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I recently bought a Macbook Pro and would like to use it for occasional gaming on the go. The problem I have is that when games are in full screen, I'm not sure how to switch to anything else. Mostly what I will end up playing is Starcraft 2, which I could run in a window, however if you use the top edge the Mac Toolbar comes up and gets in the way.

Essentially what I'm asking is, is there a way to run games full screen but be able to switch to other apps without closing the game. I can run Windows 7 on it for games, but it would be nice not to have to switch to a different OS.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Try CMD+Tab, CMD+M, or CMD+H.

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It's Command+M to switch from fullscreen to windowed and back. – bummzack May 18 '11 at 17:44
Thanks for the recommendations, I'll give them a shot and see if they work. – bmbaeb May 18 '11 at 18:46
For most Blizzard games, <kbd>CMD+M</kbd> toggles between fullscreen/windowed, allowing access to the desktop. As another user pointed out, running in borderless windowed mode allows for regular expose controls to be used as well, as the app is just running in a window at that point. – Gauzy Jun 5 '11 at 5:46

It depends greatly on the game. From some games, you can CMD+Tab out, for others, not so much.

(The Sims 3, for instance, allows tabbing out; Minecraft does not.)

Most games, however, support switching display mode on the fly; after which they can generally always be tabbed out of (WoW is like this; so I'm guessing Starcraft II is too); and usually this is what the game does as a sort of macro on CMD+Tab if it supports this functionality.

The full-screen key also varies; but it's often CMD+Enter (often SDL) or CMD+M (often ported big games, like Sims 3 or WoW); F11 is not uncommon for cross-platform games developed primarily on Linux.

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Thanks for the recommendations. I'll give them a shot and see if they work. – bmbaeb May 18 '11 at 18:45

If you use Full Screen (Windowed Mode), you will be switch to other applications with both CMD+TAB or Exposé (4-fingers downward swipe on the TouchPad).

I'm doing this myself on my MacBook Pro and it works like a charm; I have no problems switching applications or viewing the Desktop whatsoever.

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I tried that and when I would move the cursor to the top of the screen I would get the menu bar, does that happen for you? I might have a setting wrong besides the full screen (windowed mode) setting. – bmbaeb Jun 6 '11 at 13:23
No, you're right, that does happen to me, too - I've never noticed it, however. This might seem like an odd solution, but if that bothers you, just navigate like the pros: use the minimap and keyboard arrows. – kba Jun 6 '11 at 20:17

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