Witch

⌘-Tab Everything

Release Notes

What's new in Witch?

Witch 4 is a free upgrade for those who bought Witch after October 1, 2016, and a paid upgrade for others. Give it a free try; if you want to go back to Witch 3 later, you can always get it from our museum.

Witch 4.1 - June 7, 2017

New Features

  • Mail's unread messages badge now shows in Witch. (We cannot get Messages unread message count, sorry.)
  • The period key can be used to dismiss the Witch panel, regardless of what it's currently displaying.
  • A soon-to-be-public Badge API helps other developers send their app's badge icon data to other programs, like Witch.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Improved speed of switcher's appearance when working with slow-to-respond apps.
  • Cross-Space switching should be more reliable.
  • Relocated the help button to a more-visible location.
  • Improved fuzzy search logic.
  • Vertical panels no longer resize their width when closing/quitting entries on the list.
  • Fixed a memory leak associated with using pop-up window previews and mini window previews.
  • Lots of little changes to improve Witch's appearance and performance.

Witch 4.0 - March 30 2017

New Features

  • Switch between open tabs in many apps. This even works in Safari (and maybe some other apps) in pre-Sierra versions of the OS.
  • Switch only apps, ignoring windows and tabs.
  • Set up multiple switchers—one for apps, one for apps and windows and tabs, etc.—on different hot keys.
  • New horizontal layout, like the built-in ⌘-Tab.
  • Blacklist apps (such as virtual machine app) where you don't want Witch's hot keys active.
  • A checkbox in Advanced tells Witch to bring all windows of the selected app forward (instead of just the chosen window) on switch.
  • Two new keys in the switcher: R brings all windows forward, instead of just the chosen window (if you haven't enabled the above-listed feature), and G takes a screenshot (saved to your desktop) of the switcher.
  • New menu bar mode—any switcher can be used on screen, via the menu bar, or both.
  • Search for apps, windows, and tabs by typing—search uses fuzzy logic to show all potential matches.
  • See windows from menu-bar only apps.
  • Sort the switcher by the order of your apps in the Dock.
  • Spring-load apps and windows, so Witch automatically drills down after a specified delay.
  • Fast switching (i.e. releasing your modifier keys before the switcher panel appears) now always takes you to the last active app/window/tab, regardless of the action's sort order.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Witch no longer relaunches its background process whenever you open its preference pane after launching System Preferences. So now you can change settings without losing your frontmost window history, or your references to windows on other Spaces. (The background process still relaunches when you update Witch, obviously.)
  • Window activity sorting is now less likely to get confused by switching across spaces.
  • Witch no longer auto-skips the first window in a list when there are no app placeholders and the frontmost app has no windows.
  • Reopen placeholders (known as Activate in older versions of Witch) now bring all of the selected app's windows to the front, like clicking an app icon in the Dock does.
  • Switching (back) to Acorn should now work more reliably.

Witch 3.9.9 - Aug 9 2016

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixes a bug where email addresses with dot characters in their user name part weren't accepted for license crossgrades.
  • The switcher panel now comes with a blurred background by default. (If you have a custom background color set, uncheck it to see the effect.)

Witch 3.9.8 - Jul 27 2016

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed a bug that prevented the App Store version of Witch from working in macOS Sierra public beta.
  • Fixed a bug where some entries wouldn't cast a shadow regardless of the user's shadow preferences.
  • Removed Spaces support from the App Store version of Witch (details and solution).

Witch 3.9.7 - Jan 31 2016

New Features

  • A new option allows showing the switcher panel on the display with the frontmost window.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated the Sparkle in-app update mechanism to use a secure connection (HTTPS).
  • Witch now lists standard windows, such as that of Photos, that lack title information.

Witch 3.9.6 - Sep 28 2015

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed an issue with OS X 10.11 El Capitan's Gatekeeper.

Witch 3.9.5 - Jun 11 2015

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Worked around an issue where raising a window on another display didn't make the display active.
  • Some Yosemiteization has been done.
  • iBooks books listed with a generic title, as they lack an official title. But at least they're listed.

Note

  • Requires OS X 10.10 or newer due to technical limitations. (That's Latin for: "There's a bug on OS X 10.9 we can't get a handle on.") The OS X 10.10 requirement isn't technically enforced in Witch 3.9.5, but it will be in Witch 3.9.6.

Witch 3.9.4 - Aug 6 2014

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Prepared for upcoming Gatekeeper changes.

Witch 3.9.3 - Oct 18 2013

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated how-to-enable instructions for Mavericks users.
  • Added a workaround for XtraFinder.
  • Other minor bug fixes.

Witch 3.9.2 - Oct 1 2012

New Features

  • Added high resolution graphics for retina display Macs.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Worked around some issues with Desktops (née Spaces) in Mountain Lion.
  • Resolved an issue that prevented preview images from appearing. (Hat tip to Lars for finding this one.)
  • Worked around duplicate entries for Total Finder in the switcher panel.

Witch 3.9.1 - Jun 5 2012

New Features

  • Added ability to enable or disable font smoothing in the Witch switching panel. (Smoothing off = thinner fonts.)

Witch 3.9 - Apr 17 2012

New Features

  • Added a Font pop-up menu to the Behavior tab, to allow users to choose their own switcher font.
  • Added a visual indicator for shortcuts created using keys on the numeric keypad. (Hat tip to Darren C. for the suggestion.)

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Witch will now work much better with Butler, Teleport, and Synergy.
  • Hot keys (such as z for zoom, m for minimize) affecting the frontmost window now work in more applications, including Chrome. (Hat tip to Dale for reporting this issue.)

Witch 3.8 - March 1 2012

New Features

  • Witch's switcher panel will now scroll, if necessary, to display the full list of open windows.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • With debug logging enabled (defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "PMDebugLog" -bool YES), Console will show how long it took each application to reply to Witch's "please list your open windows" queries.
  • A change in the Apple bold system font may leave Witch's panel font looking a bit thick for your liking. Use this hidden default to use an alternative font: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Alternate Panel Font" -bool YES
  • Other minor changes and bug fixes.

Witch 3.7 - Jul 1 2011

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Ready for use with certain new features of certain future operating systems.
  • Cyrillic equivalents of w, q, etc. for closing, quitting, etc. now work properly. (Hat tip to Pavel Z. for reporting this one.)
  • Fixed a bug that caused window ordering to change when closing windows from the switcher using certain sort orders and keyboard shortcuts. (Hat tip to Olivier G. for reporting this one.)

Witch 3.6.3 - Apr 12 2011

New Features

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Prepared Witch for Lion's impending release.
  • Witch now works properly with Xcode 4's new windowing scheme.
  • A problem causing TotalFinder's windows to appear twice in Witch has been fixed. (The fix is disabled by default; this blog post explains why, and how to enable it.)
  • (App Store version only) Witch is now better at updating the status (on/off) of both Spaces and Assistive Devices.

Witch 3.6.2 - March 1 2011

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • The backtick/tilde key on US keyboards now automatically works for "cycle backwards" in Witch's switcher panel, and doesn't need to be mapped as a keystroke. So if you're using Option-Tab to cycle forward through windows, press Option-` after the switcher panel appears to cycle backward through the windows. (Hat tip to Dan B. for reporting this one.)
  • Certain applications, including Path Finder, will no longer show two entries for each window in the switcher panel. (Hat tip to elithebarrowboy for reporting this one.)

Witch 3.6.1 - Feb 17 2011

New Features

  • Now displays untitled windows from many applications—including Mail drafts without subject lines, and Elgato's applications. (Use the pop-up preview to see the contents of untitled windows.)
  • A new slider controls how long Witch will wait for slow-responding applications before giving up and displaying the switcher panel without those programs' windows.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Users with Matrox multi-display graphics modules on their laptops can now use Witch more successfully. (Please contact us for further assistance.)
  • The setting for enabling/disabling pop-up window previews has been moved to the Appearance tab (to make room for the timeout delay slider).

Witch 3.6 - not released

There was no Witch 3.6 outside of the App Store version.

Witch 3.5.8 - Jan 11 2011

New Features

  • Windowless apps can now be forced to the bottom of the switcher panel (when in application-specific sort modes) via a hidden defaults command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Punish Windowless Applications" -bool true (Hat tip to Andy S. for the suggestion.)

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed a typo in the Behavior panel. (Hat tip to Ned F. for spotting this one.)
  • Minor other changes and fixes in various areas, including updated help files.

Witch 3.5.7

There was no Witch 3.5.7; this version number was skipped in order to keep the version numbers in sync with the version we hope will soon be available on the Mac App Store.

Witch 3.5.6 - Dec 8 2010

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • The Witch panel can no longer get 'stuck' onscreen in rare circumstances. (Hat tip to Nick D. for the report.)
  • Tweaked internal timers to prevent possible disappearance of Witch panel in rare situations. (Hat tip to Nick F. for the report.)
  • Reduced default fade-out duration for the Witch switching panel.
  • Added a hidden pref to completely disable Witch's fade-out effect: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Panel Fades Out" -bool NO (Hat tip to Chris P. for the suggestion.)
  • Added a hidden pref to disable hidden windows' icon overlay: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Show Minimized Bevels" -bool NO

Witch 3.5.5 - Sep 21 2010

New Features

  • Witch's Exceptions (on the Behavior tab) now work better with the * wildcard—you can use one or more to indicate matches for any one or more characters. So *fish*boat will match starfisherboat, ourfishaboating, etc.
  • Witch now works very well with App Tamer, a utility that allows you to freeze programs when they're in the background. Thanks to St. Clair Software for helping us figure out how to make these two programs work together.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Changed the algorithm for how Witch handles non-responsive windows. The end result should be fewer delays in waiting for the Witch panel to appear when certain programs are busy in the background.

Witch 3.5.4 - Sep 8 2010

New Features

  • Added ability to place Witch panel on display containing the mouse (instead of the one with the menu bar).

Witch 3.5.3 - Aug 16 2010

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Witch now properly displays keys set in the Additional Actions section of the Triggers tab.
  • When the 'Releasing all modifier keys activates the selected window' option is unchecked, Witch now properly respects the switcher panel delay setting, and won't show its window if you release the activation keys before the delay time is reached. If you prefer the old behavior, you can get it back by quitting Witch, opening Terminal, and running this command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Activate On No Modifiers (Ignore During Panel Delay)" -bool TRUE

Witch 3.5.2 - Jul 7 2010

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed an inconsistency in how Witch handles apps with windows in other Spaces, when Spaces support is disabled.
  • Fixed a bug that occurred when a user had set the keyboard repeat rate to 'off.'

Witch 3.5.1 - Jun 23 2010

New Features

  • Added a new Gradient slider to the 'Selection background color' option on the Appearance tab.
  • Previews can now be activated on demand only via the 'P' key (or the Space Bar)—so you can leave previews disabled in Witch's preferences, but still use them when you want them. (Hat tip to Matt Neuburg for the suggestion.)

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed a problem where the timer for previews wasn't calculating correctly. (Hat tip to James Riordon for reporting this one.)
  • Fixed a briefly-appearing translucent shell that appeared on fast switching. (Hat tip to Andrew Chadwick for reporting this one.)
  • Removed some needless Console messages. (Hat tip to Matt Neuburg for noticing the spewage.)
  • Upgraded help system now supports search, and it's ready for more features in the future.

Witch 3.5 - Jun 14 2010

New Features

  • Show a live preview of every open window—just leave a window selected for two seconds (changeable) in the switcher to see its preview.
  • Added a pref to control the interval before the live preview window appears (including Never and No Delay).
  • Optionally use a small version of the live preview in place of the usual icons in the switcher.
  • Added a pref to let the selector wrap around (as it does when using the keyboard) when scrolling via a scrollwheel or trackpad. (Hat tip to Gabriel von Heinje for the suggestion.)
  • Added in-app purchasing, to ease the buying process.
  • Space number badges now scale with the size of the Witch switching panel.
  • The Space number badges checkbox now has two states. When checked, badges will be shown for all Spaces, including windows in the current Space. When shown as a minus sign (mixed state indicator), badges will not be shown for windows in the current Space. (Hat tip to Carl Jacobsen for the suggestion.)
  • Jump to the top (T, Home) or bottom (B, End) of the window list via keyboard shortcuts. (Hat tip to Nicholas Sloan for the suggestion.)
  • Added a hidden pref to use only Quick Look previews, instead of previews for all windows. Disable Witch first, then use this Terminal command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Use Quick Look For Previews" -bool TRUE — we're not sure why anyone might want this, but just in case they do, it's there.
  • Added a hidden pref to change the size of the 'selected item' highlight in the window list. Disable Witch first, then use this Terminal command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Selection Style" -int n — replace n with 1 or 2 to see the two options; set it to 0 for the default. (Hat tip to Gabriel von Heinje for the suggestion.)

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fast toggling between windows when only two apps are open now works. (Hat tip to Javier Ruiz Hidalgo for reporting this one.)
  • Switching between the last two windows now works properly when one of the apps is on Witch's 'ignore' list. (Hat tip to Daniel for reporting this one.)
  • Switching now works properly after closing the last open window of the frontmost application, even when 'skip when cycling forward' is enabled.

Witch 3.2 - May 25 2010

New Features

  • Spaces support for users of Mac OS X 10.6 and newer. If you've enabled Spaces, Witch will default to showing all windows from all Spaces (you can disable this on the Behavior tab). You can also (on the Appearance tab) enable Spaces badges (and set their color), which will show the Space number for each window.
  • Witch will now optionally (via a setting on the Appearance tab) use document-specific icons whenever possible. You can also optionally display the owning application as a badge on the document icon, if you wish. (Hat tip to Zak Saurin for the suggestion.)
  • Press A (and Shift-A) with the Witch panel visible to jump from one program to the next, regardless of the number of open windows associated with each program.
  • Press J and K to cycle down and up through the Witch panel—this is the new vi mode for command line fans. (Hat tip to Jason Ish for the suggestion.)
  • Press F with the Witch panel visible and a document window (or app with no windows open) selected, and that document (or app) will be revealed in Finder.
  • Created a preference setting, on the Behavior tab, to control the delay before Witch's panel appears (defaults to 0.2 seconds).
  • Colors for both Spaces and Shortcut badges can now be controlled on the Appearance tab.
  • Modifier keys can be set independently (left and right side behave as separate keys) if you enable the behavior in Terminal with this command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Require Exact Modifier Key Matches" — disable Witch before using that command. (Hat tip to Olivier for asking that we 'unfix' this bug we fixed in Witch 3.1. Also, please note that you might have to re-define your hot keys to actually make this work.)
  • Added a Send Feedback link to the About panel, to make it easier for you to let us know about Witch problems, features, etc.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Reorganized the preference pane to better reflect the function of certain preferences.
  • Further updates to help files to reflect new structure and features.
  • Solved a problem with license filenames saved from webmail applications in Safari.
  • An outdated 'Update available' status message is no longer seen on the About tab immediately after updating.
  • App name fallbacks no longer display file extensions.
  • Worked around a caching issue that could prevent users from upgrading from Witch 2 to Witch 3 under certain conditions.

Witch 3.1 - Apr 29 2010

New Features

  • Added a tiny delay prior to showing the Witch panel, so Witch won't appear on screen if used as a fast-toggle between windows.
  • Hidden apps are now indicated by slightly translucent icons.
  • Hidden apps can now be grouped together (as can minimized windows; see this hint) via this Terminal command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Separate Hidden Windows" -bool true
  • Extra spacing between apps when grouped by app can now be set to zero, via this Terminal command: defaults write ~/Library/Application\ Support/Witch/Settings "Do Not Space Applications" -bool true
  • License files can now be double-clicked in your license email to automatically install them in Witch.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed a major memory leak; you should now see stable (and much lower) memory usage, varying mostly based on the number of open windows you're actively switching between - many users reported this problem. (On a side note, Peter would like to take this opportunity to express his long-standing heartfelt aversion to garbage collection.)
  • Help files have been rewritten (English only) to match version 3's features.
  • If you haven't set Command-Tab as a Witch trigger, we won't trap those keystrokes. This should eliminate the 'fast cycling' (built-in) Mac OS X switcher, as well as hopefully prevent loss of keyboard control for some Spaces users.
  • Now properly assigns both the left and right side Command key in Command-Tab combos - reported by brokentoken.
  • Glass trackpad equipped Macs (and Magic Mouse-using Mac users) will see greatly improved trackpad- and mouse-based scrolling - reported by mietek.
  • Clicking a window's title bar no longer disables Witch when you've set the keyboard shortcut to Command-Tab - reported by Thomas Stapleton.
  • Witch's panel no longer opens behind any Open or Save dialogs - reported by littleallan99.
  • Command-Escape can now be assigned as a shortcut again - reported by Andre.
  • Long application names are now restricted to 50% of panel width whenever the panel's maximum width is exceeded (thanks 'Logitech Harmony Remote Software' for showing us this was a problem).
  • Cleaned up the presentation of Parallels Desktop's windows in Witch: In Coherence Mode, we now show a list of windows while hiding the dummy apps, whereas in Crystal Mode, we show only the dummy apps. This is the best we can do, given the limitations of how Parallels implemented their window management.
  • Worked around an update framework issue that resulted in wrong "last checked" dates being displayed for automatic update attempts under certain circumstances.
  • Worked around a System Preferences caching issue that made Witch display pre-update version numbers after updating via double-click.
  • Version and build numbers in Witch's About tab can now be copied and pasted, making it easier for you to tell us which version of Witch you're running. (The first number in parentheses is the build number for the preference pane; the second is the number for the daemon that runs in the background.)

Witch 3.0 - Apr 7 2010

New Features

  • Implemented the single most-requested feature ever: You can now use Command-Tab and Shift-Command-Tab (or Command-`) to trigger Witch, effectively replacing Mac OS X's built-in application switcher.
  • Witch now closes windows and quits applications on the fly, just like Mac OS X's application switcher does. (If you prefer the old behavior where those things didn't happen until Witch went back into hiding, check the corresponding checkbox near the bottom of the Behavior section of Witch's preference pane.)
  • Control the width of the Witch panel, so that windows with extra long titles—such as those found on many web sites—don't make the Witch window incredibly wide.
  • Witch now supports saving your Appearance settings (see the Presets pop-up). You can then easily revert to a saved version, or share your appearance settings with other users.
  • Changing Witch's appearance settings now brings up a live preview if Witch is enabled.
  • Witch now runs in 64-bit mode if required, so you don't have to restart System Preferences when accessing Witch's preferences on Mac OS X 10.6 anymore.
  • Automatic updates via Sparkle.
  • Activate (just brings a given application to the front) and Relaunch (might also open a new window, just like clicking a Dock icon might) items are now displayed less obtrusively for applications that don't have any open windows.
  • The abovementioned Activate items for applications that don't have any open windows are now enabled by default. (As always, see the Behavior section of Witch's preference pane to change this to your liking.)
  • Mirroring the Command-Comma preferences key combo found in most Mac OS X applications, hitting the Comma key while Witch is on screen now opens Witch's preference pane.

Bug Fixes and Improvements

  • When installing a newer version of Witch (such as this one) over an existing one, Witch's background process is now restarted automatically. So there's no need to manually disable and re-enable Witch during updating anymore.
  • Fixed an issue that would prevent Witch from quitting when disabled.
  • Fixed various other minor bugs.
  • Added display of build numbers in the About panel to help with troubleshooting

Witch 2.0.2 - Nov 3 2008

New Features

  • To make minimized windows more discernible, their icons are now displayed inside their own little "docks". (You can edit those docks' border color in the "Appearance" section of the Witch preference pane.)

Witch 2.0.1 - Jun 24 2008

New Features

  • Icon by Lars Herrmann.
  • French localization by Ronald Leroux.

Bug fixes

  • KeyCue no longer interferes with Witch's windows selector.

Witch 2.0 - Apr 22 2008

New Features

  • You can now have Witch display shortcuts for jumping to windows directly (Behavior > Windows List > Show shortcut badges).

Bug Fixes

  • Sorting windows by window activity is now much more reliable. (This issue was known as "the iTerm bug".)
  • Updated Witch's source code and user interface in numerous places to make Witch work better with Mac OS X 10.5. (Some users may have noticed those rather dramatic console.log messages concerning some deprecated CoreGraphics functions that were logged for older Witch versions, for instance.)

Witch 1.0.2 - Jan 19 2006

New Features

  • Both Witch's preference pane and the background process are universal binaries now. This means that Witch runs natively on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

Witch 1.0.1 - Aug 22 2005

New Features

  • You can now have Witch sort windows by their titles. (Actually, this was introduced in Witch 1.0 — we just forgot to mention it.)

Bug Fixes

  • Disabled some debug messages that could get quite annoying when the Classic environment was running.
  • Fixed a minor cosmetical issue with Witch's preference pane.

Witch 1.0 - Aug 9 2005

(Changes are relative to various beta versions.)

New Features

  • You can now use "*" as a suffix when you want to ignore mulitple items. For instance, "Window *" will exclude both "Window 1" and "Window 2".
  • You can now make Witch ignore windows that identify themselves as floating windows.
  • New action: Deminimize the frontmost application's minimized windows.
  • New action: Close the frontmost application's minimized windows.
  • Removed the "Advanced Keyboard Access" switch. (These features are now always available. Turns out that making them optional confused too many users.)
  • You can now specify exceptions, i.e., application names and window titles that should never be listed by Witch. This is especially useful for excluding formatting palettes and similar utility windows.
  • Witch no longer lets you quit the Finder or Path Finder.
  • You can now have Witch sort windows based on the last time you have used them, as opposed to the last time you have used their respective applications. When this setting (available from the "Layout" tab of Witch's preference pane) is activated, Witch will interleave applications in its windows list if needed.
  • You can now quit applications by pressing [Q] while the window selector is visible.
  • Added a couple of appearance presets to Witch's layout settings.
  • You can now have Witch activate windowless/hidden applications. (Available from the "Layout" tab of Witch's preference pane.)
  • You can now change the way Witch sorts applications. (Available from the "Layout" tab of Witch's preference pane, too.)

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where sorting windows by window activity order didn't work as expected with certain applications (such as MS Word, for instance).
  • Fixed a bug where sorting windows by window activity order didn't work as expected on Mac OS X 10.4. (Yes, these were indeed two separate bugs...)
  • Fixed a bug where Witch always zoomed the last listed window instead of zooming the currently selected window when the user hit the [Z] key.
  • Fixed a bug where stickies window contents could garble the display of Witch's window list.
  • Fixed a bug which kept Witch from accepting certain keyboard shortcuts — such as [Control]-[Tab], for instance.
  • Optimized the code that is responsible for drawing the window selector. As a result, Witch is much more responsive now.
  • Fixed a bug that kept Witch from displaying "Activate"/"Relaunch" items for the Finder.
  • Fixed a file encoding bug in one of the resource files of Witch's daemon application.
  • Fixed a bug that made Witch turn into a CPU hog while being visible.

Witch 4.1 requires macOS 10.10 "Yosemite" or newer. You can try it for free. The release notes are an interesting read. If you feel like talking to fellow users, there's a dedicated discussion group. Owners of a Witch 3 license can upgrade to Witch 4 at a discount. And for the nostalgically inclined, you can still download older versions of Witch.