How To Use Spaces Effectively With Multiple Monitors On The Mac

Many people swear by Spaces, a feature on the Mac that allows you to have multiple desktops, and have applications “assigned” to each desktop. I think it’s a fantastic idea too, but using it together with multiple monitors just creates a bad experience.

mac spaces snow leopard

The current problem with it now, in my opinion, is that Spaces takes all your monitors as one desktop. So if you switch from Space 1 to Space 2, all your monitor switch together. That makes using your spaces much harder to use. Ideally, each monitor should be able to have their own independent space, so that you can have better control of what goes where.

Until Apple incorporates this functionality, I won’t be using Spaces to its full potential. As such, I’ve resorted to using Spaces in a pretty “dumbed” down way while my Mac is plugged to my external LCD. Instead of a fancy 4×4 or 3×2 matrix or something, I only have 2 Spaces created. The first space is my “working” area where everything opens in by default, and my second space is my “all others” area, where I can throw things that I need open, but don’t have to refer to as much. These can be things like my FTP windows, my Mail window, my Adium, my Tweet Deck etc. Everything else has to be in the first space because I find that I work between them all the time (e.g. moving files, copying text, referring to documents, and so on).

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Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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