This QuickStart Guide  walks you through the basics of setting up and using SuperTab.


SuperTab extends your Mac's Command-Tab Application Switcher by allowing you to add additional rows of icons - what SuperTab calls "Tab Rows" - beyond the Application Switcher's default "Active Applications".

Before SuperTab, pressing Command-Tab gave you this:
Now, with SuperTab, pressing Command-Tab gives you a whole lot more:
The SuperTab configuration pictured above shows the following Tab Rows:
  • Active Applications
  • Dock Items
  • Recent Applications
  • Recent Documents
  • Dropbox Contents - access to your Dropbox folder and all its contents.
  • Custom Items - an example configuration with Web Sites, common folders, MetaFolders, Screen Shots, Cubbyholes and more.

  • Customize SuperTab

    SuperTab is flexible enough to suit your working style, not cramp it.

    If SuperTab's default configuration doesn't suit you, not to worry. You can:
  • Remove Tab Rows
  • Arrange Tab Rows
  • Create new Tab Rows
  • Configure & Customize the Contents of Tab Rows
  • Control the size, color and opacity of Tab Rows
  • Tab Rows

    SuperTab allows you to create as many Tab Rows as will fit on your Main Screen, and you can choose the type of contents each Tab Row will display.


    To create a new Tab Row, hover the mouse over the lower middle area of an existing Tab Row. A        button will appear. Click the button to create a new Tab Row.


    To select the contents of a new Tab Row, or to change the contents of an existing Tab Row, click on the Title of the Tab Row. A menu will display from which you can choose the contents:

    To delete a Tab Row, move the mouse over the Tab Row which will cause a        button to appear in the upper left corner of the Tab Row. Click the button to delete the Tab Row. Some Tab Rows ask for confirmation of their deletion while others do not.

    To change the order of a Tab Row relative to other Tab Rows, move the mouse over the Tab Row which will cause a        button to appear in the upper right corner of the Tab Row. Click-and-drag the button vertically to move the Tab Row.
    Tab Row Contents

    You can choose from among the following types of content to display in a Tab Row:
  • Active Applications - your active applications
  • Dropbox Contents - access to your Dropbox and all its contents
  • Dock Items - all the items your Dock
  • Dock Files - just the files & folders in your Dock
  • Dock Applications - just the applications in your Dock
  • Recent Applications - the applications you've recently opened
  • Recent Documents - the documents you've recently opened
  • Folder Contents - the contents of any folder you choose
  • Tagged Items - the files, folders & applications tagged with the Tag(s) you specify*
  • Sidebar Items - items that appear in the "Sidebar" of Finder Windows
  • Front Application Windows - the open windows of the active application
  • All Application Windows - the open windows of all running applications
  • Custom Items - A Custom Items Tab Row lets you pick and choose its contents.
  • Most Tab Row Contents are "Select and Go", meaning you select them and they instantly populate the Tab Row with their contents.

    Other Tab Rows involve additional setup.

    These are:

    Folder Contents

    When you select Folder Contents, it initially presents commonly used folders for you to choose from, such as Applications, Documents, Desktop, Downloads and so on. You can select a folder from among the presented folders and the Tab Row will subsequently display the contents of that folder.

    If you want the Tab Row to display the contents of a folder other than one of the commonly used folders, select the "Specify Folder..." button and choose whatever folder you wish. The Tab Row will subsequently display the contents of that folder.

    Custom Items

    A Custom Items Tab Row lets you define its contents by letting you add any number of the following item types:

    To add an item to a Custom Items Tab Row, select the         button and choose the type of item you wish to add:

    Tagged Items

    A Tagged Items Tab Row displays the files, folders and applications that are Tagged with the Finder Tags or Finder Labels that you specify.

    Select the        button and select the Finder Tags and Finder Labels you want. All items that are Tagged or Labeled with your chosen Tags & Labels will popuplate the Tab Row. Select "None" to reset the Tab Row to be empty.

    Note that you can select more than one Tag or Label.

    This allows you to populate the Tab Row with all items that are Tagged with, say, "Work" OR are labeled with, say, "Green".
    Tab Row Items

    Each icon in a Tab Row is called a Tab Row item.

    Each Tab Row item can be selected and activated. You use the Keyboard or Mouse to select and invoke any item, just as you would with the default Application Switcher.

    Some Tab Row items can be removed from the Tab Row they are in, and some Tab Row items can also be configured, ordered and previewed.


    An item that can be removed will display a        button in the the upper left of its selection box. Click the button to remove the item from its Tab Row.


    Similarly, an item that can be configured will display a        button in the the upper right of its selection box. Click the button to display the item's configuration menu.

    Alternately, you can right-click (or control-click) directly on an item to bring up its configuration menu.


    Items in a Custom Items Tab Row can be placed in any order. To move an item in a Custom Items Tab Row, left-click-and-drag on the item and move it as you wish.

    The order of items in other Tab Rows is determined by the Tab Row itself and cannot be changed.


    Some items, such as some text documents, images, Cubbyholes & windows, display a preview of their contents.

    Simply select an item and wait for half a second. If it is a previewable item, it will display a preview of its contents immediately above or below itself.


    Sometimes you may have several items in a Tab Row which all display the same icon. These could be several folders, or Word files, for example. Having the same icon makes it hard to quickly identify which is which.
    To solve this, SuperTab now lets you decorate individual items by badging or tinting them.

    To customize -- or decorate -- an item, simply right-click (or control-left-click) on the item to bring up its configure menu. Highlight the "Decorate" menu item and then choose either an image or a tint color from the sub menu.

    You can apply an image AND a color if you wish.

    This lets you take these otherwise identical items:

    And convert them into unique and instantly identifiable items:
    Hot Keys

    SuperTab allows you to assign a custom, system-wide Hot Key to any Tab Row Item.

    This lets you use a Hot Key to open any File, Folder, Application or Web Site at any time and from within any Application.

    You can also use Hot Keys to invoke Auto Types, operate Cubbyholes, activate Meta-Folders as well as take custom Screen Shots.

    To set a Hot Key for an Tab Row item, bring up its configuration menu (see Tab Row Item Configuration above), then select "Set Hot Key..." from its configuration menu.

    If you previously defined an item's Hot Key, you can select it from the Sub Menu to edit it, or select "Clear Hot Key" to remove it.
    Application Management

    SuperTab provides several Application Management features that give you a greater level of control over your Applications:


    You can instruct SuperTab to ensure that any application is guaranteed to be running during specific time windows that you specify:
  • Always
  • Work Day Hours (8 to 6)
  • Week Days
  • Week Day Evenings (6 to Midnight)
  • Weekend Days

  • Auto-Hide:

    You can configure any application to automatically hide itself after it has been in the background for a specified period of time:
  • Immediately
  • 5 Seconds
  • 30 Seconds
  • 2 Minutes
  • 30 Minutes

  • Auto-Quit:

    You can configure any application to automatically hide itself after it has been in the background for a specified period of time:
  • 5 Minutes
  • 30 Minutes
  • 1 Hour

  • To configure an application to auto-run, auto-hide or auto-quit, bring up its configure menu (see Tab Row Item Configuration above).

    Then select the preferred option from
    the appropriate sub menu:

    Bring Windows Forward Together

    Selecting this option for an application from its configuration menu will cause all of its windows to be brought to the foreground when the application becomes active.

    This is useful if you often work between several of an application's windows and want them all accessible. Or, if you configure the Finder to bring its windows foreward together, you can simply click on the Desktop and all the Finder windows will come to the foreground, making it much easier to work with Finder windows.

    Prevent Sleep When in Front

    Selecting this option for an application will prevent your Mac from sleeping or from showing its Screen Saver when the application is in the foreground.

    This is useful if you are giving a presentation and do not want it to be interrupted; or if you want to make sure your Mac won't sleep so you can guarantee you are reachable via email or chat, etc.
    Folder Contents

    If you have a Folder in a Tab Row, you can access its contents several ways:

  • Select the Folder directly from within the Tab Row to open a window in the Finder populated with the Folder's contents.
  • Right-click (or control-click) on the Folder:

    This brings up the Configure Menu for the folder, which presents you first with any recently opened items for super-quick access, followed by the initial items of the entire folder's contents, along with a special "-- More --" menu item.

    To access the remaining contents of the folder, simply:
  • Hover on the "-- More --" item and the menu will expand    with the full contents of the folder; or
  • Select the "-- More --" item to open a new menu with the    full contents of the folder.

  • Nested Contents

    You also drill down into any levels of folders simply by highlighting a folder for a brief moment. An sub menu will appear with the contents of that folder's contents. You can repeat this as many times as you need to find the file you're looking for.

    Working with Contents

    SuperTab lets you do more than just open files within folders. You can also hover momentarily in a folder's Configuration menu on any file and a sub menu will appear for it where you can:
  • Discard the file
  • Show the file in the Finder
  • Share the file via Email
  • Move the file to your Dropbox (if you are running Dropbox)
  • Preview the file (if it is an image file)
  • Manage Browser Downloads

    SuperTab now gives you unprecedented levels of control over your browser downloads, letting you easily manage your active and completed downloads like never before.

    Manage Downloads

    Whenever your Downloads folder appears in SuperTab, you can right-click (or control-left-click) the folder to bring up its Configure menu, from which you can:
  • Monitor your Active Downloads
  • Access Recently Opened Downloaded Items
  • Share, Save & Discard Downloaded Items
  • Access the full Contents of your Downloads Folder

  • Monitor Downloads

    SuperTab lists all Active Downloads (from any source), letting you quickly monitor all your active downloads simply, and in one single location.

    Furthermore, for Downloads initiated in Safari, SuperTab also dynamically displays the download progress, making it easy to see progress and estimate completion.

    Save Downloads

    SuperTab also introduces the notion of a new "Saved Downloads" folder where you can move downloaded files for safe keeping while also keeping your Downloads Folder clean.

    You can move all Downloaded Items in one fell swoop to this new folder, or just move the individual items you want to save:

    If you are working with a Downloaded Application, you can also move it directly to your Applications Folder.

    Saved Downloads

    To access your Saved Downloads, simply select "Open Saved Downloads Folder..." from the Downloads Folder's Configuration menu.

    Or better yet, add the Saved Downloads folder to a SuperTab Tab Row and get instant access to your Saved Downloads right within SuperTab.

    Discard Downloads

    SuperTab makes it easy to move unwanted downloaded items to the trash.

    You can discard individual items:
  • Highlight the item and hold down the Shift key
  • Highlight the item and select "Move to Trash..."    from its sub menu

  • You can discard multiple items:
  • Select "Move All Downloaded Items to Trash..."
  • Highlight "Move All Downloaded Items to Trash.."    and select the items to discard based on their age:

  • SuperTab Activation

    You can configure SuperTab to be activated by:
  • Command-Tab
  • Option-Tab
  • Double-Pressing Command
  • Moving your mouse to any Hot Corner of your Mac's Main Screen

    Open the System Preferences Application and select SuperTab to access SuperTab's Settings. There you can choose the methods you wish to use to activate SuperTab:
  • Default Tab Rows

    When you activate SuperTab by pressing Command-Tab or Option-Tab, the "Active Applications" Tab Row is the default Tab Row that you will initially be interacting with. However, you can specify any Tab Row to be the default Tab Row when you press Command-Tab or when you press Option-Tab.

    This would allow you, for example, to have Command-Tab cycle through your Active Applictions while having Option-Tab cycle through, say, your Open Windows.


    To make a Tab Row the default when you press Command-Tab, click on the Title of the Tab Row and in the resulting menu select the "Make Command-Tab activate..." item.


    To make a Tab Row the default when you press Option-Tab, click on the Title of the Tab Row and in the resulting menu select the "Make Option-Tab activate..." item.
    Command-Tab Activation

    Note that you may need to grant SuperTab certain System access in order to activate SuperTab via Command-Tab. To do so:

    If your Mac is running Mountain Lion (10.8):

        • Open "System Preferences".
        • Click the "Accessibility" icon.
        • Check the "Enable access for assistive devices" check box.

    If your Mac is running Mavericks (10.9) or later:

        • Open "System Preferences".
        • Click the "Security & Privacy" icon.
        • Click the "Privacy" tab.
        • Click the "Accessibility" item in the left hand list.
        • If the lock in the lower left shows as "locked", click on it and enter your credentials.
        • Check the check box next to "".

    To determine which System version your Mac is running, choose "About This Mac" from the Apple menu.
    Keyboard Control

    When SuperTab is activated by either mouse or keyboard, the following Keys and corresponding Actions are available:
    AMove the selection up to next higher Tab Row
    ZMove the selection down to next lower Tab Row
    HHide the currently selected Application (without dismissing SuperTab)
    QQuit the currently selected Application (without dismissing SuperTab)
    OOpen the currently selected Application (without dismissing SuperTab)
    ReturnOpen the currently selected item
    ESCDismiss SuperTab (with no action taken)
    ArrowsMove the selection left, right, up or down

    When SuperTab is activated by keyboard (Command-Tab or Option-Tab), the following additional Keys and corresponding Actions are available:
    Command-TabMove the selection right
    Command-`Move the selection left
    Command-Shift-TabMove the selection left
    Option-TabMove the selection right
    Option-`Move the selection left
    Option-Shift-TabMove the selection left
    Discover Even More

    There is a lot more to SuperTab to discover. See how SuperTab can simplify access to your commonly visited Web Sites, automatically type frequently used phrases, signatures and more for you, take screen shots, capture clipboard history and more: