Inside Apple Mac OS X Leopard’s ‘Spaces’

Apple today previewed Mac OS X Leopard which features a number of new technologies, one of which is called “Spaces.” Use Spaces to organize all your windows into groups and banish clutter on your Mac.

You can configure Spaces by visiting the Dashboard and Exposé preference pane in Mac OS X Leopard’s System Preferences. There you can create rows and columns and arrange your Spaces anyway you like, plus assign what function keys you want to control them. You can also lock specific apps to specific Spaces, so you’ll always know their locations.

You might want to create a Space for work, one for home, maybe one for Internet; it’s up to you. With the click a function key, you can drag all your application windows onto different Spaces. Create a communication Space for iChat and Mail. Organizing within Spaces is as easy as drag and drop and you can even rearrange the Spaces themselves the same way – every application window within the Space you’re moving goes along with that Space as you drag and drop it.

When you’re working in one Space and you want to move to another, you can get an Exposé-like overview of all your Spaces, or just toggle between them using keyboard commands. The Mac OS X Leopard Dock is integrated with Spaces, so when you click on an icon on the Dock, Leopard takes you right to the Space (or Spaces) where you have that particular app open.

How Mac OS X Leopard’s “Spaces” works:

Direct link to video via YouTube:

Find out more about Spaces and other new Mac OS X features via Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard Sneak Peek pages here.


  1. This will be amazing!

    Did anyone else notice that the iChat window he dragged between desktops changed from the right of the desktop to the left when he actually zoomed in on it? A little editing glitch, maybe?

    MW: income, as in “I wish I had the income for one of those new MacPros!”

  2. It’s nice. Not breathtaking, but nice. I’m still trying to find a reason to compel me to spend the money on the OS upgrade. With panther to tiger, it was widgets and spotlight. I’m wondering about the 64 bit capacity of 10.5. Are there any applications this would benefit?

  3. Looks a LOT like what you get with VirtueDesktops. Well, maybe it looks like the next version of it. Not exactly Virtual Desktops, as seen in CDE or KDE, but with features Virtual doesn’t yet have.

    NOT that I’m complaining! This is a Good Thing! Like eating a $12 steak when there’s a $15 steak on the menu … still better than the $8 steak.

  4. Yawn, this has been around for years. The default KDE desktop in most Linux distros have four desktops to switch between.
    And the draggable, rotating 3D cube effect in the XGL-enabled Linux desktops look much cooler than Expose’d desktops.

  5. Clyde, seeing as this was just a preview of some of the features I don’t think anyone is really in a position to decide if they’re gonna make the upgrade. Interface wise they could be running on old versions of the apps so as to not give away how everything is going to look. I think it’s fair to say we’re going to see a lot more between now and release.

  6. Been There for Years….so what?

    Just because a feature has been there before, does not mean that it’s useless! A built in virtual desktop feature is a great addition to the Mac OS, and for many consumers, will be the first time they’ve used/seen such a feature.

    Computre geeks have seen it all before, and *yawn* at new implementations of old features, but, as I said before, so what? This will be yet another reason for the average joe to upgrade his OS, and yet another feature a “mac-head” can use to entice his PC loving friends over to the better of the two platforms.

  7. clyde—

    you do know that this is only a small set of new features for 10.5

    steve even said himself they are not going to let you see all the upgrades until its about time for it to come out…

    on linux can you see all 4 desktops at once and choose whick desktop you want to switch to?

  8. Steve M..

    Not saying it’s useless at all. Obviously, Steve Jobs made quite a deal about Redmond copying features. Microsoft copied this, Microsoft copied that…. Blah blah blah.

    That’s cool & all, but then don’t in turn crib something that nearly every Linux distro has had for years. Kind’a hypocritical and ultimately they will be called on it.

  9. Been There for Years,

    Microsoft and Apple have been archrivals for 30 years. Linux is the new kid on the block and copies more from OS X and Windows than the other way around. Nobody cares if something is taken from Linux.


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