uses Flip3D. Well, some do but I don't.

Enter Switcher. A free app switcher ala Expose, that works with multiple monitors. I will go through some cool features that will make Switcher look and act like OS X Expose.

Setting up Shortcuts

I recommend setting up Switcher to activate when you press the middle-mouse button. You can be a real power user using this shortcut.

Open up Switcher, then go to the Shortcuts tab, click “Change” next to Mouse shortcut.

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Set up a shortcut that looks like this:

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We also need to disable closing windows by using the middle-mouse because that will cause weird behavior.

Select the shortcut in the list under “Close Window” that uses the middle-mouse and click “Remove Shortcut.”

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(Note: I already removed in in this screenshot)

Styling the Windows

By default Switcher uses a funky blue hue style that just doesn’t match the aesthetics of the Aero environment. Let’s try to fix that.

Go to the Window Style tab and make the following changes:

Uncheck everything for “Normal” Window State.

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Choose “Selected” Window State.

Under Label, make it look like this:

image

For the two colors, I made the first black with about 75% opacity and the second black with 85% opacity.

For Frame, make it look like this:

image

Same idea for the two colors, except much lower opacity, about 15% for the first black and 30% for the second.

Uncheck “Number.”

Now your window style should look like this:

image

Lastly, go to the “Appearance” tab and uncheck “Enable window numbers.”

image

There you go, now you have a similarly-styled slick look for your Expose clone.

Filed Under: Tips and Tricks

Comments

And if YOU don't use it... nobody uses it? I use flip 3d every day, all day. I have it enabled on my center button on my mouse. Works great!

Just saying Expose/Switcher is way better than Flip3D.

With Flip you need to "flip" through all available windows or find it in the stack and click it.

With switcher/expose, all the windows are visible and you can immediately click it.

To each his own.

Note: Switcher works with Windows 7 too. I set it up using the middle-mouse button.

This whole windows customization thing is getting really close to a mac wannabee, do you have the docking station installed too?

Nah, I am not a huge fan of the Dock. It's too bad MS wanted to emulate THAT part of OS X rather than some of the good parts.

Also Jake, that test wasn't SO bad... it was easier than I had anticipated.

Wah... its looking great. Thanks for your tips for setting the windows as you like. Hopping, this will be appreciated by the users. Best wishes from Pamela.

Lol @ kev.

Don't be so hard on yourself, you don't use flip3d.

Hmm..this is a little pointless cause in 2003 when Expose was first introduced in Panther, Windows tried and tried not to copy but they finally budged in Vista and copied it. We call it Flip 3D. The difference? Flip 3D makes your windows sort out in a diagonal direction, and Expose just sorts the out normally.

Just for everyone's info, with the microsoft Mouse driver you can enable "flip," "flip3d" and "instant viewer" which are three ways of seeing your open windows. Flip is like alt-tab, flip3d is obvious (rolodex), and "instant viewer" is almost like expose, but not as good.

-Dan

Thanks for telling about this PERFECT piece of software. I am totally happy.
Compiz fusion for linux has other impressive designed effects, but this Expose like thing is by far the most useful (and there Compiz is weaker-no zoom on hoovering over, problems with minimized windows at least 2008 it was like that).

I can recommend these settings:
when I press the middle mouse button, all windows appear tiled on screen, when i move the mouse pointer over the window and release the middle mouse button again its selected.

- This whole window switching is almost faster than even moving the mouse to the task bar.
.. now I just need some kind of krunner for windows and I´m happy..

Thanks a lot for the hints about setting up this software... I was thinking it wasn't really compatible with W7 when i found something about the middle mouse button to close windows... that's all i needed to fix everything.
I think this is not exactly as Exposè but really gives you something similar. Actually the best exposè emulation software working on W7.
Btw, do anyone of you knows something about emulating also the spaces feature of osx? I found some 3rd part softwares but they do not really work good... they're slow and full of bugs...
The spaces feature is awesome, gives you the possibility to switch between applications integrated in organized spaces where you can perform complex actions in a couple of clicks... really amazing!
thanks a lot to all and sorry for my foreign english... ;)

Wow Thanks! This looks great.

I can't say I'm a fan of the new taskbar either. A few minutes into using Windows 7 I was praying for an expose like feature.

Worked Perfect in Windows 7 RTM.
Many Thanks for providing the settings.
:)

Whenever i go to switch windows my screen just goes black and doesnt allow me to do anything, can someone help me?

Hy there

Great piece of software. I' a MAC fan, but unfortunately I can't use them every day at work (the telecom industry is not that MAC friendly). Plus Windows 7 is a great improvement. This little app that you described here does it all, enhancing my productivity (cyclyng through a lot of Putty sessions can get frustrating) and reminding me of the old MAC days.

Thank you!

Hi I got a big problem with Switcher on W7 !!! I just can't use it since I have switch to w7 :'(... There is the capture of my screen.

http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/4384/switcher.png
[URL=http://img340.imageshack.us/i/switcher.png/][IMG]http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/4384/switcher.th.png[/IMG][/URL]

Is anyone can help me. I give my email adress here : j_nthan@hotmail.com (I am not crazy this is not my main adress but I consult it regularly).


Thank you for your help !!!

I can't wait for my new laptop as it will have W7 on it, and as soon as I get it I'll be trying out Switcher. It does look a lot more useful than Flip3D. Thanks for the heads up.

This program is FANTASTIC. Very customizable and works perfectly here with W7 x64. I never found Flip3D very useful. It's much easier to click on the application icon on the Superbar than to flip through the applications one by one. However, this Expose program works so nicely that I can definitely see myself using it regularly when I have many windows open.

On a side note, in response to Krishna's ignorant post, there is nothing pointless about this at all. This program definitely improves efficiency and is yet another example of why third party support for Windows is a benefit that tends to be overlooked. Between this and RocketDock, a lot of the features that Mac users enjoy can now be enjoyed by PC users free of charge and without having to use OS X. While everyone has their own preferences, the PC seems like a practical solution to me in large part because of programs like this.

Thank you!

Thanks for writing up this awesome review. Programs like this bring me one step closer to having all the great parts of Windows and OS X together in one operating system. Personally I think Expose is brilliantly executed; I like Flip 3D but expose is better for working with a ton of windows. As for the task bar, I really like what MS did with the Win 7 bar. I find it much easier than ole crappy Vista and XP and cleaner than OS X's dock, especially when it comes to grouping programs. Glad to see OS X finally using Linux-like spaces and looking forward to something similar for Win 7.

Oh man this is awesome and works great, thanks for sharing this program and your settings! I love how customizable it is.

I love using my Mac at work and this brings my home computer (Win 7 x64) closer to Mac/PC hybrid perfection.

The middle button shortcut is nice, but how are you going to to open new tabs in your browser?

I translate into russian your post here: http://grawl.ru/1229. I hope you do not mind.
Русским: по ссылке выше перевод на русский, если кто не понял.

Thanks Grawl, that's fine!

I am always searching into stuff about information that I don't know of. It is hard to find things that you don't know of, because what do you search for? ;) This is the type of thing I love to read about on something new to me. Great post! Thank you.

I have also enabled the center button on my mouse and found that it works just fine.

Thanks for the post.


Rick

I love Switcher, it's cool and simple to use, I was just afraid it wold stop me from using the middle-mouse button when I play games in the pc, like Bad Company 2 in witch the middle button controls the knife,fortunately it didn't cause any trouble in my gaming.
(sorry if anything is rong my English is not that good )

Thank you so much for this. Tried working with this for a while and just couldn't do it. I just they had something for all the windows in my current application.

I'm trying this now but it's pretty slow and crappy, and buggy on Windows 7 at least. It minimizes some things instead of showing them and randomly tries to close some of my applications, which brings up a do-you-want-to-save depending on the application which makes things flicker and ... barf. Switcher is pretty terrible so far.

Wow, this app is incredibly terrible. Deleted it after 10 minutes. This thing doesn't work at all and destroys my windows. It randomly closes programs instead of showing them when activated. It makes some of my programs hidden forever and have to be restarted. How can anyone use this piece of crap?

Haha, great idea! ;-)
But why don't you use Mac OS instead of Windows?! ;-) You will love it!

@Geld, I do at work and I love it. At home I play games a lot and I do a lot of development so I haven't really the motivation to buy a Mac yet.

Perhaps sometime in the future, I will get a Macbook.

@Andy,

True, Switcher has bugs on Windows 7 but _most_ of the time it works.

I emailed the author asking if he'd update it but to no avail. Unless there's another option, this is the best we have.

I wish my university had a webspace this cool <_<

thanks for the guide, was wondering how to do this title in the middle thing, didn't realize the scrollbar in appearance

gives a Ubuntu-ish feel :D

On both my laptop (Vista) and desktop (XP), there are labels on the bottom or side. They appear to have been burned through, and they are placed in places that do not get hot. There are two metallic strips on/in these labels that are exposed. The label holds the serial number for the OS, I believe, and I'm just curious as to why they both appear to have been eaten through by something.

Not a big Apple Fan, and it seems to be a lot of work to try to get a windows to look like an apple, which bring a interesting point. Most "Apple" people bash Windows since apple is that much better, but one features that apple uses, you could run windows on apple, which would beat the whole purposes. LOL..

I'm giving this a try and it seems alright but I always end up uninstalling this stuff after a couple of days. All this fancy apps, I have my Win 7 running ghetto style, to the uninformed anyone would think I was running Win 98, just the way I like it :D

Very detailled, thanks! The only reason for switching to apple is away :)

I have been DIGGING for how to do this. I found a little information, but now I have a click by click tutorial. You should put this on you-tube.

I really want a MAC.....

I disagree with most posters here, Like Andy, I found the app to be unstable and hard to use. If it were to work the way it was supposed to, i would really use it. I hope they continue to develop and support it. I just don't think it is "there" yet.

^^

Same here; after I had been using it for a bit, it has clearly not been tested much with Windows 7... it's pretty buggy.

Why go thru all that? Get a MAC and use Expose!!

You get a MAC, you never go back!!

Although there is that PC at work....

I have a handyman business and often have many windows open at a time. I never liked Flip3d, and Switcher looks like just what I need. I am always looking for anything that can make me more effecient when working with many customers at once, and this looks like it will fit the bill."

This sounds like a neat idea. I own a company that provides IT support in Houston. If anyone needs some help with monitoring their PCs and/or servers we provide best in class service. God Bless and take care.

Thanks for the information. I use Windows 7 everyday and actually work on client computers also but I have never heard of Switcher. Is this native to Windows 7 or an add on application?

Thanks
Dave

I would like to get a Mac. I have never owned one, repaired a few though. They seem pretty good and I'd like just to be able to use one and see what I think. Unfortunately they are expensive(even second hand models from YEARS ago are too expensive).

However I didn't think Vista was half as bad as everyone seemed to make out, and Windows 7 is a brilliant piece of engineering. I use it on all my computers and I have never had any problems.

As far as this program is concerned though. What's wrong with Alt-Tab?

THANK YOU! I have been lusting after this for a while now and found nothing to come close. Your write-up was informative and simple and now my Windows 7 is seriously AMAZING!
Thank you a million times:)
Sincerely
Nathan

That is sweet! How did you find out about this? I do computer repair in jacksonville fl and I am always looking to learn about new tricks like this. Add me to your email list and hit me up when ever you defeat the 7 GUI again.

Excellent work. Keep the tips coming and I'll pass along your blog to my techies.

It's totally great when I arrived at your blog, because I suddenly remembered my niece who was having problem with her Switcher. I want to tell her right now. Thanks for the tips. -Jacob

I tried Switcher a year ago and stopped using it because I just couldn't get the middle mouse button to work. Thank you so much for giving an "idiot proof" guide, I really appreciate that.

One thing tough, the animations are really slow on my Laptop. I use Win7 with an SSD, Intel Extreme, and Nvidia SLI but still I had to disable the animations. Anyone else having this problem?

Hey Kamran,

you are a genius, whether you use Mac or not.

unless, you are outsourcing the talent... from people like me.... which I doubt.

Really nice post about the switcher. I was having problems myself with my daughter's computer I got for her birthday. I will have her take a look at your blog posting.

Thanks

Krishna

I agree with Geld Sparen, why not just use Mac os on a Mac?

Windows still crash...

Appreciate your taking the time to show such great details.

Page

I'm running Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro pretty much constantly now. I'll be looking into Switcher as I need a streamlined multi monitor application.

I had a similar problem as Peter with the animations, but solved it by changing the video display from 32 bit to 16 bit in display properties. For me, it was a performance issue. I do like Switcher, (Win 7)no issues on the desktop.

Kamran,

I would like to invite you to join us at FMU's volunteer freelancer site.

We sure can use a genius. Hope to see you there.

By the way, we would love to make a post about you at our site.

Shravan

Flip 3D is crap. It's just alt+tab in 3D. Anybody who has used Expose on a Mac can tell you that it is MUCH more. It is the one thing that is sorely missing from windows. I don't give a damn if microsoft makes an exact copy. It's a huge workflow improvement.

There really isnt a good free version of an expose for windows xp. they all cost some money and they are all not that good.

What do you think about DExpose for windows? ever heard of it?

Sean

For Windows Vista and Windows 7, they come automatically with something similar to MAC expose. While the name of it to me remains unknown it is activated by pressing the windows button followed by the tab button. It isn't a program to be intalled it is actually just built into the operating system. This means that for operating systems before Vista do not have this feature.

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, My PowerBook G4's power jack finally shorted out after 7 years of use. I'm new to Windows 7 and this was just what I was looking for. Thanks a lot too for the customization tips, they are WAY better then the default settings.

Great tutorial, i've been looking for this customization guide in a long time, and good thing i came across your site. Worked like charm on my Windows 7!

Thank you a million times:)

Thanks for showing how to setup this Expose clone for windows.

First impression: works pretty good, so now when I use Windows I can work like in OSX :)

Thanks :)

I have set up osx clone. I am running windows vista. I am having problems with internet explorer. Has it got anything to do with this?

Tim Fiverr

Thanks Kamran, I realized the problem. Its actually with Microsoft Internet explorer. Looks like Bill Gates needs to get back to work!

As we all know or should know mac is by far the better option. Thanks for the software advise you rule.

I want to get a MAC, but i have a feeling that i won't know how to use it as well as a Windows. I love my Windows though and all the different programs you can get for it. Switcher sounds interesting to use. I will use it now and get familiar with it.
Thanks for this information.

Awesome! I mostly use Ubuntu and rely heavily on Compiz Fusion's implementation of this feature. It's nice to be able to quickly get around Windows so I finish what I need to do there and get out as quickly as possible. ^^

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Will try out this trick once i get my laptop up and running

there are few bugs what i have discovered:
-it doesnt work after screensaver (display off)
-in fullscreen apllications (games) it still works, so whetever i go with mouse in corner, games minimalized to the Windows..

but otherwise its awesome free app. When sort this bugs up, i am able to pay for this (reasonable price ofcourse).

A really cool feature! A small but beautiful tool brings Mac's Expose feature on the Windows PC.

thank you I find the article about that what you write than 20 minutes ago and I have just discovered your blog. Thank you very much.

Thank you so much men i was so jealous of macs now i got no reason to be THX

i am using Expose/Switcher and i love it because i can already see windows and i dont need to flip pages.

I don't always agree with everything you say, however you always get me thinking! Instead of arguing with you this time, I'll just say, "thanks for thinking"!

I want to get a MAC, but i have a feeling that i won't know how to use it as well as a Windows. I love my Windows though and all the different programs you can get for it. Switcher sounds interesting to use. I will use it now and get familiar with it.
Thanks for this information.

Thanks for the great tutorial :). I have never heard of Expose before, well maybe cause Im still using XP. I know I gotta upgrade :p

I'm giving this a try and it seems alright but I always end up uninstalling this stuff after a couple of days. All this fancy apps, I have my Win 7 running ghetto style, to the uninformed anyone would think I was running Win 98, just the way I like it :D

I'm using mac for almost 20 years, now. Sometimes I have to use windows (running on mac. Let me say that the difference between the two is basically the intuitive way of working with Mac. But Windows is doing a pretty good job on that area. Today, on a PC, you don't have to worry about anything. It becomes very intuitive also. But I believe that if Mac's were more affordable, they would increase their sales.

William

I'm using mac for almost 20 years, now. Sometimes I have to use windows (running on mac. Let me say that the difference between the two is basically the intuitive way of working with Mac. But Windows is doing a pretty good job on that area. Today, on a PC, you don't have to worry about anything. It becomes very intuitive also. But I believe that if Mac's were more affordable, they would increase their sales.

I'm using mac for almost 20 years, now. Sometimes I have to use windows (running on mac. Let me say that the difference between the two is basically the intuitive way of working with Mac. But Windows is doing a pretty good job on that area. Today, on a PC, you don't have to worry about anything. It becomes very intuitive also. But I believe that if Mac's were more affordable, they would increase their sales.

Great article I just downloaded it and installed it on my Windows 7 machine and it's awesome. I like the Mac Expose slightly better though. It seems faster.

I too am conflicted between my place of work and play by these two OSs.

I think the community of developers of apps like this makes up for the fact that Windows is a bit of a laggard - or at least, that's my means of rationalization.

Alton

I can't wait for my new laptop as it will have W7 on it, and as soon as I get it I'll be trying out Switcher. It does look a lot more useful than Flip3D. Thanks for the heads up.

Sweet - I have a MAC, Ubuntu, Win 7 Box - - and the ease of MAC is coming to Win 7 - Just wish mouse gestures would arrive on Win 7 -- since they are the most useful (IMHO) of MAC OSX.

Apart from that - Switcher still lacks "zoom" on space bar (like Expose) and crashes - but is easy enough to restart.

Also, I use the "Options" key on my HP G72 box as the switcher activation key. since I use the trackpad (no mouse) and it words fine!

Haha "Divide By 0" COOL name for a site, really :)

Anyway, I can see that you guys are almost all of you for the Mac OS. I am on Windows and I am pretty happy with it. What' so special about Mac, if I may?

Thanks

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Víte, co mají společného student, maminka na mateřské dovolené či člověk, který je zapsán na úřadu práce?
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I am DEFINITELY going to have to give this a go. You write very well and explain things very good. Thanks so much!

Scott

YES! thanks man, I was looking for something like this everywhere! Thanks!!


The Truth is , Switcher has bugs on Windows 7 but most of the time it works.

I emailed the author asking if he'd update it but to no avail. Unless there's another option, this is the best we have.--let me know great content will be back

Nice work, use it a few hours now and have to say it's very handy :-)

Regards

Mac is great and better than w7 but switcher application works better on it and if used in the right way it turns out to be great.

I gotta say I was never a fan of flip3d... if it aint broke don't fix it!

Being a PC repairman myself, I have to say that Mac is best, but I can't say too much about PCs because they pay the bills. Regardless, my iPad gets much more use than my PC :)

I design all of my own fliers and marketing materials for my hypnotist shows. My Mac lets me do it pretty easily and I'm not very good at it! I'm a Mac fan forever.

I had been a Windows guy for a long time and now converting to Mac. The functionality is so clean. Thanks for ahsring this! Makes me even more excited about my choice!
Scott

Hi I use win7 everyday and find it to be the best ms have done even since win 3.01 LOL!Win95 was a revelation! Look where we are now but have always wanted a mac though I think the Mac is perhaps specialized where as the win pc is an good all rounder what do you think? Thnks again ggod info

@Morgan :
What is so special about Mac is... marketing. Steve Jobs. Think different. No, really, Mac is nice. But I'm sure this is not the real reason of all the buzz about it.

Maybe its time to dump the PC in favor of the Mac.

i am using Expose/Switcher and i love it because i can already see windows and i dont need to flip pages.

Thank you

Been using Macs for over 10 years. Only drawback is amount of available software but that has changed drastically in the past few years. If I had my way, would never use a Microsoft based system.

I heard a lot about this but through this I can now have the idea how to install this and what is the advantages for using this.

Switcher works normally only under privileged user account. Under ordinary user it crashes.

Hi guys its Jeff Fiverr, just gotta say expose is amazing, its in the cydia app store and it works pretty great.

Excellent, thanks! I agree with the author, Flip 3D is pretty pathetic, and I never use it. This on the other hand, works great...

Very good piece of program and it is free.Thanks it worked for me too!

Hey, great tutorial. I have never heard of Expose before. I'm still using XP Pro on one machine.
But I just bought a Windows 7 PC, last month so I'm giving this a try. But it seems I always end up uninstalling this stuff.

Thanks I can't wait to try this out now. I've been looking for a program like switcher for ages, thanks!

seen it, its in the cydia app store and it works great.

Thanks! I've been looking for a hack to use on Expose

Oh man this is awesome and works great, thanks for sharing this program

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Hmm, why is every Mac blog'c comments full of anti PC comments :~(

I'm a PC tech supporter and Personally I think this is better in Windows 7.

Good article though - passing to the Mac users (poor guys:))

They appear to have been burned through, and they are placed in places that do not get hot. There are two metallic strips on/in these labels that are exposed. The label holds the serial number for the OS, I believe, and I'm just curious as to why they both appear to have been eaten through by something.

Styling the Windows make similarity. i have seen in the cydia app store. its works like charm. thanks

YES! thanks man

i prefer linux, but i respect other people,because its a free choice.

Now that win* knocking on our doors, who can heads up a bit about windows 8 and computer repair service? It is gonna help up or gave us the same headache as Windows Vista?

seen it in the cydia apps store

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This is why I switched to mac haha

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About the Author

Kamran
Divide by Zero is Kamran Ayub's personal blog. Kamran owns and operates Intrepid Studios, a web design and development firm based in Minneapolis. Despite the above picture, Kamran is usually an intelligent person. Please forgive him.

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