If you are anything like me, you have a handful of applications open all at the same time on your Mac. And sooner or later you run out of screen space and everything in the background just gets cluttered. I hate having to minimize applications and switching between them all the time. Finally, I started to take advantage of Spaces for the Mac. It is one of those utilities that when used properly, can really help with the organization of your Mac as well as productivity on your Mac. This post is an overview on how to use Spaces and its features.
To give you an overview, if you don’t already know, Spaces is a utility on your Mac that lets you have separate screen spaces for your desktop. In order to access Spaces, you first need to go into the System Preferences and click on “Expose and Spaces”.
When you are setting up Spaces, you can have as many different spaces as you want. You can also set them up for what works for you. If you want more rows or columns, you can do that. Each different space represents a homescreen. So for example, if I want my email on Space 1 and say my browser on Space 2, I can do that.
You can also set up your spaces by assigning different applications to different Spaces. As you can see from the pic below I have set up my Chrome browser to be in Space 2 and Tweetie to be in Space 1. You don’t have to necessarily do this, you can also just move to a different space and then open an application in that space. Once it is opened in that space and if it stays opened in that space, it will always be in that space. So if I have Chrome open in Space 2, but I switch to Space 1 to check Tweetie, I can still hit the Chrome icon and my Mac will go to Space 2. If I want to permanently open Chrome in Space 2, then assigning it a Space will be helpful.
There are a couple of ways to acces your Spaces. You can set up Spaces so that you can access them from the menubar. You can also set it up so that you can use keyboard shortcuts to access each space as well. I personally prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. For example, I have set up Spaces to activate if I press F1 and the Secondary mouse click. I can also switch between spaces by pressing the “Command” button and the arrow key or the number keys. If I prefer to just access my Spaces, you would be presented with the second picture below.
And that is really it as far as the setup of Spaces. The rest is kind of up to you. The nice thing is that Spaces is highly customizable. If you only want a couple of spaces you can do that, or if you need a lot more, you can do that as well. You can really use it however you want. For me, I like to have one application open per Space. Because I have so many different apps open at the same time, Spaces really helps me a lot. For people who only use one or two apps at a time and don’t switch between a lot of apps, Spaces may not necessarily be for you. But nonetheless, try it out, you may find that you will like it and will start using it to your liking.