Get more out of Spaces with Hyperspaces.

by Andy Bewernick

Get more out of Spaces with Hyperspaces.

by Andy Bewernick on November 18, 2008

When Steve Jobs first sat down to introduce us to OS X Leopard during the WWDC conference in 2007, one of the fantastic new features was Spaces. It was showed off as a great way to organize your desktop and was able to act like having several external monitors within one. Since the release of Leopard I’ve found this feature to be incredibly useful. I’m the type of user who has many application windows open at the same time. My workspace gets very cluttered and it’s hard to navigate all the windows even with Expose. Now with spaces I’m able to move each window into new workspaces. It’s a nice feature and it’s something that really sets Mac apart from Windows. Spaces still feels like it’s missing a few features. Hyperspaces helps to remedy one of these problems.

Hyperspaces. The review.

hyperspaces download public preview

Hyperspaces is the brain child of Tony Arnold, a member of The CocoaBots. Borrowing a few words from the Hyperspaces page,

the ultimate way to customize your spaces. Customize each and every space the way you want using colors, desktop pictures, text labels and even the name of each space!”

Hyperspaces does exactly as advertised. The app itself sits in you menu bar showing you the name of which space your in. From the bar you can open up the preferences where the real fun begins. The first category has a few basic options, you can launch the app on login (it won’t cause a slow down on you system like a few other apps can *ahem* Bridge *ahem*), you can show the space name in the menu bar, show the desktop backgrounds in the Space Switcher, and you can choose to draw Space labels under the dock.

Moving to the next category is the main customization to you Spaces. It looks almost exactly the same as the System Preferences pane with a few more (and less) options. Here your able to set the name and font of your space as well as create a short cut to get to the space. Your able to have the space name show up on the desktop and choose the position of where it will show up on your desktop. Along with those customizations you can also add and delete rows of spaces which is pretty handy. The next tab is where you can add a unique background to a space. You can open up a new image (with options to fill the screen and have a translucent menu bar) or you can keep the default wallpaper set in your System Preferences.

Probably the most useful feature to Hyperspaces is the Hotkeys. While normally in spaces you can switch spaces by using a modifier and arrow keys (by default) as well as press F8 on your keyboard to view all the spaces. Here your able to add customized hotkeys for the Spaces switcher (which pops down from the menu bar instead of opening up every single space), add and remove rows/columns of spaces, as well as keys to switch spaces. I’ve found that the Space Switcher is a lot less obtrusive to my workflow when switching spaces. The main downside to the Space Switcher is that it will only show you the desktop background instead of a snapshot for all the open windows in each space.

Overall Hyperspaces is a nifty little app and can really help you get the most out of Spaces. It’s got a few bugs (it’s still in beta) that make you restart the app but otherwise it works very well. The $12.95 price tag is a little bit high but The CocoaBots is doing a good thing here. Download the public preview which allows you to customise upto 2 spaces without registering. 

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