Some of us are super busy all the time, and some of us have been wishing we could get a second monitor to compliment our current cinema displays, and some of us are stuck with limited screen sizes (resolutions) because we constantly use our laptops as our primary machines.
Apple created spaces for us: the cheap, the poor, and the afflicted. Well, ok, they didn’t "create" spaces, they stole it from our linux brethren, but I like to pretend Apple came up with the idea first. The concept is simple, and the results can be really rewarding if you’re stuck on a 12 or 13 inch screen. You get multiple desktops. Virtually. You can’t see them, and they’re hiding behind your current desktop. You totally looked didn’t you!
So the first thing we have to do is enable it in the system preferences. Can we handle that, or do I need to show you where that is? Um, I should probably just point it out. Click the apple in the top left corner of your screen, and then select system preferences. Then click Expose & Spaces, and then the Spaces tab. We good so far? Oh, just in case it’s still a bit too difficult to get to your system preferences, you probably still have the application in your application bar at the bottom of your screen. It looks like this:
So, from here we can select how many "virtual" desktops you want. This will be the number of desktops you want to add to your system, so you can spend your time cluttering them up with applications, and photos you keep open all day. For me, I use one for my Mail, and one for Photoshop since those are the two applications I pretty much have open all day. So, I have mine set for the four that they start you off with, but you can add as many as you like. Don’t get carried away. Your system will start slowing down tremendously.
So now for the real money saver here. Lets put stuff in different spaces, and by "stuff" I mean programs, geesh, get that mind out of the gutter. There are a number of ways to do this, but the simplest way for me to explain it is to drag a application to the the edge of your screen and hold it there. So, for instance, take this browser, click the application and drag it to the right. Hold it there until the magic happens. All your other open crap should be shuffled off the screen. There you have it, this particular application is on a new desktop. You can navigate to them by holding down the control key and hitting the arrow keys to cycle between the "virtual" desktops. So that’s the first part to this nifty little application.
The second is assigning applications to always open up in a certain desktop so that you don’t have to drag and drop applications every single time you start up your machine. So hopefully by this point in the article you’ve figure out how to get at your system preferences. But if you haven’t, you can just click that spaces icon again. If not just follow the aforementioned steps until you get to the point where you set up the number of desktops you want. Just under that box you’ll see a +/- button, here you can assign certain applications to certain desktops permanently. It’s super handy. Click the + to add a new application to that list one.
Some Quick Asides : F8 on normal keyboards and fn+F8 on laptop keyboards will activate an overview of spaces. Just in case you get lost using the control+arrow keys to navigate your way around spaces.
Quick Tip : If you get really carried away dragging your applications all over 30+ spaces just because you can, it will be extremely painful to get everything back under control again. So, use the previous tip to get into the overview mode, and hit the "c" key to collect all your applications into the main desktop.