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John Bowdler

Using multiple desktops

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I’d appreciate advice on using multiple desktops.

I’m an editor, so my iMac tends to look like this:

Desktop 1

– MS Word (I have to use this as Word is the default program in the editing community)

Desktop 2

– Stickies (To Do lists; daily activities)

– TextEdit (writing text, especially emails which I then cut and paste into Mail; tallying the work done on the project of the moment)

– Pages (landscape view, two columns. I use this to create a Style Sheet – a list of words and styles required for the project I’m working on)

– Dictionary (easy to three-finger swipe from desktop 1 to use this: using MS Word’s dictionary is a pain)

I arrange these in a way that allows me to use them fairly efficiently.

Desktop 3 – Mail, Address Book

Desktop 4 – Safari

Desktop 5 – Preview

Desktop 6 – Excel

Sometimes I open up a full screen, which means the program creates its own desktop. Of course, if I log off all these screens disappear and I have to start all over again.

It’s a mess, but my strategy is to use different programs for different activities as it’s easy to switch between programs using command–tab. I also try to use native Apple programs as they should work better.

I’d welcome suggestions from the sages of the Maccast community on how I can work the system more effectively. For example, is it possible to freeze desktops (my understanding is that it isn’t)?

Finally, I haven’t upgraded to Mountain Lion as I’m worried my ageing iMac may go belly up. I am going to get a new iMac, although my finances are a bit dodgy. ):

Thanks in advance for your help, folks.


iMac mid-2007, 10.7.5, magic trackpad

Edited by John Bowdler
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