Prior to Leopard, when I needed to switch between Aperture and another application, I always used a variation on basically the same technique:
- Launch Aperture.
- When I needed to switch to another app, press Command-H to hide Aperture.
- If necessary, press Command-Tab to switch to the second application with the Application Switcher.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 to switch back to Aperture.
The Command-H step may seem silly, but I like to keep my screen as tidy as possible, seeing Aperture’s window in the background always drives me crazy (unless I’m trying to drag-and-drop into it). So when Leopard introduced virtual desktops with Spaces, I figured I’d give this new feature a try.
How great are these new drop-shadowed screenshots from Leopard?
I dug around the Spaces System Preferences and decided to assign Aperture its own Space. I left the shortcut to switch between Spaces at the default Ctrl-Arrow Keys. Then I decided to force myself to put the kibosh on Command-H and tried interacting with Aperture like this:
- Launch Aperture. My screen shifts to the left and Aperture opens fullscreen in its own virtual desktop.
- When I need to switch to another application, I press the Control-Left Arrow shortcut and Aperture slides away.
- I switch back to Aperture with Control-Right Arrow.
Now this may not seem that different than my old technique. And at first, I must admit that I didn’t see the value in Spaces. But a happy accident occurred and showed me the light: I used the Spaces technique while Aperture was in Full Screen mode. Without thinking about it, I switched away from Aperture and went and typed an email. But when I switched back to Aperture with Control-Right Arrow, it was still in Full Screen mode.
Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! My Adjustments HUD was right where I left it and the photos I was working on were still in place. This is incredibly cool. I spend most of my time adjusting photos in Full Screen mode, so this simple little trick has completely changed the way I interact with Aperture.
Give it a try. And please share any other Aperture/Leopard tips and tricks in the comments. I’d love to hear other ways Leopard is changing the way you use Aperture.