Add app badge and scale up current Desktop for better window switching

Hi, all

I’m using TotalSpaces2, and I found it’s hard to use when switching app windows in the same Desktop.
It shows all little boxes(app window preview) inside the small Desktop preview(expose mode),
very hard to find specific app window and switch to it, and yes, I know I can zoom in with shift key,
and yes again, I know I can put windows to other desktops, but I just need some of them there in the same one.
I’ve used TS2 to replace all OS window manage functions, so I have to rely on it to switch windows
both for different apps(like the MissionControl) and for same apps(like OSX’s app expose).

What I’m suggesting here is basically two things that will make it easier, hope you can adopt my ideas :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. Just copy OSX’s Mission Control, add a badge to the app window when using expose view, it’s easy to accomplish, and at least add an option to turn that on, helps a lot when switching windows.
    Some window are easy to spot(like distinguish terminal(I’ve turned it’s background to black) from notebook(white background)), some are harder(like distinguish Safari from Chrome), so I hope that I can selectively turn on the badge display rather than turn them all on/off.

  2. Add a option to enlarge the preview of the current Desktop, TS2 currently show all Desktops equally sized, but I hope that you can add an option to scale up the current looking Desktop, make it larger to easier switch app windows inside it, having trouble upload the image, I’ll just put a ASCII chart here, and edit it later:

    To explain it further:
    When I have 9 desktops(3x3), which I think is common, each Desktop is taken only 1/3 percent of the screen’s width/height, and window preview inside the Desktop preview is even smaller, which is why it’s hard both to spot and to select. But you can scale up the current looking Desktop larger to make this easier. Say by a factor of 2, it takes 2/(1+2+1)=1/2 of the screen space in a 3x3 configuration.

And I’ve encountered a strange bug with focus management(I think),
when I switch Desktop, it occasionally masses with window focus, and I’m using a Chinese Input Method, so I have trouble inputing things.
Later I found my inputed char goes to another window in another Desktop instead of the window that I’m looking at when I’m inputing,
so I think there may be a rare BUG about focus management, the edge case may be this:
I switched to another Desktop, and while the transition animation is playing, OSX mis-triggers Launchpad(I assigns too many gestures, so sometimes it mis-triggers),
then all inputs goes to Launchpad’s search box, though Launchpad is neither in focus or visible.

I’ve got a license from a friend, he buys TS2 and later decide not to use it any more, and gives his key to me,
days earlier I’ve clean installed OSX10 and of course loses my TS2 license. So I installed a trial version(busy copying my old files back),
and when my 14 days trial is over, I can still use TS2, I wanna know why? And can I just use it without buying a license or can I recover my license?
My friend has forgot his email and doesn’t use that email any more because of the spams(at least he told me so)…

I am currently working on a version of TotalSpaces2 that has single desktop expose, and I will add window labels to that.

Also, did you know you can press shift when on top of a window with you are in the overview grid to zoom in?

Sorry if there is a focus bug, I’ll try to reproduce it.

As for the license, if you know the email I should be able to recover it, email to There should be a notice visible when you change desktop if you exceeded your trial period. Maybe we should make it stop working (may do that later), but we hope people pay for it anyway if they like it.

Well, I know I can use shift to zoom in, as I’ve already mentioned in my post, but it’s cumbersome, I want to locate a window instantly instead I have to examine each of them…
I’m not sure how the focus bug happens, just happened, and I’m only guessing how it happened…

Is showing a notice when switching window the only thing what happens after trail period?
I’m not ready to pay for TS2, as I found it a little unsatisfying, I’ll consider buying it after some improvement.

As a matter of fact, I quit using TS2, not because the license thing or TS2 itself, but I really don’t get used to the multi-detktop thing, found it hard to grasp, don’t know why multi-desktop is better than one or maybe three. Actually I just want to switch windows easier, since OS X doesn’t provide a Taskbar like Windows, I tried TS2 to do the window switching things.

For just switching, many people use cmd-tab - is that helpful?

But, true enough, it doesn’t allow you to select windows.

Witch is one app that does though

Well, thanks in advance.
I do use Windows before and missed the days that I can switch windows using Taskbar or so…
I always want to keep track of things currently in progress(say I’m a control-freak…), and I’ve installed plenty of apps to see CPU/MEM/IO and other stat of my system realtime, and I almost never use fullscreen mode just because it can’t switch windows and can’t display status bar(have to put mouse cursor onto it to show).
In OSX, I know I have apps open(see from Dock and Statusbar icons), but I can’t tell how many windows are there, and can’t switch between them easily, so frustrating. I’ve tried multi-desktop approach, but instead of making life easier, it makes things more completed, besides windows, I have to manage desktops now…
I know I should have separate working spaces(desktops) for working or entertainments, but as I said, won’t 2 or 3 desktops more than enough?
And alt-tab, I know it could work, but as you said, just switch between apps, now windows.
Thanks in the end for all your replies. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hi @revin,

Maybe one of the two following apps could be what you’re looking for:

HyperDock - Gives window previews for each open window as a popup when you mouse over an app’s icon in the Dock
HyperSwitch - Gives window previews for each open window as a popup underneath each app icon in the standard CMD-TAB interface. Can be configured to do other cool window management stuff.

I have used both for years and have found them to be an excellent complement to TotalSpaces. HyperSwitch is free; HyperDock is not but is well worth the nominal cost.

Also, if you’re really after a Windows-like taskbar, there is always ubar. It’s pretty awesome as a Dock replacement, but it wasn’t quite what I needed for daily use. The developer offers a free 4-week trial and it’s also not that expensive after that.

Have fun!

Hi @posburn,
Thank you for your reply!
I’m actually getting used to OS X’s task management.
I used ubar, and seen introduction to HD and HS, they’re not what I needed.
Anyway, I’ll stick to OS X’s native window/task management now, and thank you again.