Use "Spaceman" to track your Mac's virtual desktop


Mission Control is a feature of macOS that provides multiple desktops. You can switch between desktops using keyboard shortcuts, swiping on the trackpad, or opening Mission Control itself. This is great for multitasking - you can put different parts of your workflow in different places - but it's easy to forget the feature exists. Part of the problem: You can't tell at a glance which desktop you're currently using.

The free open source application Spaceman solves this problem. The application is located in the menu bar and shows you squares representing virtual desktops: your current desktop is black, other desktops are gray. You can choose to add numbers or even names to each desktop for even more context.

First, download the latest version from Github and install it. Launch the application and it will open in the menu bar. I recommend moving it to the right by holding down the Command key and dragging it to the right, but obviously the position is up to you.

This app not only displays your Mission Control desktop, but also any applications you may have open in full screen, which can help you keep track of multiple full screen windows if you do that frequently.

You can customize the appearance slightly. By default, you will see a rectangle for each desktop; if you prefer, you can see a rectangle with a number or just a number, or you can set a custom name for each desktop. Names can only be three letters long, which isn't a lot of space, but enough to get an idea of ​​what you typically use each desktop for.

In this example, I use Desktop One for writing, Desktop Two for research, Desktop Three for communication, and Desktop Four for entertainment. This can help you mentally differentiate the purpose of each space.

I wish Spaceman didn't need to exist - something like this would be better provided by macOS itself. I also want to be able to click on the rectangle to jump to the desktop, just like how it works on Linux systems. Other than those two points, I guess, there's nothing to complain about here - Astros solves a problem and stays out of your way, all for free.