Assign Apps to All Spaces – Mountain Lion

A short and sweet tip on How to Assign Apps to All Spaces in Mountain Lion (probably will work on Lion too). I was (and still are) a big fan of Spaces since it’s was first released in 2006 (you can watch a video of Steve introducing it here). I had this very nice and organized working workflow ever since:

  • Space 1: Creative Suite, Macromedia Freehand (just on my Snow Leopard station)
  • Space 2: Mail and iWork
  • Space 3: iTunes and iPhoto
  • Space 4: TextWrangler, Transmit and CSS Edit/Espresso.

But, throughout all the spaces, I would always have Finder, Twitterrific, Adium, Skype and Stattoo. This way if I changed spaces I could still have the same windows open from the Finder or my current chat with a client active without a glitch. I’m telling you, saves some time! Fast Forward to 2012. I upgrade my MacBook Pro, so it now runs not Lion but Mountain Lion. I get Mission Control:

Mission Control

I start working my way through the new system. Ok, it takes a bit to get used to. Not only Mission Control, but little things like iCal getting renamed to Calendar and Address Book to Contacts – but I work it… Except that when I’m switching from Space to Space I can’t take Adium, Skype, Stattoo or the Finder with me. Really a bummer really, I am used to do this for years and it does speed things up a bit. I try going to the System Preferences  panel to look for a little light but no luck. Where can I assign Apps to Spaces? I ask myself…

Mission Control System Prefs

Then, one night where I was working late I found it! It is now a but hidden… If you right click a Dock Icon with more than one “desktop” space available, you get a menu that has (at least) these items: Options, Show All Windows, Hide, Quit. If you click on Options, you can see that there’s an Assign To item. And there it is: All Desktops. Order is restored in the universe!

Tadah - Assing to All Desktops

Mac Spaces

So, I’m a huge spaces fan on Leopard. Since I don’t have an external screen and constantly on the road, Spaces is a great way to organize my workflow. To achieve this, I have some apps show on all spaces: Adium, Skype, iChat, Quicksilver, Statoo and the Finder. If you are familiar with Spaces, you know that you can’t add Finder since it’s not on the Applications folder, but there’s a little workaround to add that I’ll explain here too. And I have some apps on certain spaces, Creative Suite, iWork on Space 1; iTunes, on Space 2; Mail, TweetDeck, Things, iCal on Space 3; FontExplorer on Space 4.

First, you have to think how you can organize your work. I want my main “work” apps on Space 1, Space 3 for the communication apps and Spaces 2 and 4 for the less used but useful non the less.

First, you have to go to System Preferences>Exposé & Spaces>Spaces tab. There, you can add all the apps and assign either a single space or overall access on Every Space. I do this with the Chat apps since most of my communication with clients (local or international) is via IM- much more faster- so I need to be able to jump from one space to another with the chat window.

Now, the finder also is a good app to drag along on every space automatically. For this, click the little plus icon on the lower left corner of the Application Assignments window and browse: Macintosh HD>System>Library>CoreServices, there you can find the and add it to Spaces, then assign Every Space and voilá! You have Finder on every space now 🙂