I've always enjoyed the Exposé feature that OS X has built-in for quickly viewing and switching windows, and Compiz does a wonderful job of replicating it on Linux. I've yet to find a suitable replacement for this functionality on Windows, however.

I'm looking for a utility that can temporarily scale down and tile all of my open windows (or previews of said windows) such that they all fit on my screen(s) at once without overlapping, and allow me to click on one to return my desktop and bring the selected window to the foreground.

  • Activation must be quick and responsive, something on the order of 250ms-500ms from when I hit the button until all the windows are laid out. Animation is preferred, but faster response time will be the deciding factor
  • Must be able to handle large numbers of windows. It should not bog down with 20-50 windows open, and will be running on suitably fast systems (Core i7 @ 4.4GHz, 24+ GB of ram, dedicated nVidia GPU)
  • Does not need to be free
  • Live previews of the windows is a plus, but I'd also be happy with thumbnails taken when the hotkey is pressed

Note:Alt+Tab (gives you a thumbnail of each window) and Window+Tab (gives you a 3D tile of each window) get close to what I'm after. But Window+Tab doesn't show all my windows at the same time, and Alt+Tab makes the previews unnecessarily tiny, and doesn't show previews for all windows (some are blank with just the icon)


1 Answer 1


Dexpot can do this very well. Its animation is very quick, and it can handle some ridiculously huge number of windows. It can also build multiple desktops/workspaces.


  • Hotkeys and/or hot-corners
  • Multiple desktops
  • Exposé-style window arrangement
  • Free for personal use
  • I believe this is the Window Catalog feature? It's either buggy or flat-out doesn't work on my system. It seems to either activates the effect as if the active window is the only window, or leaves me staring at an empty desktop with all windows, desktop icons, and even the taskbar hidden. I'll test some more on my other system when I get home... Feb 5, 2014 at 21:32
  • @Darth darn, it's worked fine for me in Windows 8. I never tried it in 8.1 or 7 though.
    – dotVezz
    Feb 5, 2014 at 21:42
  • Yeah, only have windows 7 to test with at the moment, should have 8 at home. Feb 5, 2014 at 22:08
  • @DarthAndroid - The Window Catalog is working fine for me on Windows 7, although it's a bit slow, so I'm not sure whether I'll keep it.
    – Bobson
    Mar 10, 2014 at 15:05

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