Mission Control is one of new Lion OS X features, and it’s very easy to use.
There are a few ways to open this app in your Mac, so you can choose which one is the easiest and quickest for you.
I personally often use the keyboard shortcut to access it, and these are the ways that I know until today (I am sure there are many more!).
Here are 3 options to open Mission Control
1. You can access it easily from your Dock, by clicking the icon which is located next to “Launchpad” shortcut icon.
When you click it, you will see “Dashboard” and “Desktop” on the top of your screen. To go back to where you were, just click again anywhere it your screen.
2. Use your Launchpad. In my previous post about Launchpad, you can use it to search your application shortcuts.
This includes Mission Control. If you click your Launchpad, between “Mail” and “Photo Booth”, you will find Mission Control shortcut, just click it.
3. Use F3 keyboard shortcut. As I mentioned earlier, I find using keyboard shortcut, at this point, the F3, and this app will be quickly launched.
Desktops in Mission Control
Once you can access this new Lion app, you will see “Dashboard” and “Desktop” on the top, and when you hover your mouse in the right top of your screen, you will see the “Plus” button.
If you click on this button, another new Desktop will be added, it will be labelled, “Desktop 2” while the other Desktop is now called only “Desktop”
Whenever you feel you don’t like to have two desktops, you can just easily close it by using the “X” button on the top left part of the app shortcut.
If this Desktop contains a few apps running, the running apps will be automatically moved to the active Desktop.
Adding Apps From One Desktop To Another
The use of these many Desktops is meant to help us organizing our screen.
For example, (also shown in the video), I have many apps open, let’s say, iCal, Mail, Safari, and each of these apps have many windows active.
If you want to organize your Desktop, you can separate these Windows to another new Desktop.
To navigate from one Desktop to another or from a Desktop to your Dashboard, you can use “swipe” feature, to the right, to your new Desktop, and to the left is to your Dashboard.
Also, you can use the CTR+ Arrows key to navigate between those apps, which is also very quick and handy.
Dashboard and Widgets
When you access Dashboard, there are 4 default widgets already included, which is calendar, weather widget, Clock, and Calculator.
If you are familiar to iPhone, you will be able to use it very fast, if you aren’t, it’s very intuitive by drag and drop, you can easily customize your Dashboard and its widgets easily.
To add widgets, you can click the “+” (Plus) widget button on the left bottom, and you will be able to choose many widgets you like.
This Plus button, is also a button that you can use to delete your widgets, because once it’s clicked, you will see the X Close/Remove small icons on the widget itself. If you click it, the widget will be disappeared.
You can add it anytime you like by adding widgets again.
Mission Control Settings
Actually, I forgot to include this topic in my video, however, the Mission Control how-to guide from CNET is very helpful and easy to learn, so you can also learn it from there.
However, to customize the settings, you can find it in “System Preference” and go to “Mission Control”.
My favorite is the hot keys, which can give you the shortcuts depending on your modification settings.
For example, I use the hot keys, in the bottom left to access my empty Desktop when I need to, although you can use the F11 keyboard shortcut.
My reason not to use the F11, is because my keyboard is the wireless one, and to execute the F11, I have to press the Fn+F11, which is a bit slower compared than hovering the mouse in the left desktop screen.
That’s basically about Mission Control, Dashboard, and Desktops in Lion OS X.