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Use Mission Control and Launchpad in OS X LionLearn how to navigate your Mac like a champ using these new features.
If you upgraded to Mac OS X Lion, you'll notice that a lot of things have changed since Snow Leopard. Mission Control and Launchpad are new and they both use a bunch of new gestures. I'm Sharon Vaknin and today I'll show you how to navigate these new features and get to know the new Trackpad. To get started, you can open Mission Control by going to your desktop and swiping up with three fingers. This does two things. It scatters all your open windows that you can easily select one and you'll see your Dashboard, desktop, full screen apps, and desktop spaces across the top. Mouse over the top right corner and you'll see a plus sign, clicking this as a new desktop space which you can use as an extra desktop. So, for example, you can have a desktop for your documents, a desktop for your games, and a desktop for your web browsing. You can switch between these desktops and full-screen apps by going back to Mission Control or by swiping right and left with three fingers from any screen. If you want to get rid of a desktop, just re-open Mission Control, hover over the space you want to close and click the X. There are a few tweaks for Mission Control in your settings. Go to System Preferences, then Mission Control. One setting you might want to change is "automatically rearrange spaces based on most recent use." If you want to check it, the desktops and full-screen apps will be arranged in the order they were opened. Launchpad is another new feature that gives you a tiled view of all your apps for easy launching. Pull in with three fingers and your thumb to open it up. If you have an iDevice, this setup will look really familiar. To open an app, you only have to click once. You gonna also organize your apps into folders. To create one, just click and drag one app over another. Your Mac will automatically choose a name for the folder but you can change it by clicking on it and entering your own. From here, you can add more apps by dragging them in and remove apps by opening the folder and dragging the icons out. To exit Launchpad, push three fingers and your thumb. You can do the same gesture whenever you want to get a clean view of your desktop. Just pull back in to bring your windows back. Launchpad and Mission Control will take some getting used too but once you've mastered the gestures, you might find that they actually make your computer a lot easier to navigate. There are about a dozen more new gestures in Lion that you can learn by going to System Preferences, then Trackpad. Just hover over one of the gestures and you'll get a handy video of how it works. Some of the gestures like Mission Control can be changed and all of the gestures can be disabled if you don't feel comfortable pinching and pulling at your computer just yet. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them on my Facebook page and visit howto.cnet.com for more Lion tips and tricks. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs.