1 2 3 4 5 Previous Next 67 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2013 2:06 PM by MadMacs0 Go to original post
  • 45. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)
    And none of you, responding to Mr. Hockman, are considering that the only apps involved in stealing focus in this case are Photoshop and some script? How exactly is this Apple's fault? It's not like the computer is doing it all by itself... either the script is bringing Photoshop to the front when finished or Photoshop is bringing itself to the front. Complaints need to be addressed to the appropriate party.
  • 46. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    iPhoto is pretty egregious about this.
  • 47. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    There's no real excuse for splash screens. It's not the 1990s any more.
  • 48. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Lucas_D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just found a partial workaround for this issue by using the free third-party app Afloat:

    http://infinite-labs.net/afloat

    With Afloat, I can choose to have the app I am currently using remain on top of other windows. What I have found is that while an application opening in the background still has the ability to disturb cursor focus, it thankfully does not visibly move in front of the app I'm currently using. Perhaps folks here could talk to Afloat's developer about further tweaking his app to resolve the issue(s) described in this thread.
  • 49. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Hamiditized Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I run a suite of unit test cases in batch in background while I work on other stuff. Every single time a test case launches and invokes SurefireBooter (every couple of seconds) it steals focus. The test suite takes hours to run, meanwhile my iMac is unusable as I can't so much as type an email. Extremely annoying.
  • 50. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    SleepyJay Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just about any application can steal focus and therefore "flow" from the user. It doesn't have to be an application that is in the middle of opening, it can be a web page that opened an alert box because it was going to time you out (any alert boxes from any app, in fact will steal focus). It could be I started a big batch process (like a file synchronization) and it finished while I was doing something else, like trying to type this post.

    Heck, I hate when I close or minimize a Finder window (trying to clear a path to a different window) and the OS thinks I want to see different Finder windows! Grr.

    Any of these are greatly annoying for far little value.

    I've not used Windows 7 much, but XP solved this with the PowerToy TweakUI. Granted you had to download it separate, but it provided a simple "Prevent applications from stealing focus" check box. In this scenario, if something wanted your attention for some reason (critical dialog boxes might be the exception), the Task Bar would flash it's application task. Replace that with "the Dock icon should jump" for OSX.

    Simply put an OS should follow the design rules of "Don't disrupt a user's flow unless it is critical" and "Don't annoy your user".

    BTW, Spaces sometimes jumps all over the place and I'm not sure why. Like I click to a space and it jumps to another then immediately to the one I chose or even to a different one. I think this is another manifestation of the Stealing Focus problem.

    (I'm going to try Afloat now.)

    jason.
  • 51. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    turnerjuice Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just to add some support to any efforts being made to fix this "focus" problem and to thwart any of the negative comments being thrown at people experiencing this problem, I've experienced it with multiple applications that have no relation to each other. Users on this support forum like Barney have not done much but blame this problem on the users. Some people take full advantage of this excellent operating system and use it to its maximum capabilities, which Barney does not understand. I was slightly peeved by some of his responses, and i felt obligated to explain the problem like a few people before me have already done. Hopefully word gets out there, and a solution can be found.

     

         I encounter this problem every day. I open up a certain application, and while it loads I continue typing on my current application. What helps this process is I dont even have to switch out of anything to open this new application due to the fact that I only have to click one icon on my dock, which is very convenient. Unfortunately, in the middle of a sentence, the focus will change to the opening application and its possible that it hasnt even full loaded yet. Instead of waiting, I switch back to my first application, and continue typing once again. When the application has fully loaded, focus switches back to it and my typing is interrupted once again.

     

         It is highly possible that maybe I still want to use my current application, maybe im in a middle of a thought and need to finish it, or maybe the application being opened doesnt actually need my attention in order for it to start working as intended. Regardless, theres many applications varying from entertainment, work, to just common uses that interrupt the focus of the current application, and it happens constantly, consistently, and can be quite vexing depending on my patience at the moment. Hopefully a solution in the operating system is made in the future, or at least being worked on.

        

         I think there's enough people out there that experience this somewhat small problem, but either don't know what to do about it, or appreciate the Mac OS in its entirety, and just ignore the problem. I appreciate the OS a great deal, and I just wish to help fix a small flaw in any way I could by reporting my experience. Thanks.

  • 52. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    RMNL Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    +1

     

    I would love to see a system preference that allows you to select the programs that are allowed to take focus. If not in the list, an application cannot take focus and you must actively switch to the application by selecting one of its windows, by clicking its icon or by cmd+tab.

     

    An application that would like to steal focus could easily request for permission in a similar way iOS applications ask for location service access.

  • 53. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    JustonDean Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    An application that would like to steal focus could easily request for permission in a similar way iOS applications ask for location service access.

     

    yeah, great idea.  Let's have apps pop-up and steal focus to ask us if they can pop-up and steal focus from what we're doing.  

     

    Well that was my sarcastic remark for the day, but I DO AGREE that having " a system preference that allows you to select the programs that are allowed to take focus" is a great idea.  I'd use that definitely. 

     

    by the way, I am going to try that Afloat app and see if it helps the problem for me. 

     

    Thanks people for continuing to find a solution!

  • 54. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    w.pasman Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    As a small update on this, I am happy that the later versions of Eclipse now do not steal the focus anymore. I think someone actually picked up my requests for that

  • 55. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Don Fuego Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    One application I can think of that has been annoying the crap out of me, is not only designed by Apple, but is an integral part of OS X: the Modem Dialer / Status menu.

     

    I use it all the time to connect to the internet with my 3G wireless modem. Every time the modem looses the signal (which happens a lot where I am located) it pops up an annoying box, stealing focus from what ever I'm doing, to tell me that Network connection was lost. Well, gee, thanks! Like I wouldn't notice otherwise!

     

    Worst thing yet: I then have to reconnect *manually*

     

    This can typically happen 5 - 10 times per HOUR on a bad day. Even full screen applications are interrupted!

     

    What I'm missing here are two obvious things:

     

    1.  An option to tell it to shut the f#@ up, and

    2.  Reconnect!

     

    How hard can it get? Modems have been around for what, 25 years? Even my Commodore 64 could do that!

  • 56. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Dathin Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Seems that this is still not resolved and does not seem to be a plan for it...

     

    I know that most people do not care abou it but advanced users know what they activate and why. They do not need anything to pop up in their faces to let them know. For that reason there should be a global preference pane that allows you to choose which application steals focus and which doesn't. There are so many cases that such a funcionality is useful..

     

    On Linux things like that are available with even more options for advanced functionality. Hopefully they will eventually find their way to osx in the same way that spaces did..

  • 57. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Cameron_the_Black_Hearted Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have this problem with many programs, but mainly Itunes. I will load up a selection of music (including music videos) and then minimise it to the taskbar or as a toolbar (specifically designed for continuous play without focus stealing). Sometimes when a new song starts (mainly the music videos) it will maximise and steal focus. This continual interruption has irked me enough to start looking for another music application. I suggest this problem be addressed... and soon!

  • 58. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    TheKingArthur Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thomas A Reed wrote:

     

    And none of you, responding to Mr. Hockman, are considering that the only apps involved in stealing focus in this case are Photoshop and some script? How exactly is this Apple's fault? It's not like the computer is doing it all by itself... either the script is bringing Photoshop to the front when finished or Photoshop is bringing itself to the front. Complaints need to be addressed to the appropriate party.

     

    I've always wondered why responses like this are so frequent in the Apple support forums. Why is it that so many users with the highest score in Xbox Live Points, um sorry- Apple Forum Points, are also the users that never contribute anything to the discussion beyond ridicule and ignorance? "Apple represents perfection! Bugs are non-existant! If it's not working that means you're holding it wrong! I've never had that problem so it must not exist, liars! It's not Apple's fault, its (insert 3rd party here)'s fault!"

     

    Hey  Reed, two posts DIRECTLY before yours mentions iPhoto as a culprit for stealing focus (not Photoshop), and there have been plenty of posts mentioning other Apple software that also have this problem: Safari, iTunes, Final Cut, iPhoto, to name a few; as well as many other 3rd party apps beyond just Photoshop.  It is very clearly an OS wide issue, not an application specific one. At the very least read a few posts before writing your jacka s s  reply of how Apple can't possibly be the one to blame for a bug in their own software.

     

    I too have been frustrated with this obnoxious problem for years. Finally decided to see if there was a solution or some kind of workaround out there. Unfortunately, as is usually the case when seeking help for Apple products, I find forum after forum of complaints on an issue followed by elite members of the Apple High Score Club ridiculing those users. Oh, and I found no fix or workaround but rather a handful of useless tips like, "Just use one program at a time on your $10k Mac Pro. Easy fix. Duh. " or "Don't use the program that's giving you trouble! Simple."

     

    I've tried the Afloat app recommendation from earlier in the topic, (for anyone who stumbles on this thread), but it doesn't alleviate the problem. It's a cool app and adds some nice features but will not solve the ridiculous focus tug of war. Another possible solution I found dealt with modifying each individual app's "info.plist" that you want to launch in the background, but I haven't tried that one due to the number of issues that people were having in the comments and it removes the ability to cmd+tab to that application, which  would only trade one workflow annoyance with another.

     

    The short answer for those still looking is that preventing focus stealing can't be done in OSX. Period. That's the way it was designed and it's not likely to be changed by Apple any time soon. Why would Apple waste dev time on a bug fix that only a handful of power users who like to optimize their workflow would even notice, when they can release flashy features to the common crowd that sell more copies? It would be nice if a third party developer found a way to axe this, but I haven't found one yet. The search continues.

     

    If anyone finds a solution, please post it!

  • 59. Re: Prevent apps from stealing focus
    Lucas_D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Possible solution here:

     

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13727_7-20085680-263/keep-applications-from-stealin g-focus-when-opening-in-os-x/

     

    The proposed solution forces apps to open in background. I have not tested it yet.