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What is Coherence? Information about Coherence View mode

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Home Edition
  • Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition

What is Coherence?

Coherence is a view mode that allows you to run Windows applications on your Mac, as though they were native Mac applications.

In Coherence mode, you can use both your Windows and Mac applications at the same time without managing two separate desktops or rebooting. You can even load Windows applications directly from your Mac Dock or Mac desktop. In this mode, all Parallels Desktop controls, icons, and menus are hidden, except for the Parallels icon in the Mac menu bar and the Windows Applications folder in the Dock. Additionally, due to its nature Coherence mode completely disables Windows screen saver instead, Mac screen saver is being used.

Windows Task bar, Start button and Desktop are hidden:

Working with a virtual machine in Coherence

To launch a new Windows application, you can do one of the following:

  • Click on the Windows Applications Folder in the Dock and choose the application you need:
  • Right-click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar to activate the Windows Start menu:
  • Click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar and select Windows Start menu to activate the Windows Start menu:
  • Click on the Windows icon in the Dock to activate the Windows Start menu:

To switch among already started Windows applications click on their icons in the Mac Dock:

All Windows applications icons are marked with the Parallels symbol to distinguish them from Mac applications.

Additional options for Windows applications are available by right-clicking on their Dock icons:

  • New item menu allows to open a new application window/mail/document, etc. depending on application functionality.
  • Quit, Hide, Show All Windows, Options, and Add to Launchpad are the same as for native Mac applications.
  • App Settings allows to assign certain actions per-application basis, such as Keep Mac Awake, Always Hide Others, Do Not Disturb, Use in Full Screen.
  • Show Jump List activates the Jump List available for Windows applications' icons in the Windows Task Bar.
  • If you have several windows of the same Windows application open, you may switch among them in Mac:

    • By selecting from the corresponding list by right-clicking on the application icon in the Dock:
    • By using Show All Windows option:

    To access the virtual machine configuration:

  • Either right-click on the Windows icon in the Dock and select Configure...:
  • Or click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar and select Configure...

Turning Coherence mode on and off

  • To exit Coherence mode, click on the Parallels tray icon in the Mac status bar and select View then click Exit Coherence.
  • Or right-click on the Windows icon in the Dock and select View then click Exit Coherence.

To enter Coherence mode from Window mode:

  • In the top menu bar click on View menu > Enter Coherence:
  • Click on the Coherence icon (blue circle) in the top left corner of the virtual machine window:

The settings for Coherence mode are available in virtual machine Configuration > Options > Applications.

Note: To be able to use Coherence mode, Parallels Tools should be installed in Windows: in Parallels Desktop 10 select Actions from top Parallels Desktop menu bar > Install Parallels Tools, in previous versions click on the Virtual Machine menu > Install Parallels Tools.

As an alternative resource on this topic, we also recommend visiting this blog post:

Coherence - It’s a Kind of Magic!




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