General Question

futurelaker88's avatar

How useful is the "spaces" feature on a Mac?

Asked by futurelaker88 (1600points) February 23rd, 2010 from iPhone

new to Mac and keep hearing buzz about “spaces.” coming from windows it’s a hard transition to click something and it opens somewhere else where you have to keep switching around. perhaps it’s more useful then I realize. it seems it has to be based on thr positive things everyone has to say about it. is it widely used? do most people take advantage of spaces or is it just the few that do love it. I am transitioning to Mac and trying to get the most out of it. Thanks!!

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10 Answers

ShiningToast's avatar

It’s like having multiple monitors, with out the monitors. I use it every single day, I can’t remember life before virtual desktops. I have mine set up to a hot corner, so it is just second nature to flick my mouse up there to switch spaces. I suggest you give it a chance, with hot corners enabled.

plethora's avatar

How do you enable hot corners? I have a Mac and love it, but have never used the spaces feature that much.

futurelaker88's avatar

@ShiningToast – how is it on RAM? does enabling spaces eat up RAM? remember I’m brand new to Mac (3 days) and I think of CPU usage a’s it is on windows and I’ve been told it’s much different! I’m going to be primarily using it for final cut (video editing) will spaces hurt when doing so?

ShiningToast's avatar

@plethora System Pref> Expose and Spaces> Expose Tab> Those four drop downs at the top. You pick which corner enables which feature.

noyesa's avatar

It’s as well implemented as any other virtual desktop manager and has a few features that I like a little better. You can set apps like Mail or iChat to “all spaces” or something like that so that when you move to a different space and click on iChat it doesn’t rocket you back to the space where you opened iChat, but instead brings it up in the space you’re currently in.

I’m much more fond of hiding apps and managing using the Dock. I’ve never found any usability benefit to spaces and if I sit in one space for too long I tend to forget the other spaces are there and have running apps. Since if you click on an app that’s opened in another space it’s going to take you to that space anyway, spaces to me just seems like a round-a-bout way of hiding and showing apps.

Ultimately, I tend to completely forget spaces is even there. Even as someone you might consider a power user, Mac OS X is pretty darn good at managing multiple applications so I never really have a desire for something better or more complicated.

ShiningToast's avatar

@futurelaker88 Not at all. It’s built into the OS, so impact is microscopic, if there is any at all. I can’t notice it.

ShiningToast's avatar

@noyesa I can understand completely what you are saying, I use it when I’m moving stuff between applications. If I’m just doing one task, I hide the ones I’m not using like you do.

noyesa's avatar

One useful thing I’ve found with spaces is when I’m using a virtual machine running Windows. I usually open the virtual machine in another space and run it full screen. That way, switching between full-screen Windows and full-screen Mac OS X happens as easily as switching to another space.

frdelrosario's avatar

There’s a definite gee-whizzy aspect to Spaces. When the user switches from Space to Space, the app being called zips into place according to its spot on the Spaces map.

Sometimes the best thing about Spaces is how it evokes Switcher from System 6.

The bottom line, though, is that it gives the user another way to organize running applications. Between alt-tabbing, Dock, and Spaces, the user is never more than one keystroke away from the app he wants to use next.

plethora's avatar

@ShiningToast Thanks for your help. Have been using Spaces much more now and you’re right. It’s really really handy.

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