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10.7: Assign an application to a Space System 10.7
In previous versions of OS X, you could specify in which space an application should open. With Lion, there is no such an option in the System Preferences.

Instead, Control+click the application's icon in the Dock and look in the Options sub-menu. There is a section called 'Assign To.' There you can assign the application to the current desktop (space), all the desktops or none.

The last option is the default value, where the application is open in the desktop focused at the moment of launch. If it is already assigned to another desktop, it will be shown as an additional option.

For example, if you want Tunes to open in your third desktop (assuming you have at least three desktops), go to the third desktop and then Control+click on the iTunes icon in the Dock, go to Options and then click on 'This Desktop.'

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I like this interface change.]
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10.7: Assign an application to a Space | 15 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: WilGeno on Aug 01, '11 08:39:58AM

Well, at least this makes spaces "usable" again. Now if only ctrl+arrow would wrap from the last space back to the first space like it used to we'd be back in business.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: astack on Aug 01, '11 10:49:51AM

Apologies for this being a little off-topic but... I haven't tried using Lion yet, but for us unix users, the whole idea of assigning an application to a particular space is anathema. Rather than being application centric, I prefer to organize my spaces around projects, i.e. have each project I'm working on with all it's associated documents, images, etc. assigned to a particular space. 10.5 and 10.6's application-centered spaces are really hard to use for old-school unix users like me. It sounds like 10.7 might improve on that, but it's hard to tell.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: peterholdn on Aug 01, '11 11:35:24AM

If you have the application assigned to "none" then you can move have different windows for the same application open in different spaces. You seem to have to open it where Lion expects it to go (in the same window as the rest of the application) and then move it by itself in Mission Control to the appropriate desktop, but you can do it.

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Relax, it's only ones and zeroes.



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Doesn't work when logging back in
Authored by: bankshot on Aug 01, '11 10:29:48AM

Applications that are restarted at login (due to the "Reopen windows when logging back in" checkbox) do not honor their assigned spaces.

For example, I have iTunes assigned to space 3. If I'm logged in and it's not already running, it correctly starts up in space 3 when I click its icon in the dock. This is true regardless of what space I'm in when I click the icon. This is the expected behavior.

But if I leave iTunes open when logging out, along with the above checkbox checked, then iTunes will appear in space 1 (along with everything else) next time I login. This is true of all applications with specific assigned spaces. It is not the correct/expected behavior.

I suppose I should file a bug report with Apple.



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Doesn't work when logging back in
Authored by: David Allen on Aug 01, '11 05:34:52PM

That is not my experience. The apps open exactly in the Space that they are assigned, even when they are opened by Lion's Resume feature after a restart.

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Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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Doesn't work when logging back in
Authored by: bankshot on Aug 04, '11 02:08:27PM

Interesting. So apparently, this bug is not universal, which means it may be harder for Apple to reproduce and track down. I'll have to play around with it some more and see if I can identify any conditions that trigger it or make it go away. For now, I just know that it happens every time on my user account.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: jakerich on Aug 01, '11 10:42:51AM

This didn't work for me. Options only has three items, Keep in Dock, Open at Login and Show in Finder. Is there some other setting I'm missing?



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: cibi3d on Aug 01, '11 11:03:01AM

Probably you only have one single space... Enter Mission Control and add at least one more. Then, try again with the Dock menu. Hope it is helpful for you.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: jakerich on Aug 02, '11 05:50:58AM

That fixed it. But now, when I open the application it shifts to that space, but the upper bar isn't visible, so I can't control the application. I want to use this with VMWare so that my one need for Windows won't sit on the main space.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: jakerich on Aug 02, '11 01:38:34PM

Roboot fixed it. Curious.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: peterholdn on Aug 01, '11 11:38:09AM

You have to have created additional desktops in addition to the default one before you assign the app to it. You cannot assign an application to a desktop that doesn't exists at the time you try to assign it. Not sure what happens if you delete a desktop that has applications assigned, but I assume that application just reverts to default behavior and opens in the current desktop.

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Relax, it's only ones and zeroes.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: TheTSArt on Aug 01, '11 08:54:39PM

I don't understand the usefulness of this feature. There are times I find myself with 4 or 5 desktops, usually because I took Safari or something out of full screen mode. However, when I restart they are all gone and I'm back to just one. Plus every time I go into Mission Control things are rearranged since last I saw them. Desktops in Lion just seem more temporary than they were in Snow Leopard's Spaces.

I just tried this hint and if you delete the space or restart, it doesn't re-create the replacement desktop for it. I would think an option to create a new desktop when an application launches might be more useful.



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: quiiney on Aug 04, '11 03:42:48PM

To stop spaces rearranging themselves, head over to System Preferences > Mission Control and uncheck the checkbox next to "Automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use" . I'm pretty sure this is checked by default and if unchecked should stop the spaces rearranging themselves!



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: revlee on Aug 02, '11 09:26:48PM

It doesn't seem to work for "launchpad" either. I would like launchpad to be on my 2nd desktop...swiping left or right saves a locate and click to open the program. ...Any ideas?



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10.7: Assign an application to a Space
Authored by: sixx on Aug 18, '11 08:55:39PM

Some quirks i noticed

* Desktops could be listed in any order, but Desktop 1 would be the left most after the widgets/apps
* From Desktop 1 you cant "scroll left" to the right most desktop like before
* Office Communicator : when new messages appears it would appear in the Desktop which you are currently working on.
* QNAP's qget : similarly sometimes when opening a torrent it would switch to the desktop which is running qget while the window appears in the Desktop you were on.
* Canary, Chronium : Full screen mode could appear anywhere between Desktop1 to anywhere else;
noted something wierd, <Desktop 1> <Desktop 2> <Canary Fullscreen> <Desktop 3>, If my finder is on Desktop 1, from <Canary Fullscreen> i use 3 fingers swipe up to bring mission control and then choose Finder window. So now i'm in <Desktop 1> then i use <Alt>+<Tab> to switch back to <Canary Fullscreen>. Next i bring up mission control and it is now listed as <Desktop 1> <Canary Fullscreen> <Desktop 2> <Desktop 3>



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