Number of Spaces after going from Multi to Single Display

This is related to the new Mavericks functionality of handing multiple displays and the TotalSpaces change to accommodate.

First, there should be an option to keep with the old way of having Spaces tied to each other (per location on the Overview Grid) so there’s technically only one grid versus a grid for each display.

Second, I was surprised when I disconnected the MacBook Pro from the additional display and now I had 9 plus 6 Spaces all on the overview for my teeny laptop display. Less confusion from one perspective, but I can imagine another solution where if you kept same number on both displays, you could merge one-to-one for windows to each Space. Maybe you could tag them behind the screens so you can put them back to each display when I reconnect. Seems like some additional logic is required to do a good job on taking care of this for the user when providing multiple display option. At least offer a preference between the two variations of working with Spaces…

For the old way of having space grids not tied to an individual display, change the setting in System Preferences->Mission Control “Displays have separate Spaces”.

Second, I agree that Apple’s way of handling the combination of spaces when you disconnect an external monitor can be a bit unexpected. It is difficult to handle in a way that is intuitive though. But do try the Mission Control setting, it sounds like this may suit you.

Thanks for the tip. I’ll give that a try but I vaguely remember there was something about that option that I didn’t like. Will TotalSpaces then adjust how it handles Overview Grid and windows locations with regards to Spaces before and after connecting to Multiple Displays? Well, I’ll find out soon enough… :smile:

Hi Stephen,

Choosing “Displays have separate Spaces” makes a mess when going from multiple to single display. I’m regularly going from my office desk to my family room sofa with the MacBook these days. So when I hook up to my external monitor, I want to have nine spaces in each (thereby 18 spaces). I really only want nine that are tightly in tandem with corresponding nine on the two displays, but that’s a different problem.

So when I disconnect from the external monitor and fire up the MacBook at home, I have 18 spaces which is somewhat crazy. I end up deleting the lower nine, and then I have to add them back the next morning. I don’t like the solution of having the other display have just one space either.

I’m surprised more people don’t complain of this… Maybe not enough are moving back and forth with MacBooks. I can envision a solution to my problem, where TotalSpaces would note that I only have one display and use Spaces 1-9 and then bring back Space 10-18 when I add Display #2. I’d like the external to be my primary so 1-9 should move there, but I can live with always having the ones tied to the LCD laptop screen. For the windows that belong in spaces 10-18 when there’s only one display, I would be fine with those going to the corresponding space, but that’s only if similar grids are used on the separate displays. Maybe move them all to the last space in remaining display? Best trick would be to remember where they belong and put them back (unless user has moved them since). And also my desktop backgrounds… big mess when deleting and adding spaces each day!!! Need TS to remember for me…

Do you see what I mean for a solution and do you agree this is useful to implement? And is Apple’s psycho new schema for Mission Control getting in the way?