About full-screen mode in Mac OS X Lion


Full-Screen mode is a new system wide feature in Mac OS X Lion that apps can take advantage of. Many standard Lion apps such as Mail, iCal, Safari, FaceTime and Preview are full-screen apps. Apple apps such as iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages and Numbers were updated to work full-screen, and you can expect third party apps to follow.

  • You can tell if an app supports full-screen by the double-end arrow icon at upper right corner of app window. Click on this icon will switch the app to full-screen mode.
  • When in full-screen mode, the menu bar and the dock disappear.
  • Move the cursor across the top of the screen to gain access to the menu bar.
  • To gain access to the Dock, first move the cursor to the edge where the Dock is pinned. Then swipe or move the mouse in the same direction again. This two-steps process is designed so that the Dock will not easily block any buttons or elements on your app when you accidently move the cursor off the edge of screen.
  • Press ESC to quit the full-screen mode. Or you can reveal the app menu, and click on the double-end arrow icon at upper right corner to exit full-screen mode.
  • The shortcut keys to enter full-screen mode is Control-Command-F. You press the same shortcut keys to exit full-screen mode.
  • Full-screen mode is per app window. For example if you have two windows under Safari, you can have one window in full-screen mode while the other window remains the same.
  • OS X Lion create a Space for each full-screen app window. You can easily switch between full-screen app windows using the three fingers swipe left or right to swicth between Spaces.
  • When in full-screen, you can access Mission Control as usual by swiping up with three fingers.
  • When in full-screen, you can access Launchpad as usual by pinching with thumb and three fingers.