You can use the Mac’s built-in Mission Control feature to sequester applications on separate “desktops” so your workspace will be clutter-free. (You can also use it to quickly see and access every open document or folder.)
Building on older technologies like Exposé and Spaces, Mission Control is a feature of OS X 10.7 and higher; access it by pressing F3 or fn-F9 on your keyboard or by clicking on its icon in your Dock (it looks like a square with three small app windows in it):
On a trackpad or Magic Mouse, you can also access Mission Control by swiping up with three fingers or double tapping (not double-clicking) with two fingers.
Once the interface opens, create a new desktop by dragging your mouse to the upper-right corner to reveal a plus button. Afterward, drag any application or window to your new desktop, and then you can move between desktops by pressing Control-Right Arrow and Control-Left Arrow
To learn the basics of Mission Control:
For lots of Mission Control tips from Apple:
For a tip on using Dashboard in Mission Control in Mavericks:
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.