eXtensions - Sunday 29 October 2017
System Preferences in macOS, High Sierra: Mission Control
By Graham K. Rogers
Mission ControlMission Control can be activated in three ways: by using its icon in the Dock; using gestures (see Trackpad Preferences); or via Key Commands. There are four checkboxes for activating features with Mission Control:
Keyboard and Mouse ShortcutsWithin the Mission Control Panel, users may allocate specific keys for some of the operations. Four operations are available. Previously eight buttons were shown in two columns. I see only a single group of four buttons on the two MacBook Pro computers I am using (but see below). Where Function keys are shown, users may also need to press the Fn key, depending on setup.
When clicked, each button reveals a list of keys which may be used to reallocate the command. For example, instead of the default F9 for Mission Control, we may choose Right Shift. In my case, I have allocated the key combination of Control + Up Arrow and for Application windows, Control plus the Down Arrow.
When selecting a key, pressing on a modifier key (e.g. Shift or Option) adds that to the command. Re-allocation takes affect immediately. If a key (or combination) conflicts with other operations, or previously allocated commands, a yellow warning triangle is displayed alongside the button.
On my installations I may choose only Secondary Mouse Button or Middle Mouse Button. Connecting a mouse with more buttons and controls did not make additional options available.
If any of the control keys (Shift, Control, Option, Command) are pressed - alone or in combination - these also appear in the menu. They are accepted (or removed) by clicking the mouse.
Hot CornersSpecific actions may be allocated to any of the four corners of the screen in the same was as in the Desktop & Screensaver Preferences. As the cursor moves to the corner, an action is carried out. Options available are Mission Control, Application Windows, Desktop, Dashboard, Notification Center, Launchpad, Start Screensaver, Disable Screensaver, Put Display to Sleep and - (no action).
NotesMission Control manages Spaces. On new installations there is a single Space (plus Dashboard). On Macs that have used Spaces before, the same number is available after an update. This is also the case if a Time Machine backup is used at the time of installation.
New Spaces can be added when Mission Control is being used - click the icon in the Dock - by moving the cursor towards the top right of the screen (where there is a + button). A new, semi-transparent Space appears (using the desktop image from Space 1). By clicking in that new Space, it becomes active and is allocated a consecutive number (e.g. Desktop 7). This then also appears in Key Commands.
To remove a Space, slide the cursor towards the Space display when Mission Control is being used. An X will appear at the top left of the Space thumbnail. Clicking on this removes the Space.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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