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“Let’s see what you’re working on,” says your pointy-haired boss, popping up from nowhere and heading toward your desk. A dense scattering of miscellaneous icons litters your Desktop, some with less-than-savory filenames, others that are clearly not work-related. The Olivia Wilde wallpaper doesn’t scream “highly qualified professional” either. However, with the calmness of a professional poker player, you simply hit a key combination to clear all of this junk and get on with showing off your current project. That’s the kind of magic Clean Slate provides.
This very simple app costs you less than a snack ($1.99) and is laser-focused on helping you clear your Desktop whenever you need to engage in some office camouflage. It’s also handy for more practical purposes like screencasting or taking screenshots—or simply because you’re fed up with the mess. Of course, even when Clean Slate is active, the files associated with the icons you’ve hidden are still accessible via the Finder.
Clean Slate’s controls are clean and simple, just like your Desktop.
Clean Slate’s simple, one-window interface lets you invoke the app, as well as set your preferences. You can choose an alternate background picture to display when Clean Slate is active, as well as choose your own Clean Slate keyboard shortcut. Clean Slate even works with multiple display setups, supplying different wallpapers for each screen. Other useful tricks include showing hidden icons in Exposé and allowing you to quickly see what you’ve hidden without having to unhide everything. Annoyingly, however, there’s no way to select drives or files that you don’t want hidden, such as your Macintosh HD.
The bottom line. If you regularly give presentations, record screencasts, take screen grabs, or simply become frustrated by the disaster area that is your Desktop, Clean Slate is an effective and modestly priced app that’ll reclaim your screen’s serenity.
Mac OS 10.6 or later
Quick and easy to use. Custom backgrounds for each screen. Clever use of Exposé.
No option to retain specific icons.