Mac tip: Getting that blue blob up

Today I went into London and bought a book for myself using a book token I’d originally bought for my sister’s Christmas present (but lost, so I gave her a cheque instead). The book is Mac OS X Power Hound, by Rob Griffiths (O’Reilly, Sept 2004). The first thing I did was use its tip to enable the “blue blob”, which allows you to display all the windows next to each other rather than on top of each other.

And … its advice turned out to be wrong, by one letter!

The blob is a “hidden” feature. It’s part of Exposé, a feature offered only by Mac OS X (and only the most recent version of it). You move the mouse to a given corner of the screen, or press a certain key (you set which one), and it lets you see all the windows on the screen at once. With another key or mouse move (again, you set which), it shows you the windows in the application you are using. If the blob is displayed, you click on it, and it activates these features.

To get it, you have to open up Terminal. First, type the following:

defaults write com.apple.dock wvous-floater -bool true

Then this:

killall Dock

That kills off the OS X “dock” (similar to the Start bar on Windows). Note that Dock has a capital letter! The book left that bit out, leaving me wondering why their tip - the first one of theirs I tried - didn’t work.

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