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Organizing workspaces with Mission Control

From: Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

Video: Organizing workspaces with Mission Control

We're going to return to the Personal System Preferences to take a look at Mission Control, a navigation feature that was introduced with Mac OS X Lion, but before we do, let me show you what Mission Control does. This is the Mission Control interface. Mission Control is a way for you to have separate work environments or spaces on your Mac. So on a Mac with a trackpad, you just swipe up with three fingers to expose Mission Control and to make it go away, I'll take those three fingers and I'll swipe down, so it's gone. Swipe three fingers up and here it is, or if you're using a keyboard, hold down the Control key and press the up arrow, and that gives you Mission Control, and make it disappear, The Control key, arrow key down.

Organizing workspaces with Mission Control

We're going to return to the Personal System Preferences to take a look at Mission Control, a navigation feature that was introduced with Mac OS X Lion, but before we do, let me show you what Mission Control does. This is the Mission Control interface. Mission Control is a way for you to have separate work environments or spaces on your Mac. So on a Mac with a trackpad, you just swipe up with three fingers to expose Mission Control and to make it go away, I'll take those three fingers and I'll swipe down, so it's gone. Swipe three fingers up and here it is, or if you're using a keyboard, hold down the Control key and press the up arrow, and that gives you Mission Control, and make it disappear, The Control key, arrow key down.

So the main screen shrinks down to the smaller screen and above the screen, you see two small windows. One represents the screen you're currently working with, and the other is the Dashboard environment, which contains small applications called Widgets for doing things like checking the weather, time, and stock. So you can switch environments by simply clicking on one. So if I want to go to the Dashboard environment, I click on Dashboard, and here it is. Swipe up with three fingers, I can go back to my desktop by clicking on the Desktop window.

If you have a trackpad, you can simply swipe three fingers to the left, I'm in the Dashboard environment, to return, swipe three fingers to the right, and here is Mission Control again. You can create additional spaces just by moving your cursor to the top right corner and clicking on the plus button. I'll click on that Desktop 2, and now I have a new environment here. If you're going to create additional spaces, it helps to change the look of them, so you can tell which environment you're in. One way to do that is to go to System Preferences.

Choose Desktop & Screen Saver, and then change the background color. So in this case, I'll change this to Solid Kelp. Close that. Now, I invoke Mission Control and note, Desktop 1 is blue, and Desktop 2 is green. So I can tell at a glance which one I'm in. So what good is this exactly? Well, let's move to Desktop 2. I'll click and hold on the Safari icon, choose Options, and then I will assign Safari to This Desktop only, then I'll launch Safari.

So here's Safari, I'll go to Mission Control. Now you notice Safari is in the second desktop environment. If I go back to the first desktop environment, there's nothing here at all. Let's assign the Calendar to the first desktop environment. I'll launch Calendar and here's my Calendar. Back to Mission Control, second desktop environment has Safari. First desktop environment has Calendar. Let's quit that. I'm going to swipe over, so I'm in my second environment and I'm going to launch Calendar, and watch what happens.

I switched back to my first desktop environment. So what's the point of all this? Well, let's suppose that you have a group of tasks that you like to perform together. So, for example, I would use Calendar, I'd use Contacts, and I would use Mail all within the same desktop environment. In my second environment, maybe I want to work with Safari and iPhoto, for example, because I want to take some of the images in iPhoto and I want to upload them to a website through my browser. If I assign applications to particular desktop environments, it makes it very easy for me to work in a particular set of tasks and then change the environment and then work in a different set of tasks.

It's particularly helpful if you're using a laptop with a limited amount of space. For example, if you have a MacBook Air, it can be really easy to have too many windows, so you can't see what you're doing, but if you create multiple desktop environments, when you do that, it's much easier to confine things so that you can work in a less cluttered environment. Now, there's one other thing I need to tell you about Mission Control. Let's open iPhoto, and this isn't assigned to any particular environment at all, so it's going to open in the current environment.

I will then click on the fullscreen button in the top right corner. Now let's see what Mission Control looks like. Note that we now have an additional environment, and that is iPhoto. So whenever you flip an application into fullscreen mode, it will become a separate environment. However, once you close it, it stops being an environment. So how do you close out these environments? Well, simply hold on the Option key, you'll see that an X appears above an environment. So if I want to close Desktop 2, it's gone, but what happens to the application that was there? Well, it goes to my main environment. Here's Safari.

So I don't lose my work, the applications don't quit, they simply move to another environment. Let's go back to iPhoto. I'll get out of fullscreen mode. Look at Mission Control, and it too has moved to the main environment, because I'm no longer using it in fullscreen mode. Let's take one more look at its preference. So you can use Dashboard as a space. I can choose not to do that, and when I swipe to the left, nothing happens.

You can choose how your spaces are arranged, so the most recently used one is going to move to the left. And the other two options have to do with how windows are dealt with with applications. Here's where you can change your shortcuts, and again you have Hot Corners. So if you don't feel like swiping or pressing a keyboard shortcut, just drag your cursor down to one of the corners and you can invoke Mission Control that way. And then click on the environment you want, and back it comes. And that's Mission Control and its preferences, a useful way to organize your work and play.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training
Mac OS X Mountain Lion Essential Training

76 video lessons · 21293 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
  2. 6m 56s
    1. Installing Mountain Lion
      6m 56s
  3. 47m 16s
    1. Personalizing the interface
      4m 11s
    2. Touring the Finder
      3m 29s
    3. Staying current with Software Update
      2m 52s
    4. Configuring Gatekeeper settings
      3m 17s
    5. Getting on the Internet
      5m 36s
    6. Setting up iCloud
      4m 55s
    7. Understanding AutoSave and documents in the cloud
      4m 42s
    8. Configuring Mail, Contacts, and Calendar
      4m 33s
    9. Configuring your printer
      3m 39s
    10. Protecting your data with Time Machine
      4m 28s
    11. Learn your way around the Mac App Store
      5m 34s
  4. 11m 17s
    1. Finding files with Spotlight
      6m 6s
    2. Digging deeper with Finder searches
      5m 11s
  5. 23m 35s
    1. Configuring basic personal preferences
      11m 15s
    2. Adjusting Input Device preferences
      9m 38s
    3. Examining the basic system preferences
      2m 42s
  6. 1h 13m
    1. Organizing workspaces with Mission Control
      5m 49s
    2. Modifying Language & Text settings
      4m 5s
    3. Optimizing Security & Privacy settings
      6m 18s
    4. Getting notifications
      4m 38s
    5. Configuring displays and AirPlay
      2m 20s
    6. Using Energy Saver
      6m 1s
    7. Setting up Bluetooth wireless devices
      3m 39s
    8. Sharing files on a network
      6m 1s
    9. Configuring sharing
      6m 28s
    10. Editing your users and groups
      6m 48s
    11. Setting rules with Parental Controls
      7m 4s
    12. Taking notes with Dictation & Speech
      6m 0s
    13. Exploring the Accessibility settings
      5m 54s
    14. Listening with Sound
      2m 53s
  7. 36m 2s
    1. Organizing your business with Mail
      12m 42s
    2. Scheduling time with Calendar
      8m 32s
    3. Keeping tabs with Contacts
      5m 30s
    4. Tracking your tasks with Reminders
      3m 39s
    5. Staying in touch using Messages
      5m 39s
  8. 37m 18s
    1. Tracking your documents in TextEdit
      7m 3s
    2. Looking up words in Dictionary
      1m 56s
    3. Keeping notes with Notes
      3m 48s
    4. Working with images in Preview
      6m 14s
    5. Working with PDFs in Preview
      4m 27s
    6. Installing fonts with Font Book
      4m 42s
    7. Posting a note in Stickies
      1m 55s
    8. Adding things up with Calculator
      4m 46s
    9. Organizing apps with Launchpad
      2m 27s
  9. 34m 5s
    1. Navigating the web
      3m 38s
    2. Working with bookmarks
      4m 49s
    3. Using Reading List
      2m 4s
    4. Saving web pages and creating web clips
      1m 44s
    5. Viewing and saving PDFs
      3m 24s
    6. Using Safari to search the web
      2m 20s
    7. Opening local files in Safari
      1m 59s
    8. Working with preferences in Safari
      11m 1s
    9. Managing your Internet footprint
      3m 6s
  10. 8m 48s
    1. Playing media in QuickTime
      4m 15s
    2. Recording videos with QuickTime
      4m 33s
  11. 10m 13s
    1. Video conferencing with FaceTime
      3m 38s
    2. Taking pictures in Photo Booth
      3m 47s
    3. The great utility of Image Capture
      2m 48s
  12. 12m 40s
    1. Writing a simple Automator workflow
      4m 15s
    2. Creating an Automator application
      2m 20s
    3. Setting up an Automator calendar workflow
      2m 31s
    4. Creating an Automator service
      3m 34s
  13. 22m 1s
    1. Managing processes in Activity Monitor
      5m 13s
    2. Formatting, partitioning, and repairing storage devices
      8m 58s
    3. Taking care of your passwords
      4m 1s
    4. Setting up a Windows install with Boot Camp
      3m 49s
  14. 14m 57s
    1. Creating a boot drive
      3m 19s
    2. Understanding and configuring permissions
      4m 5s
    3. Exploring troubleshooting techniques
      7m 33s
  15. 19m 35s
    1. Getting your game on
      4m 1s
    2. Integrating with Facebook and Twitter
      2m 38s
    3. Advanced tips and tricks
      9m 35s
    4. Sharing files with AirDrop
      3m 21s
  16. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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