Full Screen Mode + Spaces = Amazing

by Charlie Miller

Prior to Leopard, when I needed to switch between Aperture and another application, I always used a variation on basically the same technique:

  1. Launch Aperture.

  2. When I needed to switch to another app, press Command-H to hide Aperture.

  3. If necessary, press Command-Tab to switch to the second application with the Application Switcher.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to switch back to Aperture.

The Command-H step may seem silly, but I like to keep my screen as tidy as possible, seeing Aperture’s window in the background always drives me crazy (unless I’m trying to drag-and-drop into it). So when Leopard introduced virtual desktops with Spaces, I figured I’d give this new feature a try.

How great are these new drop-shadowed screenshots from Leopard?

I dug around the Spaces System Preferences and decided to assign Aperture its own Space. I left the shortcut to switch between Spaces at the default Ctrl-Arrow Keys. Then I decided to force myself to put the kibosh on Command-H and tried interacting with Aperture like this:

  1. Launch Aperture. My screen shifts to the left and Aperture opens fullscreen in its own virtual desktop.

  2. When I need to switch to another application, I press the Control-Left Arrow shortcut and Aperture slides away.

  3. I switch back to Aperture with Control-Right Arrow.

Now this may not seem that different than my old technique. And at first, I must admit that I didn’t see the value in Spaces. But a happy accident occurred and showed me the light: I used the Spaces technique while Aperture was in Full Screen mode. Without thinking about it, I switched away from Aperture and went and typed an email. But when I switched back to Aperture with Control-Right Arrow, it was still in Full Screen mode.

Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! My Adjustments HUD was right where I left it and the photos I was working on were still in place. This is incredibly cool. I spend most of my time adjusting photos in Full Screen mode, so this simple little trick has completely changed the way I interact with Aperture.

Give it a try. And please share any other Aperture/Leopard tips and tricks in the comments. I’d love to hear other ways Leopard is changing the way you use Aperture.


2007-11-04 21:53:03
I might say, nice. It is still to buggy to be amazing.

There are several serious dock+spaces+focus issues that make using Spaces nice until the bugs appear. Then it's just annoying and frustrating.

Graeme Smith
2007-11-04 23:46:35
You know with your old technique instead of pressing command-h you could have just pressed h while you had selected Aperture in the application switcher to hide it?
2007-11-04 23:50:01
Please see my critics on Full Screen Mode and SPACES here:


2007-11-05 01:36:45
How compatable are the export API's in Leopard ?
Charlie Miller
2007-11-05 04:55:54

In my testing, the same bug does occur when I attempt to recreate it. However, I'm keeping Aperture in Full Screen mode for the majority of the time, and the bug only occurs in standard (non Full Screen)mode, so it's not terribly intrusive. I'm sure it will be addressed with a future update to Aperture.


random bob, a.r.c.
2007-11-05 07:47:25
I dislike full-screen mode due to the fact that the adjustments HUD kinda has to cover the image. The image that, uh, you know, I'm trying to edit. The one that I need to see. That one. The photo that would probably have been better off had I adjusted it while able to actually see it. ALL of it.


2007-11-05 11:49:34
Hmm, things I do with Unix/Linux since early '90 and with MacOXS for several years with virtueDesktop ...

Nothing new here...

Anonymous 2
2007-11-06 00:20:42
So exactly what non-destructive image editor were you using on Unix/Linux back in the early 90's (or now, for that matter)?

Do you enjoy being an internet cliche, or is that a hilarious side effect?