How do you use your Spaces?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 19, 2004
i'm still figuring out which way i prefer, and was wondering what other people have got going so far.

right now, it's pretty basic. two spaces, left and right. the left basically has everything, the right has iCal open fullscreen. and iChat is on both, so i can see when people talk back no matter what space i'm in. iCal's nice to look at uncluttered, but some other apps like Mail and Safari work fine windowed. i'm still feeling it out.


macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2007
i have 4 spaces...finder is in its own and full space is for work related stuff like powerpoint and word...the other is misc...and one for browsing.

i really like the space/expose combination...good stuff.


macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
I don't. It is a waste of time. I just use expose, like I have for a while now. Why use an extra step to find a program when I can have them all open in one "space" and just click on the one I need using Expose. Seems like a waste of time and resources.


macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2007
I think it is personal preference and work style, but Spaces is far far better than Expose for my style. One of the big differences for me is that I always know what is in which window, and where it will be. With Expose, the windows are different sizes and move around depending on what I have open. No consistency, which for me slows me down.

I have 9 spaces, activated by sliding my mouse to the upper left corner. I have my apps locked to the various Spaces, so they always open in the same space, which again, makes it faster for me.

Space 1 is always left blank so I can have a clean desktop at the ready. It is part of my OCD...

Space 2: Firefox
Space 3: iChat and IM windows
Space 4: Mail
Space 5: Finder window, full screen
Space 6: Safari
Space 7: iCal.
Space 8: Word processing program and calculator
Space 9: Photoshop.

The best new feature of Leopard IMHO.

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
At work, I've been trying it like this:
Top left: iChat, Safari, Mail, iTunes - the basics of everyday life.

Top right: Terminal - for my Unix activities.

Bottom left: today's project - usually a combination of Safari, Finder, Photoshop, and TextEdit windows.

Bottom right: for temporary distractions - when somebody in the office wants me to look at something they need help with, to look at an iPhoto library, etc.​
I have yet to figure out the best arrangement at home.


macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2006
I've got 9.

One for all my Adium windows and Safari.
One for Mail and Newsfire.
One for Interface Builder.
One for Xcode.
One for Office/iWork.
One for Web Development.
One for Aperture.
One for Photoshop.
And the last one is just empty space for later.


macrumors 68020
Feb 23, 2006
San Francisco, CA
I only use them when I am doing both work and play at the same time. For example, over the weekend I had a bunch of terminals going in 1 space and I was importing images from my camera in the other. Keep things nice and separate.

I don't use it other then times like that, too much clutter and too easy to get side tracked.

Lord Sandwich

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2005
1: Finder
2: Internet apps (Mail, Safari, Firefox)
3: Media players (iTunes, VLC)
4: Remote desktop clients to my other PCs

IMO Spaces + Expose is about as close to perfect as task-switching can get. :apple:


macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2007
Space 1: Finder, Safari
Space 2: iTunes
Space 3: Photoshop CS3, Adobe Lightroom
Space 4: VMWare Fusion (Windows Vista)


macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
North Carolina
I don't use them now, but I'm thinking eventually I might be doing some collaboration over iChat (with shared computer screens). In that case, I'll probably add a second space with just the apps I'd be using for the collaboration.


macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2004
San Diego, CA
I have 4 (Mail & Calender, Photoshop, one for none work related and one for BBEdit and Safari - Im a web designer).

BUT the main thing I do is have my Mighty Mouse button in the middle assigned to spaces so its very easy to see all my spaces at one. Great for hiding the window your in quickly when needed :eek:


macrumors member
Jul 9, 2007
Here's my setup:

1 - everything else, safari, finder, sys prefs

2 - Mail, iCal, AddressBook, Skype, iChat

3 - Photoshop, Logic, iTunes

4 - Flash, Reason

I tried using more than 4 spaces, but that got confusing. I'm still tweaking it so I'm sure it will change.

Doctor Q

Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
Los Angeles
I keep Safari, TextEdit, and other windows open in more than one Space. I don't mean that the application is set to show in all Spaces. I mean that I have some Safari windows in one Space and other Safari windows in another Space, and the same for TextEdit.

It can make it a little confusing when I click that application in the Dock. I haven't yet figured out which Space it will go to -- there must be an algorithm of some kind.

Is my habit unusual? Do most people keep their apps distinct by Space?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2006
Durham, UK
Is my habit unusual? Do most people keep their apps distinct by Space?
I don't think so. I have Finder or Safari windows open in all spaces because I'm usually dragging images off the web into iTunes etc.

I have one Space for general (mainly Safari), one for iTunes, one for Mail, one for iCal and Address Book and Adium shown on all spaces. Everything else usually just goes in the "general" space.


macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
Champaign, IL
I have two spaces. One for Mac OS X desktop and the second space I have VMware running windows in full screen mode. Nice way to switch between OSs


macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
I have 4 spaces on my iBook, I'll probably have more on my MacBook Pro once I get one back ( Long story :mad: ):

1: Main space for work.
2: Adium and Skype
3: Mail
4: Safari


macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2007
I have 6 spaces.
1. Mail, iChat, iCal, etc.
2. Safari, Transmission, etc.
3-6. One for each of my 4 major classes.

Helps me keep everything nice and organized.


macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2006
Atlanta, GA
1. Web browsers, iChat, Forklift, iTunes and main finder stuff

2. Flash/Scripting apps, com & src folders

3. FCP, or AE, or both, video folders

4. Entourage, iCal

Every Space: All notifications, settings

Other stuff is wherever I am when i click open.

Spaces was cool until i started doing work. Finder should not jump around unless the window I'm looking for is in another space. If I want to open a window in the current space and another is open, LET ME OPEN the f'n window! Dragging the damn thing over is counter productive. I've earned to open the windows i need in a given space, and have them ready when needed.


macrumors 68040
Mar 13, 2007
I don't. It is a waste of time. I just use expose, like I have for a while now. Why use an extra step to find a program when I can have them all open in one "space" and just click on the one I need using Expose. Seems like a waste of time and resources.
Just so you know, it is THAT easy when using spaces as well. You don't have to manually switch to a space. Simply clicking on the dock icon for the program (or even Command + Tab) will auto switch to the space the program is in.

That's what makes Apple's version of spaces so nice. I do most work in Space 1. However, if I get a mail message, I have mail set to open in Space 2. All I have to do is click the Mail icon in the dock, and I'm taken to Space 2. Click Photoshop icon in the dock and I'm taken back to Space 1.



macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2006
~119W 34N
4 Spaces


All - iChat

I use a Hot Corner to invoke. It's become as second nature as Expose. They have two separate purposes. With Spaces, I no longer need to worry about hiding to alleviate clutter.


macrumors 6502
May 15, 2006
I have dual screens and really don't need any more screen.

But I have 2 spaces just for fun

I do everything on space 1 but only have mail open on space 2

I feel like leaving a bunch of apps open when I am not using them is a waste eventhough I have 2 gigs of ram


macrumors 65816
Aug 20, 2006
Carlisle, PA
Space 1: Internet
Space 2: A/V
iLife Apps (except iWeb)
DVD Player
Space 3: Productivity
iWork (for most stuff
NeoOffice (Im mostly just checking it out
Office 04 (for when I want to guarantee compatibilty)
Fusion (XP Pro or Ubuntu, not enough RAM for both)
Space 4: Web Dev

Finder, TextEdit, Terminal all appear on every space.


macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2007
Space 1 (PRIMARY):
Safari, xCode (trying to learn some programming), iTunes for streaming radio

Space 2:
Mail, Work Apps like iWork '08 apps (refuse to use Office until a Universal Binary)

Space 3:

Space 4:
Parallels running Windows XP (512MB RAM) and small other apps

I think spaces is better than Virtue Desktops, it's lightning fast (Have a MBP with 2GB of RAM soon to be upgraded to 3GB) and it keeps all your main apps together. It's what I've always wanted! I haven't installed Photoshop yet, I'd probably use Space 3 for Photoshop apps.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.