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Exposé is one of the new features introduced in Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther). It allows you to quickly view all open windows, open windows for the front application, or the desktop.



By default, Exposé can be activated using the following keys:

  • F9: Show all windows
  • F10: Show all windows of the current application
  • F11: Hide all windows and show the desktop


Exposé settings can be edited in the Exposé preference pane in Panther, or the Dashboard and Exposé pane in Tiger. It allows you to change the keys used to activate Exposé, or to assign hot corners or mouse buttons to each action.

Snow Leopard

In Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), Exposé was enhanced so that clicking and holding an application icon would show all the windows for that application. Additionally, files could be dragged to the application icon and dropped onto a particular window in an Exposé display. Windows could also be used with Exposé activated, unlike before.


Navigate windows with keyboard

When all windows or all application windows are shown, you can navigate between the windows by using the arrow keys on your keyboard, and select a window by pressing space or return.

Tab through windows

After activating Exposé and entering the All Windows or Current Application mode, the tab key will cause the next application's windows will be shown. If the All Windows mode has been triggered, it will switch to the Current Application mode.

Slow motion Exposé

You can activate Exposé in slow motion by holding down shift while pressing the appropriate hotkey. This also applies to many other User Interface events (minimizing a window, activating Dashboard in Tiger, etc.).

Mouse shortcuts with modifier keys

If you use a mouse with multiple buttons, you can assign mouse shortcuts that also use modifier keys. For example, you could set up Exposé to show all windows when you hold down option while right clicking. To assign modifiers, hold down your desired modifiers when you select a mouse shortcut in Exposé's preference pane.


Apple's page on Exposé

Movie of Exposé in action