Spaces Shortcuts on Mountain Lion – OSX Training
Once you activate Mission Control (the default is the F3 key), you can then use the Control-Arrow keys, Left and Right, to navigate between Desktop spaces.
If that’s not enough fine-grained control, you can also use the Control-1, Control-2, -3, -4, etc. keys to navigate directly to the Desktop space, in any order.
- Creating multiple Spaces (four, in my case) for various purposes.
- Assigning certain apps to always open on a specified Space (and certain other apps to open on all Spaces).
- Switching directly to a given Space using a keyboard shortcut.
All of this functionality remains available on Lion, but some of the settings have changed location. Let’s deal with the above points in order.
Creating multiple Spaces
On Lion, Spaces tend to instead be called Desktops, but I’ll continue to use the term Spaces in this article. To make more, enter Mission Control and hover your mouse over the top-right of the screen (or hold the option/alt key). You’ll see a “+” button, and you can click it to create a new Space.
You can also hover over any Space you’ve created (or again hold the option/alt key) to see a delete button, which you can use to delete that Space. You can only delete Spaces you’ve manually created.
Assigning apps to Spaces
Somewhat unusually, on Lion you assign apps to Spaces using the Dock. First, switch to the Space you want to assign an app to. Make sure the app is either running (and thus visible in the Dock) or has been added to the Dock. Then, right-click on its Dock icon and choose the “Options” submenu. You’ll see an “Assign To” section, where you can pin this app to either the current desktop (Space) or to all desktops.
The “None” option means that the app will simply open on whatever the current Space is when it’s launched.
Keyboard shortcuts for switching Spaces
You can still switch directly to a specific Space using the keyboard, but the setting is now in the Keyboard pane in System Preferences. Open that preference pane, then select “Mission Control” from the list in the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab.
You can choose shortcuts for switching left and right by one Space, and for going directly to a specific numbered Space.