How I’m using Spaces


I’m a huge fan of Spaces in Leopard. As a long-time Linux user I’m no stranger to the idea of virtual desktops, but I really like the way that this is implemented in OS X.

I have the bottom left corner of the screen set to trigger the Spaces overview, so any time I want to switch i can just drop the mouse pointer to the bottom corner (and the top right hot corner blanks the screen). Obviously I can use the Ctrl-[n] shortcuts to jump to a particular Space, too. I’ve settled into a pattern whereby the online stuff is generally over in the left-hand column, with iTunes top centre (those apps are set to only open on those Spaces). I have spare space over on the right for when I’m coding, running Second Life, using VMWare Fusion, or whatever.

It works well for me. I like the way I can move entire apps around by holding Ctrl and dragging applications between Spaces in the overview. Miraz Jordan has a nice series of posts on some of the other things that are possible using Spaces, too.

7 thoughts on “How I’m using Spaces”

  1. I have a hard time working like this, I think it’s because I need to see everything I’m doing at once or I forget what I’m supposed to be working on. Although I do a lot of things in browser too so I tend to have tabs open in Firefox instead of programs open on my desktop.

    I have found a way to use “virtual desktops” to my advantage though and it’s working wonderfully for me. I use them to organize the programs and files I would normally keep on my desktop according to certain tasks I do on my computer. I use a program called Dexpot. I have one for school, one for work, one for geocaching (this one tends to produce a lot of files so it’s nice to keep it hidden away). If I were to just work like I normally do my desktop would be a huge mess, now I just have a few programs on my main desktop and switch depending on how I’m working at the moment.

    I’ve thought a lot about desktops, it’s interesting because people work in very different ways, you just have to find what works right for you and it may be completely different than what works for other people.

  2. I use a virtual desktop manager with all my oses. For windows I use Dexpot. It works with Windows 95,98, 2000, XP, and Vista. Dextop is free.
    With Dexpot I can do the following

    1. Create up to 20 virtual desktops. Most virtual desktop managers in windows only allow you to create 4 virtual desktops.

    2. Use it on a flash drive. The program does not need admin rights to run.

    3. Get a full screen preview of all the virtual desktops in use

    4 Use all the features of Mac expose in Windows.

    5. Move windows from one desktop to the other using the keyboard mouse and desktop preview. Most virtual desktop managers for windows failed to move the command prompt. In Dexpot you can only the command prompt by keyboard shortcut.

    6. Name each desktop.

    7. Give each desktop a different set of desktop icons and background images.

    8. Set applications to open on a specific desktop.

    9. Change keyboard shortcuts for the individual functions of the application.

    10 The user is able to escape the application if you need to. Example keyboard shortcut conflict between Dexpot and another program. The program will move all application windows to the current desktop. This helps to prevent lost application windows when the program closes.

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