A ‘workspace’ is a saved set of documents or windows that makes it quick and easy to get right into work on any task or project.
The benefits of workspaces
For example, every day I need to check the Comments on half a dozen blogs I run. I need to see if any legitimate comments have been marked as spam, if any comments are in moderation or if any spam has sneaked through the barriers that protect my blogs. I also check visitor statistics.
That means opening half a dozen tabs.
Then I check my bank balances — another 4 or 5 tabs, and then a bunch of pages for affiliate schemes, email spam filters, more statistics and so on.
Sometimes I need to work on one of my sites, often requiring several tabs for the site itself and reference information.
The power of Omniweb
For all of these tasks I use the wonderful (Mac-only) OmniWeb:
OmniWeb elevates your web user experience to be more productive, more efficient, and more fun. You’ll find information more quickly. You’ll stay organized. You’ll see the entire internet the way you choose. It’s the browser that puts you in control.
Omniweb has many useful features, but one I find particularly handy is its Workspaces: groups of windows and tabs. I have one workspace for blog comments, another for bank accounts, and so on.
In fact, every time I find myself working with a group of tabs or windows, I turn it into a workspace so I can easily use it again. It’s a simple matter to call up the workspace I need from the Workspaces menu, or to use the keyboard commands.
Create an Omniweb workspace
To create a workspace in Omniweb:
- Open the windows and tabs you require and load them up with web pages.
- Arrange the windows and tabs how you want them: size, position, placement.
- Go to the
Workspacesmenu and choose
Take Snapshot. OmniWeb captures an ‘image’ of your setup. That workspace may be named something like
Untitled Workspace, but you can edit the name to be more useful.
Go to the
Workspacesmenu and choose
Show Workspaces. A window appears where you can edit the workspaces. Rename it as you wish, and optionally choose to
Auto-save while browsing.
Use the workspaces
To switch to a workspace choose it from the
Workspaces menu. I keep one workspace called
_general for general web browsing. The underscore at the start of the name sorts it to the top of the list of workspaces.
One interesting option is whether or not to
Auto-save while browsing. If you turn this on, Omniweb saves the contents of a tab or window as you go along.
That means, for example, that I could be browsing a dozen random tabs at any one time — perhaps I’ve clicked a bunch of links from Twitter or my email — and if I quit OmniWeb and start it back up again those web pages will still all be there in their tabs.
This is hugely useful for those times when something crashes on your machine, or you have to restart after a software install, or you just quit the browser, forgetting you were in the middle of something.
When you next start the browser and go to that workspace everything should be just as you left it.
As you browse along you may cause the content of your carefully set up tabs and windows to ‘drift’ away from their starting point. Quickly revert to how they were the last time you took a snapshot by choosing
Restore Snapshot from the
Workspaces menu. Everything snaps back to how it was, including the arrangement of tabs, window size, and so on.
Take a snapshot
On the other hand, you may choose to ‘update’ a workspace, changing what’s saved to match how you currently have things set. Choose
Take Snapshot from the
Workspaces menu. The workspace is updated to reflect the current state of the browser and its contents.
OmniWeb can do many other wonderful things — I’ll probably write about them soon — but Workspaces is one of its must-have, most useful features.
All this, and more, for free.