From my days of running a PC and a Mac side-by-side, I am lucky enough to still have a 22″ and a 24″ monitor sitting on my desk. The PC is hooked up to the 22″ Samsung but rarely gets switched on these days, while the Mac Pro is hooked up to both.
As I work from home a lot of the time, I wanted to have my work desktop running in a VMware Fusion virtual machine and visible all the time on the 22″ monitor. On the 24″ screen I wanted to use the option to use Spaces so that I could flick between various Mac applications when I felt like it. However, by simply dragging the VMware window to the 22″ screen and then choosing to switch Spaces on the main screen, I found the picture on the 22″ screen would disappear!
The reason for this is that when you use Spaces on a dual monitor setup, it couples your monitors together in each space, so in essence Spaces is running on both screens. What’s more you can’t choose which space gets displayed on each monitor, so if you are looking at ‘Space #1′ on one monitor, then ‘Space #1′ will also display on the second monitor. So looking at the above scenario, I run say Firefox in Space #1 on my 24″ then load up VMware also in Space #1 on the 24″ before dragging it across to the 22″. Now let’s say I want to run Spore in a Window in Space #2 on the 24″ screen. As soon as I switch to Space #2 on the big screen, the smaller screen also switches to Space #2 and my VMware window in Space #1 vanishes from sight!
Got all that?
Mac OS X Leopard doesn’t let you run Spaces on just one monitor in a dual-head setup, but I eventually figured out the solution which is as follows:
- Go to your System Preferences and enable Spaces.
- Now, in the box in the middle of the Spaces settings that says Application Assignments, add an application using the + button.
- Just navigate to the chosen program in your Applications folder.
- Now the trick here is in the Space column to choose Every Space from the picklist.
Now, with VMware running in Space #1 and displayed on the 22″ screen, whichever Space I choose on the 24″ monitor, VMware will remain visible on the 22″ screen and won’t disappear like before. My only gripe with this solution is that as you invoke Spaces and are shown the ‘navigation’ view, it displays on both monitors. It’s only a minor niggle though because as soon as you choose which Space you want, both screens return to normal and my VMware work desktop is still in full view.
So until Apple update OS X and allow you to run Spaces on just one monitor, this is a reasonable workaround. At least I can now surf the web, catch up on newsfeeds and conquer the galaxy all while keeping an eye on the IM client and email on my work desktop!
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