How to Set Key to Switch to Browser

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page shows you how to set a function key to switch to your favorite app. For example, set F8 to switch to browser.

There are 2 or 3 apps you use all the time. So, it's nice to set a single key to switch to them.

What is wrong with Alt+Tab?

Alt+Tab or ⌘ command+Tab are inferior, because:

If you set a single F key to switch to a specific app, it becomes muscle memory.

Here's how for {Mac OS X, Linux, Microsoft Windows}.

Mac OS

Mac Quicksilver key trigger panel
Mac Quicksilver key trigger panel

Use QuickSilver. Just install it and use the GUI to set a key to app.

Mac Keyboard Tools

Microsoft Windows

For Windows, use AutohotKey.

Install AutoHotkey. See: AutoHotkey Tutorial .

Copy and paste the following into a file:

; 2010-04-01, 2011-11-27
; launch or switch to firefox

SetTitleMatchMode, 2

If WinExist("Mozilla Firefox")
  If WinActive("Mozilla Firefox") {
    WinActivateBottom, Mozilla Firefox
      } Else {
  Run "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"


Save it as a file and name it launch_or_switch_firefox.ahk

Create another file, with the following content:

$F9::Run "C:\Users\mary\ahk_scripts\launch_or_switch_firefox.ahk"

Double click to run it.

Now, F9 will switch to Firefox, or launch it if not already running.


Linux: Add Keyboard Shortcut to Switch App

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