Fullscreen apps don't fit to their assigned screens

Hi there, I’ve created a 8 spaces, and assigned the most used programs to any of them. For example I created a space called Finder, and assigned the Finder app to open in that space. Right for now, yes? Well, when I go fullscreen mode in Finder, it creates a new Space for it!!!

Sorry, I thought the idea was to have the programs sorted and well assigned to the planned spaces!!

Thank you!


Hi, yes that’s OSX behaviour that I don’t modify or control. Full screen apps occupy their own special spaces. Which is somehow logical, as if that wasn’t the case then any other windows you had open on that particular space would become inaccessible when one was taken fullscreen.

We did have an idea that we could support pinning full screen apps to a particular place in the grid, but this is complex as an app like Finder can have more than one fullscreen window

Hi, I really enjoyed this virtual desktops functionality (Spaces) in Snow Leopard, where you could easily create 4 desktops and switch between them using four-fingers swiping gesture. Some time ago I upgraded to Mavericks and I stumbled to new kind horizontal line virtual desktops organization (Mission control).
So if early it would be enough to make one swipe to switch any of desktops (as circulation was enabled), now I have to swipe through several desktops. And it’s not so convenient as previously.

Fortunately, I discovered TotalSpaces that tries to come back lost Snow Leopard functionality. But the logic of behavior for full-screen apps is still suffering.

Usually I use virtual desktops to sort a couple of virtual machines/remote desktops and to separate other windows by subject e.g. work/entertainment. Virtual machines/remote desktops usually take a couple of “screens” and in Mavericks they are follow the logic of full-screen applications.
But if I defined four virtual desktops in TotalSpaces I wait that these four desktops remain during all my work time. But suddenly if I work with some app on the second desktop and maximize it to full-screen - this app is becoming at the new fifth desktop. I never asked about it, I waited that that the app remain on the second desktop. But ok, I manually rearrange desktops, so that app appear on the second desktop and when I close it, one desktop disappears and again I am a little bit disoriented. As a result, I don’t like this idea of creating and deleting new desktops for full-screen apps. And if you created TotalSpaces to bring functionality of Snow Leopard, could you make it a little bit the same from logic side of view.

Can you control and forbid maximizing to full screen app?
Could you make such option - e.g. if an app is alone on the desktop - to not create new desktop and leave it on the same place it was. As a next step of this idea - displace another apps from this desktop to the first desktop. Of course here user would not able to open more then three full-screen apps in four desktops configuration.

It has been suggested that when you fullscreen an app, then the desktop that the app window was on should be obscured by the new fullscreen.

It could present some problems, not least of making the apps behind it inaccessible.

Right now we just allow OSX to make a new desktop, and add it to the grid. But I do understand the problem. It’s just that fixing it without confusion is likely to be hard.

Thank you for your understanding of the feature request, although you are not so optimistic about it.

Let me give some ideas about implementation of this feature:

  1. As I can see in TotalSpacesGrid you can easily change the place of the desktop (even for a fullscreen app). So let’s place the newly created desktop for a fullscreen app not in the end, but to the place of current desktop. If there are any apps on that desktop together with an app that maximizing they just stay on that old desktop that becomes the next desktop after fullscreen app.
    Example: a) I have Virtual machine, Terminal and Textedit on desktop #2. b) I maximize Virtual machine. c) The desktop with fullscreen Virtual machine becomes desktop #2. d) Terminal and Textedit appear on desktop #3.

  2. As I can see in TotalSpacesGrid you can easily move windows between desktops, also if you remove desktops in Preferences/Layout - windows from removed desktops move to the first desktop. So in addition to to previous idea it would be nice to move all windows from current desktop to the first (home) desktop. And delete the last “protruded” desktop.
    Example: in d) from last example Textedit and Terminal appear on desktop #5 in four desktop configuration. e) Textedit and Terminal windows move to the first desktop. f) Desktop #5 is removed.

Of course there are some questions.
i. What if a user wants to maximize an app on the first desktop. Let’s “protect” it from fullscreen apps - just maximize it on desktop #2.
ii. Another issue is if a user wants to open and maximize more fullscreen apps than the desktops he has. Here we can “protect” system from maximizing of any other fullscreen app (I don’t know if you can prevent fullscreen app from maximizing), or give up and allow to create new desktop (it’s not a big thing to sacrifice).

What do you think about this ideas? From the first sight all the functions are already implemented in TotalSpaces. Now arranging them in the right sequence seems not a big thing. How complicated is it for you to implement this feature? (if anything - I can help you to write the requirements and algorithm in details)

Hi! Just chiming in here to say that I’d love to see a feature like this. We’ve discussed my use case here:


I totally second the request. While on one hand I do think that the default behavior (fullscreen apps go to their own new space) should remain like it is (otherwise normal users would be confused) on the other hand a custom option to change this would be killer. Some workflows and usage patterns really really need it. Please do it - I would use it from day one and I would be an happier paying customer.

About implementation details - why not keeping it simple and make fullscreen apps become fullscreen on the space they’re already in, and just let other apps stay obscured if any one is present? They will simply be back there when the app goes out of fullscreen.

In this way there would be no surprises whatsoever: no new spaces and no app is changing spaces. IMHO this is the need that anyone who uses workflows where certain related tasks are on specific spaces has: predictability - things remains always where they were. For example I have a 9x9 grid, I have my text editor in the center, the browser above, the terminal on the right, email on the left etc. The spatial relation between spaces is the key: the browser must be above the editor always, fullscreen or not. I use the keyboard shortcuts to move around fast and what’s the use in having a grid with circulation if things go where they shouldn’t be?

Workspaces pinning wouldn’t be as useful as simply opening the fullscreen app where the app already is would, because I often change workspace usage and tasks and I remember on the fly where I left things. The browser always going fullscreen on the third space for example would not be flexible enough - I want to move the window around and going fullscreen exactly where I left it, no questions asked.

I have one last feature request. the fullscreen animation, with the backround slowly sliding and the window scaling at the same time, is just slow and horrible. I know that this is not strictly related to totalspaces2 goals and features, but have you considered an hack to permit users its disabling? I’ve searched the net for it but I found a lot of disgruntled users and no fix. It seems that there is no easy way to disable it. Could you consider adding an hack to totalspaces2, or would you accept a bounty for an opensource fix just to this problem? I bet that you could collect a fair amount this way if we make the bounty known (http://reverttosaved.com/2013/06/26/an-open-letter-to-apple-about-motion-sickness-triggers-in-os-x-mavericks-and-ios-7/)

Thanks, and keep up the great work!

@ggrocca We do disable the fullscreen animation when you turn transitions off. There isn’t an option to disable it if transitions are on though - but an option is certainly possible.

Regarding the way the open-in-place feature should work - it’s reasonable. The issue I need to think about is what to do if the user accesses the hidden desktop via mission control.

Hi @stephen !

thanks for the incredibly fast reply :smile:

About mission control and the hidden desktop: I see, the problem is that the flat view on mission control would still show two desktops. What happens then? I personally feel that mission control should be hacked to just show, fullscreen, the current space, and no spaces whatsoever. with totalspaces installed the flat view of the spaces above expose’ is 1) a waste of screen real estate and 2) not consistent with the grid view provided by totalspaces. I totally understand that this would probably require way too much effort - It would probably easier to replace mission control with a complete expose’ reimplementation - which would not be an easy task just the same, am I right?

A quick hack that comes to my mind would be to do everything as it’s done now, but swap the position of the new fullscreen space with the old one on the grid. As the fullscreen app stops being fullscreen, the old space resumes its place. A bit hackish and not really polished but it could be a start…

Thanks again! I will stop bothering you and patiently wait for whatever solution (if any) you could come up with it, I swear :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve tried to disable transitions, thanks for the tip. What happens for me is that the sliding effect is not there anymore (which is better) but the scaling effect is still there and slow as before. Don’t worry, I know that request was slightly off-topic - totalspaces job is managing spaces and not fullscreen transitions. I would still love for that animation to be disabled or made faster though…

Dear @ggrocca and @tyler, thank you that you feel lack of the same feature as me.
Dear @stephen, I hope for your understanding and you can find some time to think (and maybe implement) this feature in your wonderful TotalSpaces.

Now I’ll try to illustrate my idea. For beginning let’s examine a very simple example:

Step 1. Browser in on the desktop 2. Let’s fullscreen browser.

Step 2. Browser moved to the bottom as the last desktop 5. Let’s switch desktop 2 and 5 places.

Step 3. Looks fine, except the last unnecessary desktop 2. Let’s close/remove it.

Step 4. Apps from desktop 2 moved to desktop 1. Looks great!

I think that steps 2 and 3 could be easily automatized.

Also, I don’t think it’s a good idea to “hack” Mission control. And to make sure that this scheme correspond with Mission control - I made the same steps there. No any controversies or incompatibilities.

Step 1. Browser in on the desktop 2. Let’s fullscreen browser.

Step 2. Browser moved to the bottom as the last desktop 5. Let’s switch desktop 2 and 5 places.

Step 3. Looks fine, except the last unnecessary desktop 2. Let’s close/remove it.

Step 4. Apps from desktop 2 moved to desktop 1. Looks great!

Dear @stephen, what do you think? Is it very difficult to implement this feature?

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Just posting again to pledge my support/desire for arbitrarily positioned fullscreen apps that you can switch to with ctrl+#.

Can you put a dollar figure on making this feature happen @stephen?

@tyler If I remember correctly, you wanted full screen app pinning (so the app launches to fullscreen in a particular location always). I guess this is slightly different from what’s discussed here.

If I were to make full screen apps open in place, would that be ok? I mean, there wouldn’t be pinning, you would have to open the full screen app on the space you wanted it to be in.

I want to tackle this issue within the next 2-3 weeks, but I need to know if tackling the in-place fullscreens would be suitable for you.

Pinning would be nice, but I don’t mind moving things around if I have to. What I really want is the ability to switch between fullscreened apps using ctrl+#.

This is how I use my machine:
Desktop 1: Browsers
Desktop 2: Programming (SublimeText 3)
Desktop 3: Email (Sparrow)
Desktop 4: IRC/Chat/Twitter/etc

In an ideal world, my code editor and email client would be fullscreened and I could switch to them with ctrl+2 and ctrl+3. I’m totally fine with manually moving them around if pinning is difficult to implement–I generally have them running for days or weeks at a time.

Thanks for responding!

Hi guys - I’m happy that there’s interest in such a feature. I’m not incredibly interested in pinning (not that I have something against it obviously) - I have a similar workflow as tyler’s, but things tend to move around and I use arrows to move between spaces. The important thing to me is spatial memory of what was where in the grid of spaces, following the principle “everything is where I left it”. I’d love the grid to be fixed in number and position of spaces and the eventual apps behind the fullscreened one to be hidden somehow as long as the app is fullscreen and to be back where they were once the app is windowed again.

this is similar to @mspnr proposal, except that he proposes to relocate other windows to the first space which I would find unoptimal.

It also seems to me that a solution that works for me should be OK for @tyler too if I understand correctly his last post.

I still miss all the details of how it should be done exactly (from the interface point of view) without breaking other things (as we said, mission control, etc). @stephen, I know that you fill find a way! :slight_smile:

If you have ideas you want to discuss or alpha software to test, I’m here. Thanks for the great support

@tyler I wonder have I been missing the point all this time? If you fine moving them around, is there any reason you can’t just assign the hotkeys you want in TotalSpaces2 layout preferences?

Well shit, it looks like it. I have a bunch of extra desktops floating around as a result, but it works. Having them automatically fullscreen and go to the right position would be amazing, though.

Actually, I just tried closing a SublimeText project (I typically have 5+ open) and it dropped me out of fullscreen mode, so it looks like I would be moving things around all the time. That is definitely outside the scope of this request.

Yeh, I can see the issue with moving things around - the original request in this thread is about not having desktops change position when fullscreens come and go, so perhaps it would help.

I’m with @ggrocca on this. I would like to have a fixed grid size and in-place opening of full-screen apps, with hidden windows being back where I left them once the full screen app is closed.

Is it technically impossible in Mavericks to have additional windows in a full-screen-space (which would be hidden naturally)?