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Make Alt-Tab behaviour consistent with other applications

Status: New


I started using LabVIEW when it was at version 6 and have used all the interim versions. I have always found the implementation of the Alt-Tab keystroke to be irritatingly inconsistent with other Windows applications.


If we have multiple LabVIEW wnidows open, for example, Alt-Tabbing to one of them means I have Alt-Tab through ALL of them to get to the first non-LabVIEW window. This is a real menace. If we have, for example, 8 LabVIEW windows open and the Calculator, we just want to Alt-Tab between LabVIEW and Calculator: we have to tab 8 times to get to the calculator but once will get us back to LabVIEW.


This makes little sense, since Ctrl-Tab has historically been for tabbing between multiple instances of the same application. Alt-Tab should be reserved for tabbing between applications.


By contrast, if we have multiple Microsoft Word documents open, they are mixed in with the other applications on the Alt-Tab popup, so if there's one which hasn't been topmost for a long time, it gets shoved to its rightful place at the end of the list.


Looks like this has been a hot topic for a while. Still with no concusion. Does this exclude it from the product ideas forum?


Why not make Alt-Tab behave the same way as all other Windows applications, since we'll always have the Ctrl-Tab to toggle between those self-important LabVIEW windows?


Active Participant

I too find this highly irritating, as it basically disables Alt-Tabbing away from LabVIEW for me.  Seems like unnecessary slowing down of the workflow.

Active Participant

In the mean time, use alt+shift+tab

Tim Elsey
Certified LabVIEW Architect

@elset191 wrote:

In the mean time, use alt+shift+tab



This is a good tip, but I'd be keen to ensure that this is not seen as a solution.


Rather, it's a temporary workaround to the long running problem of the unintuitive default behaviour of LabVIEW. The neccesity for, and use of a workaround is equally unintuitive.




The way labview breaks Windows task switching has consistently been one of the most irrating things about it.


I agree, this problem really needs to be addressed by NI.  It's extremely counter-productive.  A quick Google search shows this has been a problem for years already.



NI Employee (retired)

 I fully endorse this idea.Infact, some customers are eagerly willing to have implementation of Alt+ Tab for Labview windows same as other applications(words, adobe etc) have.

Active Participant

Here's a fun observation.  I briefly dabbled in Windows 8 for my dev computer.  And while many features of Win8 I didn't like, forcing me back to Win7, I did notice that LabVIEW running on Windows 8 does not have this odd Alt-Tab functionality.  I'm not sure why this is, but perhaps it can be studied/observed/disected to figure out how to fix it in every OS.




This drives me absolutely crazy when working in LabVIEW.


Yes, this is indeed very counter-productive.