Onboarding

Contents

First use

Login

When you first launch Control Space, you'll need to log in:

  • As an Early Access user, click "Forgot your password" to be emailed a link to create a new password
  • Once you've done that, log in as normal

Setup

Control Space will run you through a short setup routine before you can use it:

  • First, keyboard shortcut. This should be configured, but if it's not, follow the prompts
  • Next, where Control Space saves tabs when you save them. You can pick a custom folder, but let's go with the default
  • Finally, how many levels of folders – which will be 2 or 3 – to show in Saved Tabs.
    Don't worry about this too much for now – it's probably going to change in a future version of Control Space – so choose folders, and I'll show you workspaces in a few minutes.

Click finish, and we're done!

Tour

  • When control space first loads, you'll get the option to view a tour – this illustrates the main navigational features
  • You can also check out the preview video I released back in October – this demos the more recent organisational features (you'll find the link in the video description)

But for now...

User interface

Workspace

Let's get familiar with the main layout:

  • Your browser windows are represented by columns of tab items
  • The active window has a shadow
  • Active tabs (that is the current tab in each window) are darker
  • The greyed-out tabs you see are unloaded or have been put to sleep

Note that Control Space is a live 1:1 representation of your browsing session:

  • If you navigate in the browser, Control Space updates
  • If you close a tab in Control Space, the browser tab is closed
  • If you make a new window, in shows in both places
  • Etc, etc...

Side panels

Control Space's side panels allow access to Recent, History, Saved and Tools

The side panels are designed to stay out of your way – which can be a bit confusing the first time you use them!

To show the side panels, you can:

  • Move your mouse over and out to show and hide
  • Either on the icon, or the panel content itself
  • You can click to navigate and the panel will close

To keep the panel open, you can

  • Type to filter (hit Esc to cancel)
  • click the lock icon
  • double-click panel titles
  • Or click the panel icon directly

To change panels:

  • click the panel titles
  • Use Cmd + 1 / 2 / 3
  • Or Cmd + Left / Right

Navigation

Showing and hiding

To toggle Control Space window:

  • Hit Ctrl+Space
  • Or Esc to hide

Control Space is effectively hidden by going behind the last-focused window:

  • Because of this, toggling works best when all windows are the same size
  • You can use Tools > Arrange Windows to do this

Switching tabs

When you activate Control Space

  • "Search" will always be focused

You can type to filter, then:

  • Click the item you want to open
  • Use Tab / Arrow to navigate, and then hit Enter to switch tabs
  • Or, just hit Enter to open first item

Focus

Note that a key concept in Control Space is focus.

The idea is that your hands need never leave the keyboard:

  • Use the Arrow keys to "walk" in and out of the "Search" box
  • Use Tab to jump through the main UI areas
  • And Esc to always return to the Search input

Menus and shortcuts

You may have already seen that:

  • Panels, windows and items have a right click menus

  • And most commands have shortcut keys

Note that shortcut keys and right click menus operate:

  • Primarily on the focused element
  • Or if the focus is in a selection, on the selection

Organisation

Now that you're familiar with the UI, let's get you organised.

Tabs

You can move tabs around by:

  • Dragging them
  • Nudging them, using Alt+Arrows
  • Cutting and pasting using Cmd+X and Cmd+`V

You can multi-select tabs – just like your desktop – using:

  • Space
  • Cmd+Click for single selections
  • Shift+Click for contiguous-selection
  • Or Shift+Arrows to walk the selection larger or smaller

To cancel:

  • Hit Esc
  • double-click an empty area
  • Or click the cancel button on the selection toolbar control

A couple of tips for tab management:

  • It's OK if your tabs become unstructured; just review when you need to
  • If you're really not using something, close it or save it (and find it later)

Windows

Now you've organised your tabs, you'll want to organise your windows too:

  • Click a window title to name it
  • Type a name you want to use, then:
    • Hit Tab to jump to next window
    • Hit Enter to complete
    • Or hit Esc to cancel

You can order windows by:

  • Dragging them
  • Nudging them with Shift+Alt+Arrows

If you have more windows than screen space:

  • Scroll the background using the trackpad
  • The mechanism isn't yet optimised for mouse only, so let me know if you're struggling with this!

A few tips on windows:

  • Having named windows for every single category isn't so effective when you have more windows than screen space
  • Around 3 - 5 windows of 5 - 15 tabs is a good target to aim for
  • Perhaps create a "Daily" window, and a few project windows

Resources

Recent Tabs

The next thing to show you is Recent tabs:

  • It's a list of the tabs you last used, in the order that you used them.

  • They let you "jump back" to something quickly, rather than searching for a tab in the main workspace

  • When searching, Recent tabs also shows recently closed tabs!

To use Recent Tabs:

  • From "Search" hit Down to "walk" into Recent Tabs
  • Using your mouse, hover over the Sidebar
  • Hit Enter to switch to any tab

Note that:

  • Each time you use a tab, it jumps to the top of the list
  • The current tab is hidden, making it faster to activate the previous tab

Saved Tabs

Saved tabs are Control Space's integrated take on Bookmarks, and allow you to save open tabs for later.

There's a slight bug with Saved Tabs where they won't save before you have a workspace set up

The easiest way to set it up, is to open the panel then follow the prompts

You can save tabs or windows by:

  • Using you mouse todrag them into the panel (which will also close them)
  • Using the right-click menu
  • Or using the keyboard shortcuts Cmd+S for tabs or Shift+Cmd+S for windows

You can "Locate" folders in your Bookmarks:

  • Through the right click menu

You can delete the folders you don't need with:

  • A right-click
  • The middle-mouse button
  • Or Cmd+Backspace

Note that when you delete a Saved Tab or Folder, you have 10 seconds to undo.

A note about saved tabs...

One thing to mentioned about Saved Tabs before we continue...

  • Saved Tabs was always meant to be a way to save complete "workspaces"
  • That's why there three levels (workspace > window > tabs)
  • As a solution for saving a few tabs here and there, it works OK, but it's not as useful as bookmarks when you have a lot of saved tabs
  • As such, I'm working to find a better middle ground in a later version of Control Space

Tips

Control Space has lots of hidden UX goodies! Here's just a few...

Mouse

  • double-click in an empty space to locate the active tab (open, filter, save, edit)
  • middle-click to close / delete anything

Keyboard

  • Hit Esc to cancel every operation

  • Search everything and switch the side panel with Cmd+Arrows

  • Save and close entire windows from the dialog with Cmd+Enter

  • See the full list of shortcut keys from help (or Cmd+Click the help to go straight there)

UI

  • You can type to filter without the Search input being active
  • drag in text or documents containing links from other applications to open all of them
  • Save tabs with // to give them a description
  • bookmark tabs in chrome and they will show up in CS