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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    I work on a system (vehicle mounted Laptop) that has several applications running concurrently. At certain stages, I have to rapidly swap from one app to another, and use the Coolswitch facility (Alt+Tab) to do this. However, on my usual machine, I have to press the Alt+Tab 11 or 12 times to step through the open windows to get to where I need. I have used Shift+Alt+Tab to try to go "backwards" through the screen, but that start to get to be a "finger knotter".

    I have noticed on other laptops when I've been working elsewhere in the company, that the Alt+Tab feature only shows the Main Application windows, instead of all the child windows as well that display on my normal system. This results in only having to press Alt+Tab 3 or 4 times versus the 11 or 12......

    I cannot find any switch or item that I can turn on or off to get the CoolSwitch to only display the "Main" windows....

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Have I written this in a way that folks can understand?????

    Thanks
    Bob

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger st3333ve's Avatar
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    I can't tell what applications you're talking about.

    In Word 2002, you can uncheck "Windows in Taskbar" under Tools-->Options-->View.

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    They are specific applications to the job that I do, one is a Pavement Testing application that operates and records data from the machinery I tow, (It has one main Window/"Desktop", on which there are several child windows), another application is the mapping software, also with a couple of child windows, and there are also two excel spreadsheets, in separate windows.

    When I reach specific locations, called Control Points, I have to run certain macros to record details like time, GPS location, chainages, etc, then I have to switch to the spreadsheets to enter certain other data. I cannot write macros to handle this switching as things can vary from day to day, so I just use the Alt+Tab (coolswitch) function to switch to the application I need to access. At the moment, this can take up to 12 consecutive presses of the Alt+Tab function. I want to be able to do this in 4 or 5 presses. On another laptop I have used, elsewhere in the company, this is possible as the Alt+Tab function only seems to display the Main, parent windows.

    I have not been able to find out how this is done, and no-one else in the company knows. I believe it is just some thing unique that has been set by default on that laptop without somebody being aware of what they were actually doing.

    Because there is the difference between the two laptops (both running XP Pro, installed by the company IT staff), I believe there is some switch or setting I can make to achieve this reduced number of keypresses in the Alt+Tab function. I have tried changing the "coolswitch" row and column settings in the registry to no avail, but I reckon it is some obscure setting in the registry that I need to change. I have searched the internet, searched a program called Registry Mechanic, which lists and details many registry keys and setting, unsuccessfully.

    This switch or tweak I am searching for is NOT application specific, I feel it is a setting that would apply to Windows itself.

    I am hoping that the knowledgeable crowd that frequent these forums will point me in the right direction.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    As Steve mentioned, Office applications such as Excel, Word etc. have an option "Windows in taskbar". If this is on, each document open in the application will have a separate icon in the taskbar and also in the Alt+Tab list. If it is off, there will be only one icon for the application.
    I'm not aware of a Windows-level setting that groups icons in Alt+Tab. There may be third-party utilities that provide this functionality, but a quick search didn't turn up likely candidates.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    I've never used the "Group Similar..." checkbox in the taskbar properties. What does it do and would it help in this case?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    If you have, say, three Word documents open, you have the choice of either one tab on your taskbar, or three - one for each document.

    For general interest, I noticed that Acrobat Reader 7 has a setting that overrides the single tab, which is an option found in Preferences.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    TweakUI XP lets you specify how to group windows in the taskbar. This has no influence on what is displayed if you press Alt+Tab, however.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Re-reading your post, I think there is some confusion on my part regarding the grouping of office documents.

    If you select "Group similar taskbar buttons" and the "Show Windows in taskbar" option in Office, when you click on the tab, a list pops up from which you can select which document you want to see.

    Whether it makes any difference in this case I can't say!

  9. #9
    Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Thanks folks, but I have tried the "Group similar.." but that only applied to the Office applications and didn't affect the Alt+Tab display. The two applications that I really need this to apply to don't even have that ability. I don't care how many apps there are along the Task Bar as I'm using this in a vehicle, often need to access things quickly in the middle of busy intersections or railway tracks, so don't have the time to piddle around with the mouse/trackball, need to be able to quickly switch between these non-MS apps using the keyboard......

    Had a look through TweakUI but t I couldn't find anything applicable in there either :-(

    Bob

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    I'd ask the people who install laptops in your company if they sometimes install an extra utility that modifies Alt+Tab behavior. As far as I can tell, what you want is not a built-in Windows feature.

  11. #11
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    See if you can get TaskSwitchXP - famous alt-tab manager - NTWind Software installed it is all that ALT+TAB is plus.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
    Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Thanks Joe, will download it and check it out

  13. #13
    Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Tried that too, Hans, no luck there either.....

  14. #14
    Lounger
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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Joe, thank you, that TaskSwitcherXP turned out to be exactly what I wanted, it seems to work OK , without any conflicts or other problems.

    Again
    Thanks, and thanks to Hans and the others who responded. This facility is an excellent source of assistance for all.
    Bob

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    Re: CoolSwitch/Alt+Tab query

    Great <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23>. Glad it works for you.

    Joe
    Joe

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