Leopard Spaces?! I still don't get it

Discussion in 'macOS' started by klex, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. klex macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2007
    When the feature was first announced, I didn't get it. After reading an article on Appleinsider about Spaces, I still don't get it. It's so similar to expose. Sure it helps with the clutter when having multiple windows open, but in order to get to another app in another space, you move around much like expose, Space have navigational shortcuts.

    Yet, I don't understand the utility of this feature.

    For example, assume that in one space I'm working on my school project/assignment, in another I'm using a web browser to check out news, events, youtube, Macrumors.com, etc. In yet another I'm doing work for my employer. so far so good. I start in space 1 working for school. Getting tired. Want to check out Macrumors. I hit F8 or use any of the keyboard shortcuts, and bam, I'm in space 2. I read something interesting that I can use for my work project. Bam! I'm in space 3 using any of the shortcuts.

    Without spaces, to this I could have everything mentioned above open, i.e multiple browser windows, text app, excel etc. I'm in Word wanting to check out macrumors. Click an expose shortcut, see macrumors, point the mouse and Bam! I'm on macrumors.com. My conclusion: What do I need spaces for?

    Please, someone explain the usefulness of Spaces to me in plain English.
  2. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    It's very simple a feature taken from Linux. It gives you 4 separate desktops. The Linux desktops goes a little further, but I hope Spaces will catch up.
  3. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Hmm I wouldn't call it Linux.. it's more of an X11 window manager thing than a particular flavor of UNIX(-like).

    Anyway.. imagine Spaces like this:

    Currently on your Mac, you have 1 Desktop where all your windows for apps exists.

    If you added another monitor and spanned them, you would have your Mac Desktop, and your extra monitor's Desktop. You can have windows from any app on either of them.

    Spaces simple allows you to have even more "Desktops" accessible from one computer. Similar to having 4 different monitors and 4 different places to loose application windows! :)

    Does that make it easier?
  4. denm316 macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2003
    I am glad I am not the only one, I just really dont get the need for this one. It is cool and I understand it is a feature in Linux, but I just dont see me really needing it.
  5. bartelby macrumors Core


    Jun 16, 2004
    Well, you don't have to use it. You don't even have to upgrade to Leopard.
  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I'm in the group of people who probably will never use Spaces...but Leopard looks awesome still :)
  7. Blacky macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    I've used it on linux, I've used it on mac using virtue desktops, ... it's an invaluable feature, why?

    Well on mac it makes even more sense, you have apps open if you close all the windows, wouldn't it be great if you could just have them there but offscreen?

    A desktop for all you contact/calendar/mail work, a desktop for surfing, a desktop for im/music/activity monitor and one for xcode/eclipse.

    Sure you can use expose but you have to visually check all the windows you have open which have a random place within expose, with spaces everything is fixed, your desktops are fixed, top left = im/music, bottom right being work etc (organize at your whim)

    Now when you get your desktop in front of you all your windows are in the same position as they usually are, so basically you get a faster more common workflow thus increasing your productivity.

    It might not seem like that before you used it, it will be after you used it :p

    Spaces can go way beyond 2x2 btw, I dont know the exact limit but I think you can have up to 16 or 32 desktops (yes, overkill :p). Not to mention that this is a life saver on the more low res laptops, I had a macbook for a while and virtuedesktops kept me from going insane :)
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    The usefulness depends entirely upon one's level of OCD.

    There are some people that want to keep all their Windows separate.

    Perhaps one "Space" is for iTunes, one "Space" is for BitTorrents, and one "Space" is for the thesis they are currently working on. No looking for Windows amongst the many.. just switch to the "Space" that you know you want and there's all the Windows that you want.
  9. MistaBungle macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2005
    I think the first few repliers in this subject are still missing the point on what he wants. He wants to know WHY this is useful, not what the feature does.

    Yellow got it right. Spaces and Stacks are essentially the same thing but intended for different areas. Stacks cleans up your Dock/Desktop but compiling many items into few based on their attributes, and Spaces is able to do the same.

    My dock is not big at all; Mail, iTunes, Finder, iPhoto and a few others but when I minimize the 4 or 5 Safari windows that I have open it starts to get big. And I'm sure that other people have much bigger docks that come close to pushing the boundaries of the screen. I am going to welcome Spaces with open arms since it has saved me money from buying the 24" iMac. Why need a bigger screen when you have multiple desktops?
  10. Squareball macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2004
    Palo Alto, CA
    When you get to be a hardcore user you NEED multiple desktops. I have a desktop for general computing (browsing, writing things etc) then I have desktops for Omnigraffle, Photoshop/Illustrator, Email and Textmate/Coding. I have specific key bindings that take me to these desktops, so that when I want to check my mail I just hit Apple+Opt+Right Arrow.

    That's the one thing I pray to god someone can hack up in Spaces. Spaces doesn't allow you to say "These keys trigger this desktop" you can only get to a desktop with your choice of CMD/Opt/Control + Left/Right/Up/Down arrow OR use the num pad to get to a specific desktop. Maybe I'll get used to it but I've been using multiple desktops with DesktopManager/Virtue for years now and can't imagine doing it differently.
  11. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    VirtueDesktops was great when I was using Parallels and both OSes could be fullscreen, however as a Quicksilver user, my apps can be in prime position, and I don't need to keep dragging them...
  12. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Boss Panic feature. You can be do something not work related but with a press of a key switches you to something that is work related.
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    See, I wouldn't ever term it that way. I'm definitely a hardcore user and I don't need multiple desktops. But my computer OCD is quite low.
  14. rented mule macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2006
    Actually, it gives you anywhere from 2 to 16 separate desktops. I hope Linux catches up.
  15. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    I have seen the Ubuntu implementation and it is not as slick. Other distros may vary.

    You can't have an exposé-style overview of all your desktops at once.

    You can move windows between desktops, but it is not drag and drop like Leopard.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
  16. cptpower macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2007
    Calgary, AB
    The best use of this feature I've heard yet :)

    Work-related material on one space, MacForums on another, and workopolis on a 3rd to get you out of your current dead-end job, since you clearly don't enjoy it.. er, not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. :rolleyes:

    The Ubuntu implementation allows you to have a view of all desktops at once. I'm not at my ubuntu system at the moment, but I believe the shortcut for that is ctrl-alt-up arrow. You should be able to drop windows on a workspace as well and it'll move to that one, but its something I've never tried myself (don't use the feature a whole lot).
  17. saxman macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2004
    Probably the number one use of spaces for people in a business environment
  18. L3X macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chesapeake, VA
    I think Spaces is Expose taken to the next level. In spaces you can have your windows all open and in plain site. In Expose, you can still only have 1 window on top.
  19. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    i'd really love it if spaces made a cube:)

    maybe there's an option already, or maybe a 3rd party plug-in:p
  20. fishkorp macrumors 68020


    Apr 10, 2006
    Ellicott City, MD
    i use Virtue Desktop all the time when working, so Spaces is welcome for me. I keep one browser type its own desktop (so one for Safari, one for FF, one for IE via VMWare, etc), one desktop for my IDE (and FTP client if I need depending on what i'm working on or in), one desktop with Photoshop open if needed, one desktop with any reference material open, and sometimes one or two additional desktops with related material. i've gotten so used to hitting a combo of a few keys to just flip to IE or back over to my code that it's become second nature. hitting a button then moving my mouse around to click on the appropriate window to bring to the front just seems like a waste of time to me. sure it's only a couple seconds, but add up a couple seconds multiple times over a day, over a week, month, etc and that's a lot of wasted work time throughout the year.

    but i can't see it being all that useful for the average user.
  21. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    i can't see myself using spaces. i have usually less than 10 windows open. and switching spaces to get to a window seems an additional unnecessary step in my case.

    i use expose a lot but only because os x has no feature like the taskbar in windows xp with a button for every open window. before you flame me: that is one of the very few features i prefer in windows over os x. and it's a windows typical lousy inconsistent feature. but a good one nonethless.
  22. meagain macrumors 68030

    Nov 18, 2006
    I'd like to use it like a split screen. Fine, I can set up 2 spaces but I can't read anything IN the spaces. I want to be able to view/read both spaces at once etc. If anyone knows how to make the actual windows/spaces bigger, that would be great. With 2 side by side - there's 50% dead screen above and below them that I'd like to use. Then I could read what's in them. I want to resize the spaces.
  23. JLatte macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2005
    San Diego
    Maybe I don't know how to use it correctly, maybe someone can help me...

    I understand the concept of spaces (I think).

    I want to use spaces at work. I want to have Space #1 to have Safari (I use for work) and I also want to run Parallels (for work)

    I want to open Space #2 for non work stuff in Safari. If I go to Space #2 and open safari, it throws me back into space #1. I checked the settings in System Preferences and I turned on, turned off, I've tried with all options to have Safari open in both spaces.

    Is it possible to have Safari open in more than 1 space? Or do I need to create a new Safari window and drag it to space #2?
  24. daveL macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2003
    Open a new Safari window. Hit F8, unless you changed the key from its default. Click on the Safari window you want to move and drag it to the Space you want to use it in. Click on the Space you want to have active. You now have 2 Spaces with a Safari window. If you click on the Safari icon in the Dock, it will take you to the next Space with a Safari window. Each click of the Dock icon will take you to the next Space with a Safari window, so you can switch between all the Spaces with a Safari window without explicitly using the Spaces keys. If you click on a link in a Safari window, it will open the link in that Space.

  25. evanrousso macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2006
    Here is my thing about spaces:

    I have a space for itunes, torrents, vlc...basically anything media related. Then I have a space for my adobe suite, and a space for im and email and internet. I tried this for a few hours then I realized something. I want to listen to music while I am working in adobe, I want to chat while I am watching videos on vlc, I want to browse the internet for stock photos while I am using photoshop. So Spaces doesn't really work for me. If all of these programs are going to be on then I might as well just minimize the ones that I am not using at any given time.

Share This Page