OS X: How to Change Desktop Spaces With Just One Key, Not Two

| TMO Quick Tip

In OS X, we can have up to 16 desktop Spaces. They're managed by Mission Control. The default way to move between Spaces is with CTRL plus, simultaneously, the right or left arrow key. I have found that to be inconvenient at times, and so I looked into how to change the shortcut key that changes Spaces.

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I am right handed. What I discovered in my own case is that my left hand, resting over the left side of the Apple aluminum keyboard, covers all the special function keys. In order to exercise the default operation of CTRL + right arrow or CTRL + left arrow, I have to lift my left hand and locate the CTRL key. It only takes a second, but when I did it over and over, it became an annoyance.

The solution is found in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Mission Control By default, it looks like this:

The default.

To change the shortcut, double click the current choice on the right side. A rectangle will light up around it. Then press your desired key (or key combination). I found, in my own case, that F13 and F14 were being underutilized. They also have the advantage of being on the right side of the keyboard, just centimeters away from my right hand.

Updated to single key operation.

Presto! It's fast and easy for me as a right-hander, especially when I have a cookie in my left hand.

Single keys, oh so close now. 

Comments

Fotograf

Great tip! I have assign shortcuts to mouse and change desktop space with it smile

Brutno

For those portable users that lack F14 and F14, a four-fingered swipe (left or right) changes spaces.

Brutno

For those portable users that lack F13 and F14, a four-fingered swipe (left or right) changes spaces.

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