Auto-hiding applications in Lion

Reader Harlan Lachman finds his Mac too cluttered for his liking. He writes:

I will indicate the waffling nature of the following answer with the addition of several consonants and an ellipsis.

I waffle for a couple of reasons. The first is that Lion has a built-in method for doing this, but you’re going to have to rethink the way you use your Mac. The other is that full-screen applications can make things more complicated. Let’s take these in order.

The built-in method is Mission Control. If you want to hide one application while working in another, invoke Mission Control, move your cursor to the top-right of the screen, click on the plus (+) button to create a new desktop environment, switch to that environment, and open the application you want to work with. Repeat for other environments and applications. When you’re ready to move to another application, just switch environments.

Another option is to use the Dock and when switching applications, hold down the Option key while clicking on the application you want to launch or switch to. When you do this, the previous application is hidden. However, it doesn’t hide all other applications if some are open. To do this, press Command-Option-H.