Today’s topic will be Spaces. I don’t use Spaces that often, I prefer using Exposé, however some people swear by it. Its a system app that is designed to give you extra desktops. It is actually quite useful, basically you get to increase the amount of desktops that belong to you. It makes organising and working a lot simpler. You can put specific apps in specific Spaces, as a result you can have easily defined areas where you work.
I can’t remember if Spaces is set up when you first start your Mac, if it isn’t go to System Preferences > Exposé & Space and press the Spaces tab. This is the same preference pane as the one used yesterday. This preference pane is quite simple. The first check box allows you to switch it on and off. Quite important that this check box is ticked if you want to use Spaces.
In the main window you get to choose how many spaces you can have. Each one is a seperate desktop so keep that in mind. Using the plus an minus arrows you can pick how many windows you want. There is a maximum of 16, however I don’t think you need any more than four.
When an app starts, you can pick which Space it will open in. As I mentioned you can organise apps. Using the Application Assignments drop down, you can pick an app and select which Space it will open in. This makes keep Space organised simpler. However if you have two apps which you use a lot (eg Mail and Safari) in different spaces, you will end up switching screens a lot, so keep this in mind. I recommend a “fun” Space with games and what not in one Space, and a more serious space with your word documents, Safari, Mail.
At the bottom is the drop down menu options to fine tune how Spaces run. Here you can pick an overall view (shown below) and how to switch between spaces.
Finally there is two other check boxes which I haven’t mentioned, when switching to an app and the menu bar option. I recommend you tick the final check box. This means when you click on an app in the menu bar, or Command + Tab, it will switch the the required Space. This will segment you apps more.
There are a couple of tips and tricks which you can use with Spaces. For example you can drag and drop apps between Spaces, simply select an app and drag it between the Spaces. You can also use Exposé with Spaces, simply press F8 and then F9, this will show all the windows in every Space. This works quite slowly on my Mac.
Quite an interesting trick is the ability to move Spaces around. Simply click on the blue area of the Space and drag it to its new location. You can also collate all of the windows of a Space by pressing the “c” key. This will move all of the app windows into the first Space. Pressing it again will move all of the windows back to there originating Space.
Hopefully you have learnt a couple of new tricks with Spaces, if you know any more please leave a comment. Tomorrows post will be about Spotlight.