On an average day, I can find myself making use of at least eight applications. From emailing to iMessaging coworkers, almost every application in my dock gets used. Even during an article creation, I will make use of at least four. I would make use of one application for emailing/references, another application for getting sources, and two writing applications for writing and editing. If you use a lot of applications at one time like I do, then you need a tool that allows you to switch between them all quickly. That’s what Mission Control on Mac does. Let’s take a look at a few ways to make good use of it.
What Exactly Is Mission Control?
Mission Control is actually not necessarily an application, but more of an outlook on multiple applications running on your Mac. Mission Control allows you to navigate between the multiple applications running, perfect for when you have a lot running at one time. You can switch between the various applications running by moving your three fingers either up or down. When you move your fingers up, you are able to view all of the applications running. When you move the three fingers down, you are able to see all of the windows open for the application you are currently working on. For example, if you are typing up an article for further publishing, you may have Microsoft Word open for typing, iPhoto open for editing the photos, and possibly a third publishing application open. If you want to switch to iPhoto, simply move your three fingers up and select the application. If you want to switch to the second window of another article you are typing in Microsoft Word, simply swipe down and select the window. It’s very useful.
Your Mission Control Screen – Dissected
At the top, you have the various desktops open. These are different from windows in that they allow you to have various programs open and out of the way of the current desktop you are currently on. All of them are across the top of the screen when you activate Mission Control by swiping up. To activate another desktop, simply swipe up, move your arrow to the right of Mission Control, and press the “+” button. More toward the middle, you have all of the open programs in the current desktop you are working in. They have icons on each of them, allowing for easy selection. Dashboard can be activated in Mission Control as well, allowing you to check out some of your widgets. At the bottom, you have your dock.
Tips and Tricks
Let’s say you have about three desktops open and you are currently in Microsoft Word. Twitter is getting in the way and you want to assign it to a new desktop, getting it out of the way. This is very easy to do. Simply right click on the application you want to move. Then, under “Options -> Assign to”, click the desktop you want to send the application to. It’s that easy.
Perhaps you rather make use of that fourth finger when switching between applications, or possibly, you are just tired of having to swipe up three and then having to choose between the desktop you want to select. Mission Control makes this easier by allowing you to swipe with four fingers either to the left or right to switch between the desktops and Dashboard. Exposé has even found its way to Mission Control. When you are in TextEdit, you can see all of the documents you have previously been working at the very bottom of Mission Control when you swipe three fingers down.
More About Mission Control System Preferences
In system preferences, you have the ability to set sections of Mission Control that allows you to activate certain features (like LaunchPad etc) simply by moving your mouse to that region. Aside from assigning what Apple calls “hot corners”, system preferences also allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts as well, making a great use of the F1-12 controls when assigning this. The keyboard shortcuts make searching through your various activate applications even easier to do.
Are you more likely to use Mission Control now that you know what it can do? Let me know in the comments below the answer to that question, as well as what your favorite Mission Control feature is.
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