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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications System 10.7
Heavy users of Spaces from Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 may be wary of upgrading to Lion, as it's been completely replaced by Mission Control, which apparently does its own workspaces thing.

Well, actually, the workspaces in Mission Control are the same as the Spaces from (Snow) Leopard. The biggest difference is that they are now one-dimensional.

But the important thing is that application bindings to spaces still works, even though the preferences to set them have been removed from System Preferences. If you already had this setup from 10.5/10.6, the settings should transfer over to Lion. Even so, you may want to modify them given the new behaviors.

Here is a small guide on how to set this up. I'm sure there are commands that could make this easier, and I hope that commenters will supply them. Actually, my real hope is that someone will code up a GUI for doing this.

The settings are in the file ~/Library/Preferences/ You're going to want to open this in a good text editor, like TextWrangler. Note that Library is now hidden by default in Lion. A good text editor like TextWrangler will be able to browser hidden directories. If your favorite editor doesn't for some reason, you can open it with the Terminal command:

open -a YourTextEditor ~/Library/Preferences/

Replace YourTextEditor with the name of your actual text editor.

Once you have this file, you will want to edit the key workspaces-app-bindings. If you used Spaces in (Snow) Leopard, this should already exist. Otherwise, you will need to create it by adding:

somewhere in side the main <dict>. You may also need to add
above it (it's not clear to me, as I already had Spaces enabled).

Now, to add Application bindings, below the line, add lines like:
Here, the number in the tag is the space you want to add, and ch.sudo.cyberduck is the CFBundleIdentifier of the application you want, in this case CyberDuck. There is probably a better command to find this, but you can usually find the identifier by looking at the Info.plist file inside the application package (like Cyber and looking for the CFBundleIdentifier key.

As far as I can tell the old Spaces settings regarding the number of spaces have no effect in Mission Control. The number of spaces created is equal to the largest number of the spaces needed for open applications. So if you have application A mapped to space 3 and application B mapped to space 4, and you only have application A open, there will be three space created. But if you open application B, there will be four spaces. I haven't tested this thoroughly, so I may be wrong, though.

To make an application appear in every space, set the integer to 65544. This is a little glitchy in Lion (the application will not appear until you have finished switching spaces), but it works.

Finally, some tips. First, you will probably want to disable space rearranging in the Mission Control preferences. Second, full screen applications still create their own space (to the right of the allotted space). Third, you can setup Keyboard Shortcuts for the spaces in the Keyboard System Preferences, under the Mission Control section of the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. If you have a number pad, this can be a useful way of creating an illusion of two-dimensional spaces. Just pretend that the spaces are arranged like they are in your number pad. If you had Spaces from (Snow) Leopard, these settings will be transferred over automatically. It seems that you can set a keyboard shortcut for any space, as long as it is in existence, except for spaces for full screen applications.

[crarko adds: There are a lot of variables involved here, so be sure to have backups of the plist files before changing them.]
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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications | 9 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: jomiku on Feb 01, '12 07:50:58AM

If you are looking to set up spaces, you go into Mission Control, move the cursor to the top right area and a + shows up. Click it.

If you want to assign an application to a space, you use the dock. Right or control click and under options is "assign to".

I was really annoyed when this became less intuitive. Took me a while to figure out they'd made the doing part of the Mission Control "app".

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Feb 01, '12 08:30:24AM

Wow, talk about doing things the hard way! I admire the original poster's geek cred, but seriously, there is a much, much simpler and more intuitive way to do this.

To assign an application to a space, simple navigate to the space you want to assign it to, right-click on the application's Dock icon, go into the Options section of the menu that pops up, and click on the option to Assign to This Desktop.

If you want it to appear on all desktops, do the same as above, but choose the option to Assign to All Desktops.

To clear an application's assignment to any or all desktops, simply choose the option to Assign to None.

Edited on Feb 01, '12 08:31:15AM by Sesquipedalian

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: jonahlee on Feb 01, '12 09:25:39AM

I just wish that the Finder worked like it did in Snow Leopard. Previously I could set it o have a single finder in every space, now while I can have a finder in every space, they are different instances with different windows open, while I just want one finder in each space.

- Jonah Lee

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: designr on Feb 01, '12 11:33:53AM

Okay. I'm getting lazy in my old age. Too lazy to get my fingers dirty editing plist files or even poking at the dock.

Won't somebody please create an app that lets me organize all my spaces in one window, the same way iTunes lets me organize all my 'spaces' on my iPhone/iPad? Then Apple can finally steal the idea and build it into OS X.8.

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: mcoyle1960 on Feb 03, '12 05:48:48AM

Hmmm... Unlike a few of the previous commentators, I do not see any "spaces/workspace" options when I control-click on the dock icons. (10.7.3)

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: DamnItsHot on Feb 07, '12 04:17:18PM

All you have to do is click on the icon in the dock and wait for a menu to popup -- there is a small lag before this happens. Just requires a plain click, not right click.

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: gopes on Feb 09, '12 04:59:15AM

You don't see the options unless you follow the instructions of the first poster: you have to first create a "desktop" space (my term for a space that isn't a full screen app's space) by going into Mission Control, mousing to the right edge of the screen and clicking the "+" tab that appears. Then when you control-click on an app and go to the Options submenu you'll see the space assignment choices.

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: apenstaartje on Feb 04, '12 03:36:43AM

Will this help with apps not behaving / ignoring the assign to when set from the dock after a restart? Don't mind 'fixing' some of the apps here for once.

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10.7: Set default workspaces for applications
Authored by: ShadowBottle on May 07, '13 10:21:11AM

This is actually pretty helpful. There are applications that do not offer the ability to assign them to a particular desktop and if this will let me do it manually then many thanks.

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