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I like to open a number of different apps in different windows, ans as soon as there is any activity in any space the screen jumps to that space. how can I open an app in a space and not jump to it form the space I am working in. this function is available in various versions of Linux but not in a mac.

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Hyperspaces is a commercial "addon" for Spaces. Don't know if it has that feature, though. –  Daniel Beck Dec 14 '10 at 21:26

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I was just looking for this my self, and found the answer here: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=2008021122525348

To Summarize: Use the following Terminal command

defaults write com.apple.Dock workspaces-auto-swoosh -bool NO

and restart the dock.

killall Dock
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Welcome to Super User! Please refrain from just posting a link, but rather give a quick summary of what it says. –  KronoS Feb 7 '11 at 14:00

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