12 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2007 12:45 AM by mrezny

    Switching apps with cmd+tab?

    brionv Lurker

      In Virtual PC and Parallels, I've been used to being able to switch away from my guest PCs with cmd+tab, just like I would from any other Mac app. This makes it very easy to, for instance, switch between editing my web application software in TextMate and testing it in Internet Explorer in a VM.

       

      I've noticed that this doesn't seem to work with VMWare Fusion when input is captured by the guest. With the Tools active, I have to move the mouse out of the guest window before cmd+tab will work.

       

      This is particularly annoying in full-screen mode, as the only way I can find to switch away from VMWare without leaving full-screen mode is to go to the application menu and select "Hide VMWare Fusion", which is disruptive to the cmd+tab switching order.

       

      Hypothetically some people might want to type left-meta-tab in some dreadful emacs-ish program in a guest but I would find it rather helpful if it's at least an option to have cmd+tab do the expected Mac-ish thing.

       

      Is there any possibility of this, or perhaps some trick or option I've overlooked?

       

      I'm currently working with a Linux guest PC (Ubuntu 6.10 64-bit), haven't dared to migrate my Windows install over yet.

        • 1. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
          rcardona2k Champion

          Try releasing the input grab with Cmd-Ctrl first before using Cmd-Tab.  And I find until Spaces are released in Leopard that VirtueDesktops does a great job of partitioning full-screen apps like VMware Fusion.  VirtueDesktops is available at http://virtuedesktops.info/

          • 2. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
            brionv Lurker

            control+command appears to have no effect in full-screen mode.

             

            It does indeed drop input focus while in windowed mode, but that's not very pleasant to have to do.

            • 3. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
              rcardona2k Champion

              >control+command appears to have no effect in full-screen mode.

               

              Bummer.  Then I guess it's like you said, mouse up to the menu bar, then release then cmd-tab.  File a beta support request and see if VMware can address your concern.

              • 4. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                HPReg Expert
                VMware Employees

                I'm not sure it is a good idea to allow for CmdTab while grabbed. Especially when the guest could be Vista (which uses WinTab for app swicthing, i.e. exactly the same key combo as Mac OS).

                 

                I think there is a strong need to separate the host OS and the guest OSes as far as keyboard input goes. Otherwise you end up never knowing which is going to interpret your key strokes. That is the very reasons why widget sets (Cocoa, GTK+, ...) have a notion of focused widget: usually the widget which receives your keyboard input is put in evidence with some kind of focus ring/indicator.

                • 5. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                  Enthusiast

                  Windows uses Alt + Tab for application switching. Its been that was at least as far back as Windows 3.0, when there was no extra key. I don't have a Windows key on my keyboard. Never have, never will. There's no need for one in a VM either. I want my Command key to still work while in the VM for things to manage the VM. i.e. go to/from fullscreen, pause/resume VM, switch to a different app than VMware. I have this now with Parallels, though I had to edit the keyboard map in Windows so the blasted start menu didn't go flying out every time I switched from it. I'd like to havfe the same in Fusion.

                  • 6. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                    sculi2000 Enthusiast

                    It'd be nice if you guys would allow users to specify command sequences that you don't send to the VM, but give to the host instead.  That way, I could map Cmd-Tab, and other command sequences for Virtues Desktop and anything else that I need.

                    • 7. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                      Bob Zimmerman Hot Shot

                      Perhaps a per-VM preference on what you want the Command key to do?  As mrezny mentioned, not all keyboards used with Windows machines have a Windows key.  That would seem to be the best compromise to me.  If anything, it should be in a category named "Keyboard" under "System Hardware".  Of course, for that to really make sense, the default key chord to release input focus would probably need to be changed to Control-Alt or something like it.  That would be the only real option for it to be unambiguous if the Command key is allowed to switch modes.

                       

                      I know that it probably isn't as simple as just turning off recognition of the Windows key, I'm just throwing out an idea of how the UI side of it could be implemented.

                      • 8. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                        rcardona2k Champion

                        I've been experimenting with the keyboard control options described in Workstation 5.5's documentation but I've had no luck.  Here's the doc:

                        Setting Configuration Options on the User's Computer


                        That page describes some options that go in config (config.ini in WS) or .vmware/preferences (preferences.ini) but so far they have not changed Fusion's behavior.  The options in particular I was looking at are: FullScreenSwitch.hostDirectKey, FullScreenSwitch.directKey.  I tried to change the hostDirectKey to cmd-tab or alt-tab.  I tried the options in both windowed-mode and fullscreen mode to no avail.  Maybe someone here will have better luck.

                        • 9. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                          DaffyDuck Lurker

                          Yes, please listen to sculi.  I use shiftctrlup and shiftctrldown to switch between virtual desktops.

                           

                          I would be absolutely great if the option were available to add custom key combinations to pass directly to the host OS (and in my case to Virtue Desktop).  I've already payed for Parallels and I will most definitely pay for Fusion if this capability is added.

                           

                          Message was edited by:

                                  DaffyDuck

                          • 10. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                            tomservo291 Novice

                            I was unaware that Vista uses Win+Tab to switch.

                             

                            However, I think this should be a user preference still (the ability to turn CMD+Modifier combinations off completely for the guest VM.)  Even if I used Vista, I would still want to be able to switch apps in OS X while (at least) in windowed mode.

                            • 11. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                              EMR Enthusiast

                              Although, to a certain extent, the solution that is finally adopted regarding cmd+tab may well depend on how a Parallels' Coherence-like feature is adopted by Fusion, I guess there might be a solution capable of satisfying all parties.

                               

                              Why not make this a user preference? For instance, a user could perhaps choose to have cmdtab be passed by Fusion onto Mac OS X, but have another key combination, say cmdoptiontab, passed by Fusion onto Windows Vista as Wintab.

                               

                              How about it, VMware?

                              • 12. Re: Switching apps with cmd+tab?
                                Enthusiast

                                I was unaware that Vista uses Win+Tab to switch.

                                 

                                However, I think this should be a user preference

                                still (the ability to turn CMD+Modifier combinations

                                off completely for the guest VM.)  Even if I used

                                Vista, I would still want to be able to switch apps

                                in OS X while (at least) in windowed mode.

                                 

                                It doesn't. It moves focus on the task bar, but it doesn't bring the windows into focus. It also goes in the order of the taskbar, which is roughly launch order excepting random order changes.

                                 

                                What does switch apps, and has forever, is alt+tab. It even does so in most recently used order, except on XP where that just gets randomly trashed. All older version that worked but it was too useful so they busted it.