Get Started with Mac OS X Lion: Mission Control

August 13, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of the new version of Mac OS X. Version 10.7 is dubbed “Lion” and this release brings a whole new look to the OS X desktop, bringing together traditional elements of the Mac desktop with tools previously seen on the iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

This might sound a little unwieldy; certainly some users have complained that the transition has been tough to manage and that the iOS style interface of a grid of icons is tricky to use with a mouse. However, there is more to the upgrade than a bunch of icons!

The first thing any newcomer to Mac OS X Lion will have to come to terms with is the Mission Control system, a useful means of controlling and managing your Mac desktop.

Get Started with Mac OS X Lion: Mission Control

What Is Mission Control?

If you’ve ever lost track of all of your open windows or needed extra space on your desktop, Mac OS X Lion finally brings a great resolution to these problems with Mission Control, a system whereby you can quickly view all open windows, move them between different desktop areas and generally allow you to tidy things up a bit.

For instance, if you have ever found yourself closing several Finder windows in order to find the correct open folder view, or had multiple Safari windows open (and we’ve all done that, right?) then you’ve seen your desktop at its worst – untidy, with a scatter of application windows all over the place resulting in little or no organization.

Thanks to Mission Control, you can bring an end to all of this with a few simple swipes of your mouse!

The Fast Way to Tidy and Sort

With your desktop display cluttered and crying out for you to tidy it up, Mission Control delivers brand new functionality to make this task quick and easy.

Begin by swiping three fingers upward on your MacBook trackpad – this will create a whole new look for your Mac desktop as everything falls back to reveal additional desktop space that you can use (this is listed across the top of the screen), providing a complete view of every application window that you currently have open.

You can then begin the task of sorting your windows by dragging them to the different desktop areas listed at the top of the screen, or creating new desktops via the plus button in the top right.

Switching to one of these new desktops is a case of clicking on its image at the top of the Mission Control view, and you can exit Mission control by clicking into an application window or dragging three fingers downwards on the trackpad!

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