Before all of this multi tasking, multiple apps, Mac OS X layout, applications previously ran in single application mode. Back when Mac OS was invented you had one and only one app present on screen at the time. Although the limitations of the OS probably contributed to this, having one app present at a time helps with your work flow as you are only interested in the current app. No other apps are wanting to grab your attention. Today’s trick will tell you how to enable single application mode, where only one app is present on your screen at one time. Note, you can have more than one app open, however you can only see one at the time.
Right Down To One
To enable single application mode open up Terminal in Applications > Utilities and type the following into the Terminal window, press enter when you have completed the command.
defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool true
Then apply the change by entering the following:
This will enable single application mode. When you click an icon in the dock, or switch to it with Command + Tab, the previous app will disappear. It will still stay open, but not visible. It is akin to hiding the app when it has lost focus, but this is done automatically.
I quite like this mode for when I have to concentrate on one app. Having many apps open makes distractions to easy, having only one open means I can focus on one task.
If you don’t like this mode, you can revert to the previous state using the following command:
defaults write com.apple.dock single-app -bool false;
When the Dock is restarted you will be back to your normal, multi window, multi tasking mode.
If you have any questions or comments about this trick, please leave a comment.