Navigate Leopard Spaces

Navigate Leopard Spaces
Mac Tip #316/21-Nov-2007

In the last Tip, Leopard has Spaces for work and play, I introduced Leopard’s Spaces, showing you how to turn it on, how to see an overview of all Spaces, and one way to move between Spaces. But of course there’s more.

Go back and look at that Tip, as it sets up a scenario I want to refer to here. In my example I had a BBEdit window open in Space 1. Space 2 was to its right and Space 3 below it.

Move windows

I suggested calling up the overview (F8) to drag a window to another Space, but there are other ways to move windows:

  • if you have more than one window open for an application hold down the Shift key while you drag one window to a new Space in the overview. All the windows from that application will move to the new Space.
  • grab a window by its grey title bar and start to drag it. While dragging press the key combination Control and a number key. For example to move the window to Space 2 I’d begin dragging and then press Control 2.
  • drag a window as far as possible to top, left, right or bottom to drag it to an adjacent Space. Note: when you drag upwards the window itself will get ‘stuck’ below the menu bar, but the cursor keeps moving. Let the cursor go all the way to the top of the screen in order to move the window.

Move Spaces

Move a whole Space by going into the overview and dragging the blue background. The Space swaps position with another Space, depending on the direction you drag.

Spaces and Exposé

My MacBook Pro screen with both Spaces overview and Expose active

My MacBook Pro screen with both Spaces overview and Expose active

Since Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Exposé has created thumbnails of open windows. Mac Tip #127/12-Nov-2003, Expose your Desktop introduced this feature.

Now we can combine Spaces and Exposé: use F8 to create an overview of Spaces and then F9 to tile all the various windows within each Space. If you use a laptop, as I do, you will need to also hold down the fn key.

The screenshot shows my MacBook Pro screen with both Spaces overview and Exposé active. My cursor is over the Mail window so an HUD appears to tell me I have 3 messages.

[Note: a HUD is a ‘heads up display’. It’s the dark transparent window that appears at certain places.]

Navigate to another Space

Spaces System Preference

Spaces System Preference

To just go to another Space without actually moving a window press Control and a Space number. For example, Control 4 switches you to Space 4.

Or click on the Menu Bar icon and choose a Space number.

The Spaces Preferences allow you to choose various settings, including which keys to use for navigating and whether or not to display the menu bar icon.

Coming soon: ‘Attach’ a particular application to a specific Space.

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  1. Vic said:

    I don’t know if this is an update but on my macbook, I have to press Fn and F8 to go to overview

  2. Pingback: » Customise Leopard Spaces -- Free Tips for Mac users ---

  3. Andy Piper said:

    You can also press C when in the Spaces Overview to gather all windows into the first space (toggle). I also like to set the bottom right corner of the screen as a hot corner that activates the Spaces Overview.

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