How to Use Mission Control on OS X 10.7 Lion

Mission Control is one of the most significant changes included with OS X 10.7 Lion. This new feature combines Spaces with Expose in a way that gives the users a single point of control for their various desktops and open windows in a snap. By putting everything together, Mission Control gives users the ability to switch between tasks in seconds instead of having to shift around various windows and apps.

The first thing you’re going to want to do with Mission Control is configure it to activate in a way that best suits you. If this means setting it to a hot corner, here’s how to make that happen:

  • Open System Preferences
  • Open Mission Control (located at the top between Dock and Languages)
  • Click Hot Corners… (lower-left corner of the Mission Control preference pane)
  • Select the corner you wish to assign Mission Control to and choose it using the associated drop-down menu

You can also launch Mission Control using a single keystroke (F9 by default) using the Mission Control preference pane pulled up using the first two steps mentioned previously.

Dashboard can also be integrated into Mission Control as a space using an option present in the preference pane. You can do this, in addition to automatically rearranging spaces based on recent use, and setting application switching behavior.

Now that you’ve configured Mission Control, you can put it to good use. Launch Mission Control so your windows are up and spaces are displayed across the top of the screen. You’ll notice a large + along the upper-right area of the screen. With a click, you can create a new desktop to allow you more space to work from without having to attach additional monitors.

An additional function available through the dock comes when you right-click an item. You’ll notice that under options you’ll receive the option to assign the program to a particular desktop or open it up for use on all desktops. This can come in handy in cases where you have a particular set of apps for business and another for leisure you need to keep split between two desktops.

If you’re using a dual-monitor setup, you’ll notice that each desktop actually works across both monitors. In addition, the windows and space previews stick to their individual monitors to avoid confusion.

With some practice, Mission Control can become a functional part of your basic workflow. It can save you time as you navigate through open windows and help keep your overall experience more organized.

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