Is there a way to alt-tab out of Minecraft (i.e. make Minecraft lose focus) without the game auto-pausing and without having to bring a menu (e.g. inventory) up first?
For single player, it seems that you've already figured out that bringing up the inventory screen prevents the game from auto-pausing when it loses focus. I don't believe there is any other way to prevent the auto pausing.
You may, however, consider hosting a SMP server and being the only person connected to it. In SMP, the game will not pause when you are alt-tabbed out. You can install mods on a SMP server that allow you to create user whitelists to define who you want to connect to your server. If you add only yourself to that list, you don't need to worry about anyone else connecting while you are playing.
Go into your minecraft folder and open up
options.txt. Find the line that reads
false. Now Minecraft won't pause to the menu screen when you tab away.
You can find your minecraft folder in a couple ways:
Using the file system: Navigate to...
~/Library/Application Support/minecraft/(on Mac OS X)
Using Minecraft's menus:
- Start Minecraft and click Options, Resource Packs, and then Open resource packs folder. In the file system window that opens, go up one folder and you'll be in your minecraft folder.
This answer is no longer relevant to current Minecraft versions, because F1 no longer hides menus; also, F1 is now a toggle and the tricks for holding it down are irrelevant.
Since you mention that your concern is that you can't see (as opposed to having the menu up at all), I have a fix for that: with the menu up, use F1 to hide it. Pressing F1 removes all HUD elements and leaves only the game view.
However, you have to hold down F1. There are several tricks for this to fool the game into thinking you have F1 down:
- Press F1 and switch out of Minecraft while holding it down. (Tested on Mac)
- Before releasing F1, press the Alt (Windows (and Linux?)) or ⌘ Command (Mac) keys.
- Mac-specific: If you have a system where you have to press fn-F1, just release F1 before fn.