Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger): Behaviour of ‘Print & Fax’ preference pane

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 25th, 2005 • 6:12 am

It’s funny that I should discuss two very similar, yet totally unrelated bugs/flaws in Tiger on the same day.

Try the following. Switch from your current application to System Preferences, goes to the “Print & Fax” preference pane, then select one of the printers in the list on the left-hand side of the “Printing” pane and click on the “Print Queue…” button on the right-hand side.

This manually opens the print queue that normally opens and closes automatically whenever you try to print something to the printer in question.

Now click on the window’s Close button to close it. This quits the print queue, but, instead of returning to where you were before you opened the print queue, i.e. to the System Preferences application, Mac OS X returns to… the last application you were using before you switched to System Preferences!

Either someone at Apple thinks that this is a useful “feature”, or it’s a bad bug, pure and simple. It contravenes one of the basic design rules about the order in which windows and applications are layered in a multi-tasking environment. When I am in application A and I click on something that launches application B, when I quit application B I expect Mac OS X to return me to application A. That’s it. Tiger returns me to the application I was using before I switched to application A. Oops.

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