If you’ve been using OS X for any length of time now, you know the special joy of desktop “spaces,” what Apple calls its virtual desktop system. You can switch between them by hitting Command-Arrow (right or left) on your keyboard, or you can activate Spaces with the F3 key on most modern Macs. You can also reorder these Spaces around fairly easily.
But did you know you could add more Spaces? Delete the ones you have?
The external monitor support in Mavericks is much improved, as we noted in yesterday’s tip on getting the Dock to show up on your second monitor.
The menu bar itself will dim when you’re not actively on a specific monitor, as well. In other words, if you’re using monitor A, the menu bar will look opaque, as per usual, while it will dim and go see-through on monitor B. When you switch your active focus by using the cursor on monitor B, though, the menu bar will brighten and not let you see through it, while the menubar on monitor A will go semi-transparent and dim.
There is a way, however, to just hide the menu bar altogether on your secondary monitor, if that’s how you want things to work. The preference is in an unintuitive place, though.
This one’s for all you Macbook and Magic Trackpad users; you know who you are. Mac OS X comes with Mission Control, a way to see all the open applications running on your Mac. Typically, you can hit the F3 key to bring up Mission Control and see what’s what on your Mac.
Similarly, you can either click on any Desktop Space across the top of Mission Control, or hit Command-Arrow (right or left) to switch to different Desktop Spaces on your Mac. This makes it easy to visually keep things separate. Some folks keep their web browser in one Desktop Space, and their word processing app in another, switching back and forth as they need the respective apps.
If you’re using a trackpad to access your Mac OS X laptop, or you’re using a magic trackpad connected to your Mac desktop, however, there are a couple of cool trackpad gestures you can use to do the same thing.
Remember that the OS X Mavericks beta isn’t a final version—it’s meant to be used by developers to ensure that their software will work with Apple’s latest and greatest. With that disclaimer in mind, let’s check out yet another little feature in the beta.
Prior to OS X Mavericks beta, the Dashboard, loaded with useful widgets of all stripe, used to be limited to two states: disabled, or locked to the top left side of the Mission Control screen.
Now, however, with the advent of OS X Mavericks beta, that’s no longer the case. The Dashboard is now treated the same as any other Space when enabled. Here’s how to get it enabled, and then how to move it around.
There are some nifty tweaks for jailbroken iOS devices that allow you to add blank spaces to your home screen and arrange your app icons any way you like. Well now you don’t need to jailbreak to have this option, because a newly-discovered glitch in iOS lets you create blank spaces with a bit of trickery.
In Mac OS X Lion, Expose merged with Spaces and became Mission Control. When you tapped the default F4 key on your laptop (or F9 or use a three fingered swipe up on your trackpad) to launch Mission Control, you’d get the image on the top left in the screenshot above: all the windows of un-hidden open apps at once.
OS X Lion changed things up by grouping all the windows from each app together in Mission Control, like the image in the lower left corner of the above screenshot. This new style, continued in Mountain Lion is intended to be an easier way to find the specific window you’re using. If that doesn’t work for you, you’re not out of luck, provided you’re running the latest big cat OS.
Dock Spaces allows users to have up to ten different customized docks, each with its own set of applications, documents and stacks. This simple shareware app will also let users set the preferences for each instance of Dock that they set up, including the size, position of the screen, and magnification.
Did you know you can move a window from one space to another by dragging and dropping it to the edge of the screen? If so you’ll know there’s a delay before the space will switch to the new one, but a simple tweak can speed that up. Read on for more info.
Apple has fixed an issue with Mission Control’s All Windows mode in Mac OS X 10.7.2 that will make a lot of people happy. You can now rearrange the desktop spaces and full-screen applications by dragging. The Dashboard and the first desktop space remain fixed in place at the first and second places in the desktop spaces and full-screen applications list.
Although dragging these objects around is new, the trick to getting it to work is similar to a previous tip.