Yet another way to move app windows to Spaces

Spaces, which lets you create “virtual desktops” to separate your applications, is something I’ve learned to love on my laptop—I don’t really need it as much on my large screen at home, but it’s great for working on a number of things at once on the MacBook Pro. As you may know, there are a number of ways to move windows between Spaces in OS X.

You can enter the Spaces overview window (F8 by default) and drag windows around between Spaces there. You can also drag a window to a screen edge and the system will then switch to the next Space. Finally, you can click-and-drag on the window’s border, then press Control and one of the Spaces numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) to move to that Space, bringing the window with you. (There are probably a couple other methods I’m leaving out, too; feel free to add your favorite if I’ve left it out.)

While all of these methods work, there’s one more that I prefer, and it’s a variant of the drag-plus-Control-key method above. While I generally prefer keyboard-based solutions, reaching for the Control key and number keys requires an awkward hand movement—little finger down to Control, and then fingers reach up for the number keys. Instead of using these hard-to-reach keys, try pressing Command-Tab after you start dragging a window.

The onscreen App Switcher will appear, and you can then press Tab repeatedly to select an application that resides in another space. Release Command and Tab, and that application’s Space will come to the foreground—and bring your dragged window along for the ride. Release the mouse button, and the dragged window will be dropped in the selected Space.

The disadvantage of this method over the others is that you need to know which Spaces your various apps are in, as you won’t see it until you select it. However, I like that it’s relatively easy to press Command-Tab while dragging a window, so I find myself using this method quite often, despite that limitation.

Thanks to Mac OS X Hints reader James Carey for submitting this one.

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon