How to Enable Multiple Desktops In Windows

A few months ago when I bought a netbook with Windows XP on it, I was reminded of how bland a user experience most Windows users have.  I used a Mac for 90% of my computing for 5 years and grew accustomed to some how productive I got.

Apps like Launchy, Gimp, Chrome and Open Office were some of the first programs I downloaded. This still did not simulate one of the Mac app I really miss, Expose. It’s not quite the same, but  MooO Multi Desktop helps ease the withdrawals.

The way MooO Multi Desktop works is, instead of 1 desktop, it expands the number to 4. I have been using it for a while now and am really liking it. Being able to have a less cluttered desktop is a great thing on a small 11 inch screen.

Setup

The setup uses the typical installer you click through to set up. If you are running XP however, it is recommended you install an additional “helper” program called MooO Xp Desktop Heap. It helps expand the number of open applications you can have running at one time.

xpheap

Using it

You can use  MooO Multiple desktop a couple ways. When the application is running, you will see a little rectangle with 1234 in it.

mooo-bar

You can click on the number to go to the desired desktop.

Shortcuts

There are a couple ways to navigate through your desktops with several different key combinations.

The first set is by pressing the Windows key (default is Ctrl) and 1,2,3 or 4.

The second way is to press the Windows key (default is Ctrl) and the left or right arrow.

Minimize and restore

You have the option to hide the desktop you are on by pressing Ctrl and the down arrow. Similarly, you can restore the minimized desktop by pressing Ctrl and the up arrow.

Change the shortcuts

If you use other programs which share the same keyboard hotkeys as MooO multi desktop, you are given the choice to change the combination. In some programs you have installed, the Ctrl or the Alt keys are used in combination to activate a command.

mooo-options

In these cases, it is a safe bet that most programs do not utilize the Windows key as the hotkey.

Conclusion

After using MooO Multiple desktop for a while, I really like it. There are a few things to take note of when you first start using it.

Most applications will only work in one window. By that I mean, if you have Tweetdeck open in window 2, you cannot have it open in window 4 also. However, some applications such as GIMP will allow more than on occurrence to be running.

If you are the type of person who typically has 2 different web browsers, Tweetdeck, your desktop email client, instant messengers  and who knows what else open all of the time, you will love this app. It is also great for Windows machines with smaller screen or anyone looking to be a bit more productive.

Also check out the virtual desktops for Windows for other choices of software to enable multiple desktops.

How do you keep all of your windows easily accessible on a small screen?