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Chapter 2. GNOME Desktop Overview
Copyright and Legal Notice

2.4. Workspaces

Workspaces allow you to manage which windows are on your screen. You can imagine workspaces as being virtual screens, which you can switch between at any time. Every workspace contains the same desktop, the same panels, and the same menus. However, you can run different applications, and open different windows in each workspace. The applications in each workspace will remain there when you switch to other workspaces.

By default, four workspaces are available. You can switch between them with the Workspace Switcher applet at the right of the bottom edge panel. This shows a representation of your workspaces, by default a row of four rectangles. Click on one to switch to that workspace. In Figure 2.2, Workspaces Displayed in Workspace Switcher, Workspace Switcher contains four workspaces. The first three workspaces contain open windows. The last workspace does not contain currently open windows. The currently active workspace is highlighted.

Figure 2.2. Workspaces Displayed in Workspace Switcher

Workspace Switcher

Each workspace can have any number of applications open in it. The number of workspaces can be customized: see the section called Adding Workspaces.


Workspaces enable you to organize the GNOME Desktop when you run many applications at the same time. One way to use workspaces is to allocate a specific function to each workspace: one for email, one for web browsing, one for graphic design, etc. However, everyone has their own preference and you are in no way restricted to only using workspaces like this.

(Next: Switching Between Workspaces)

GNOME Desktop Overview
Table of Contents

2.1 Introduction

2.2. The Desktop

2.3 Windows
     2.3.a. Types of Windows
     2.3.b. Manipulating Windows
     2.3.c. Giving Focus to a Window

2.4. Workspaces (You are here)
     2.4.a. Switching Between Workspaces
     2.4.b. Adding Workspaces

2.5. Applications
     2.5.a. Common Features
     2.5.b. Working With Files
     2.5.c. Choosing a File to Open
     2.5.d. Saving a File

>> back to GNOME User Guide


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