Lion introduces Launchpad, a program which allows you to display and arrange your applications. Why another way to view applications, when there is already the applications folder, you might ask? With Lion, Apple wanted to make Mac OS X resemble the iOS operating system. A quick glance at the Launchpad screen reveals that the organization of applications is almost identical to that of the iPad or iPhone. So those folks coming to Lion from an iOS device will feel at home with the Launchpad application.
To display Launchpad, press the F4 key on your keyboard (or fn + F4, depending on your keyboard setup) or if you are using a Trackpad, place four fingers on the trackpad and then pinch together. You can also click on the Launchpad icon on the Dock.
From the Launchpad window, you can navigate from one screen to the next by swiping horizontally with two fingers on your trackpad or by pressing the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard. You can also quick on one of the dots on the bottom of the screen to jump to the corresponding page. To open any application, click its icon to launch it. This will exit Launchpad and open the application whose icon you clicked. To exit Launchpad without opening an application, press the Esc key on your keyboard.
If you end up using Launchpad often, you might want to organize the icons according to your workflow. Launchpad allows you to rearrange the icons on the current screen as well as drag them to another screen – simply click the icon and drag it to its new location. If you want to move an icon to a different page, click and drag it to the left or right edge of the screen until the next page appears. Then, drop it at the desired location. You can even add an icon to the Dock from Launchpad – just click it and drag it to the desired location on the dock.
To organize your applications even further, you can create folders. Folders work the same way they do in iOS – to create a folder, drag the icon for one app on top of another. Lion will create a single folder and place both application icons within it. To rename the folder, click the folder icon, click the title of the folder and then type in a new name. Now that the folder is created, you can add other applications to it. To remove an icon from a folder, drag it out of the folder and onto the Launchpad screen.
To Use Launchpad
- Click the Launchpad icon on the Dock
Press the F4 key (or fn + F4) on your keyboard
If you are using a Trackpad, place four fingers on the trackpad and then pinch together.
- To move from one page to the next, click the left or right arrow keys on your keyboard
Swipe left or right using two fingers on your trackpad.
- To rearrange an icon, click and drag it to a new location.
- To move an icon to another page, drag the icon to the left or right edge of the screen until the next page appears.
- To create a folder, drag one app’s icon onto the icon of another app that you want to add to a folder.
- To rename a folder, click on the folder to open it. Then, click on the title and type in the new name.
- To move an application icon into or out of the folder, click the desired icon and drag it out of or into the folder.
- To add an application to your Dock, click the icon and drag it to the left side of the Dock.