Do you use Spaces? I don't get it... why do I need it?

OldCorpse

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Dec 7, 2005
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Sorry, to ask such a basic question - but I don't get the point of Spaces. I mean, I've read what Apple says about it, but I just don't see the need in my workflow for Spaces.

Am I missing out on some awesome functionality? Is there some secret trick to make Spaces super useful? I mean, I feel weird not using such a big feature of an OS.

Help me out here... how do you use Spaces? Also, is there a big performance penalty for enabling this functionality (kinda like the way Dashboard sucks the RAM out of your system)?
 

kainjow

Moderator emeritus
Jun 15, 2000
7,745
3
I use it. The way I have it setup is one space is used for Mail and iChat, and the other space is for Safari, Xcode and more productivity-based apps (ok, web surfing isn't always productive :p). This way I can focus on work related things without having to always see IM and email messages, but I can quickly flip to them if I want to.

I used to use a second monitor but it was more of a nuisance, so Spaces is a nice replacement for me.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
No noticeable performance impact.

I use space 1 for mail.app / adium / netnewswire / chrome, and do my work in space 2 (ms office), space 3 (xcode), and space 4 (misc. other).
 

GeneKam

macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2008
221
0
Mississauga, ON
I have to do a lot of research and business work. so i end up using like 8 spaces, some for excel spread sheets, one for report, few for source info, one for itunes, one for chat and thats just the usual. I, at times have a lot of stuff going on at once. Spaces is the one of the best features for workflow.
 

Mac-Michael

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2010
186
0
I use spaces with application assignments:
Space 1 - Internet
Space 2 - VMWare
Space 3 - Multimedia
Space 4 - misc

neat stuff
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
16,793
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Where bunnies are welcome.
No noticeable performance impact.

I use space 1 for mail.app / adium / netnewswire / chrome, and do my work in space 2 (ms office), space 3 (xcode), and space 4 (misc. other).
Well, I would just have all that stuff open and when I needed to switch to one I'd click on the corresponding dock icon. So, I don't see the need for spaces.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,048
8,522
California
Well, I would just have all that stuff open and when I needed to switch to one I'd click on the corresponding dock icon. So, I don't see the need for spaces.
1) I hide my dock, and I prefer to use the keyboard rather than a mouse
2) with spaces, your relative window arrangements are preserved. However you like things spread out, partially overlapped, etc. When you switch using the dock, if you are using more than one app at a time you may have to rearrange everything each time.
 

eXan

macrumors 601
Jan 10, 2005
4,713
18
Russia
It's ok if you don't use a certain feature of an OS - they aren't useful for everyone.

As for me, I use Spaces to organize my windows more efficiently. I have a space for internet apps (Safari, Mail, Adium), for iTunes, for file transfers, for Parallels, for office apps and a clean space.

Expose helps using apps/windows within a space.

I usually navigate in spaces by using a special mouse button for "top" view and by using Option-#
 

OldCorpse

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Original poster
Dec 7, 2005
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That's interesting... maybe I should give it a try... I guess I'm just naturally organized, so perhaps I have relatively less use for stuff like spotlight and spaces. But heck, I can learn, and if there are real productivity gains, I'm all for it...
 

mac2x

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2009
1,147
0
Sorry, to ask such a basic question - but I don't get the point of Spaces. I mean, I've read what Apple says about it, but I just don't see the need in my workflow for Spaces.

Am I missing out on some awesome functionality? Is there some secret trick to make Spaces super useful? I mean, I feel weird not using such a big feature of an OS.

Help me out here... how do you use Spaces? Also, is there a big performance penalty for enabling this functionality (kinda like the way Dashboard sucks the RAM out of your system)?
It's the most important part of my workflow. I use it more than Exposé, actually. It's nice to spread windows out by task instead of cramming them all in one workspace. Any performance penalty is negligible.

I use 6 spaces.
 

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SuperBrown

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2008
113
42
Hollywoodland
I only have a 15" MBP, so I like to have each individual apps take up the entire screen and switch between them with +Tab. I suppose with a larger screen I'd assign certain apps to specific spaces, but I too rarely use Spaces to be honest.

EDIT: just worded better. :)
 

bossxii

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,749
0
Kansas City
I started using spaces on my 13" MBP and have never looked back. I now have a 27" iMac and still use it daily. Setting up four different desktops makes it very easy for me to keep my work items separate from personal. VNC client, work email in one "space" while my personal web, notes etc.. on another. I usually setup iTunes in it's own and then have a fourth to drag anything I want to look at later.

I have the magic mouse and it's setup with a 2 finger swipe, fast easy and eliminates the need for a 2nd physical monitor. I can be running a full screen video in one space and flick to check something on another screen without disrupting or closing the video player.

I hate clutter and it cleans up the desktop I'm working on and leave the rest tucked away out of sight while having it there at the flick of the mouse ready and waiting. It has changed my desktop from a very cluttered area to a very organized workspace.
 

mrsir2009

macrumors 604
Sep 17, 2009
7,501
156
Melbourne, Australia
All my Macs are Tiger and below, so I don't know what spaces is either. Recently I got a 13" MBP (with SL on it) so I guess I'll take a look to see what spaces is all about...:D
 

nastebu

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2008
353
0
If you're working with two more more windows spaces completely rocks. You can set up the windows so that they fit the screen nicely, and leave it in one of the spaces. Then if you need to do something else for a while, you just zip into another space and don't have to worry about (or think about) your window arrangement until you're ready too.

Also, if you use the commands to keep certain applications in certain spaces, it's a nice way to leave your calendar, email, todo list, etc. full screen or appropriately sized, and not have it distract you while you do your other work. When you need to look at the calendar you just zip over to it and it's full screen and not cluttered up by other open windows.

I love spaces.
 

kasakka

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2008
2,063
735
I don't really get along with spaces. I find it useful when using my MBP's own display but since I'm connected to an external monitor most of the time I keep Spaces turned off.

I have made an Applescript that arranges my windows based on the displays I use at work and home (1920x1200 and 2560x1600 res). It's plenty of space to have everything so that I can see if there are updates to my RSS reader, IRC, mail etc.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,809
344
Milwaukee, WI
Do you keep your socks, underwear, silverware, pens and pencils all in the same drawer? If so, you probably don't need Spaces.*

*Alternative conclusion: Then you might be a redneck.
(or... Then you might not be smarter than a fifth grader.)

;)
 

thepro8

macrumors member
Aug 30, 2009
63
10
I love spaces! I think it's once of the coolest features in osx.

I use it to stay organized and not clutter up windows.

Space 1: Finder, Adium, Skype
Space 2: Internet
Space 3: Parallels running windows
space 4: Mail
Space 5: Itunes
Space 6: empty right now.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
Spaces isn't for everyone, and I don't use it all the time
I have my MBP connected to a 23" ACD so I usually have plenty or screen real estate for anything I do

But, when I use Windows in VMware Fusion, I like to have it in a separate space
It is like having a separate Windows computer
I don't care much for Unity Mode or having it on my main screen

On the other hand, I never use Expose
 

splitpea

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2009
984
225
Among the starlings
Virtual desktops are wonderful if you do work on your computer that involves having lots of applications or documents open at once. I'm seriously looking forward to having this in SL. It would be spiffy to be able to keep windows from an ongoing project open in one space but not cluttering my desktop while working on another project in another space.

I wish, though, that instead of assigning apps to each space, we could assign which space specific files open in by default.
 

redwarrior

macrumors 603
Apr 7, 2008
5,562
3
in the Dawg house
Virtual desktops are wonderful if you do work on your computer that involves having lots of applications or documents open at once. I'm seriously looking forward to having this in SL. It would be spiffy to be able to keep windows from an ongoing project open in one space but not cluttering my desktop while working on another project in another space.

I wish, though, that instead of assigning apps to each space, we could assign which space specific files open in by default.
Works fine in SL. And in your preferences, you can specify which space an app opens/lives in. :)
 

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OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
16,747
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The Black Country, England
It's the most important part of my workflow. I use it more than Exposé, actually. It's nice to spread windows out by task instead of cramming them all in one workspace. Any performance penalty is negligible.

I use 6 spaces.
I'm also a 6 space Spaces user. :)

I've got my Mighty Mouse set up so I click the scroll wheel for Spaces and squeeze the side buttons for Exposé. One of the best bits from Leopard. :)

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