08 April 2011

Using Spaces in Mac OSX

Ever felt that your desktop was way too cluttered with all your open windows? Spaces in OSX is the solution to the problem. I generally have a few browser windows open with each having numerous open tabs as well. That of course excludes all the different open applications, notes, mail app, calender, etc. hence a cluttered desktop. Using Spaces neatens everything perfectly, having everything exactly where I need it to be. Spaces allows you as the user to create 2 to 16 extra screens on your mac. Think of them as virtual workspaces or desktops where you can easily drop or group certain applications that you are using, not only to reduce the clutter but also to simplify your desktop to assist you to focus on one thing at a time. For example; you could have one Space for anything work related like spreadsheets or current work projects, another space for personal items like random web browsing, games or movies, and maybe even another space for hobbies like blogging or anything related to photography, etc. The possibilities are endless.


Spaces is built in to Mac's OSX Leopard and can be found in System Preferences. The initial setup is extremely simple, as to be expected from almost anything that is Apple. Once you've selected Spaces from System Preferences you need to click on the 'Enable Spaces' box found in the top left corner of the window. In the top right corner is a box 'Show Spaces in menu bar' which can be clicked if you want Spaces in your menu bar. The section below allows you to choose the number of Spaces you require. I've chosen 4 as that's all that I need right now. You can choose up to 16 Spaces if so needed. 

The next step is to assign applications to their respective Spaces. By using the '+' sign you can choose from the list that appears which applications to select. Once this has been done you can assign one of the Spaces to the app. More than 1 space can be assigned to an application if so desired. For example, an application like Mail can be assigned to all Spaces making it available in all Spaces. 

The last step is to customize the shortcut keys. There are 3 different settings each having their own options as well. Once this has been done you can use your shortcut keys to switch between applications and Spaces. I've used Expose' to add an Active Screen Corner for my Spaces which makes it so easy to see all my open Spaces. 

And that's it! Once you've gone through this easy setup you are ready to enjoy Spaces!!!

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