First an admission. I'm a Mac user and an avowed keyboard shortcut enthusiast. On a Mac we have a wonderful app (prog in Winspeak) called Quicksilver, which makes it possible (among other things) to switch between running programs using the keyboard (i.e., without the hunt and click mouse nonsense). All I have to do is invoke a hot-key, type one or two letters (it remembers the apps I use most!), press Enter
and BAM! I'm there. I find this so much faster than hunting for the right icon on the taskbar, or alt-tabbing through 10-15 apps to get to where I want to go.
Alas, in Windows (any flavor, be it 2K, XP, Vista or 7), if I do anything other than alt-tab to a running program, or click on its icon on the taskbar, I'm going to start another instance of that program, which means loading duplicates of all the resources that have already been loaded into memory!
Using Excel as an example, all I want is to hit the Windows key, type e x
, hit Enter
(assuming Excel is the first choice) and switch to the one (and only) instance of Excel that is already running. Is that really too much to ask? For the record, I have tried a number of Windows based Quicksilver knockoffs, and they all suffer from the same limitation. So it seems that trapping which programs are already running is an impossible feat under Windows