Hocus Focus

I’m a fan of Houdini, a free utility that hides away inactive windows in the background, so you stay focused. Here is a great news. Houdini has been renamed into Hocus Focus, now supporting OS X Yosemite, with a new feature to support multiple profiles.

I’ve shared the reason and a couple of apps to build a clutter-free desktop. The basic concept is still the same. Hocus Focus hides the windows that have been inactive for a certain period, leaving only the one you want to use in front.

Since Hocus Focus is the new version of Houdini, you’ll notice a few improvements beside the revamped interface to match OS X Yosemite new design.

Hocus Focus Time Indicator

The first thing you’ll notice is the new layout that separates between visible and hidden apps. The visible apps will have a timer showing the remaining time before it’ll be hidden and move into the hidden applications group. It’s not a feature that I must have, but it’s a wonderful way to view active windows state from a glimpse.

Besides the main feature that hides away inactive after a certain period, you can also tell Hocus Focus to hides away the active windows immediately once it loses the focus. It’s easy to replicate this experience in the past by configuring the period for the apps to the minimum amount of time, but nevertheless, having a built-in option makes customizing Hocus Focus much easier.

What I love the most from this update is the profile editor. You can now create a custom setting for each profile tailored for a certain task. For example, when I’m editing a post, I normally keep iA Writer Pro and Marked active all the time. By creating a new profile called Editing, I can switch to this mode whenever I’m editing a post.

Hocus Focus comes with a Focus Mode as one of the profiles that mimics the Single-Application Mode — the feature that makes the user work on a single task at a time.

I recommend starting with 2 minutes as the default timing setting for every app as 30 seconds is too fast when you need to work with multiple apps at once. You can also choose not to hide apps that must always remain front so you can drag files and documents easier.