Originally posted by sowens

I seem to remember a key sequence that does this under OS9. Something like Cmd-Ctl-W (Sorry, I'm new to the Mac). Doesn't it work under OSX?
That will work for hiding windows in the finder only. For hiding applications quickly, hold down the option key and click outside the active application, this will 'hide' the app ('minimize' in the windows world). You can hide about 10 apps in 2 seconds doing this.