Weekly Tips and Tricks: Whats New in VMware Fusion 4.1

In this week’s tip we will walk through some of the new features in VMware Fusion 4.1


Smart Full Screen

 New to VMware Fusion Fusion 4.1 is the all new Smart Full Screen. 

   To enable smart full screen simply click the full screen button in the Fusion menu bar.


Once you select full screen, VMware Fusion will automatically adjust to your current display settings and give you the full screen mode that makes the most sense. 

If you are using a single display (i.e. a Mac Book Pro and not connected to a display) VMware Fusion will enable the Lion method for full screen, allocating a space for your Virtual Machine.


If you are currently using multiple displays on your Mac when you enable full screen, VMware Fusion will Automatically adjust full screen to allow you to take advantage of both displays.



More Control

Also new to VMware Fusion 4.1 is increased control from inside Full Screen. Now dragging your mouse to the top of the screen allows you to access the VMware Fusion toolbar and OS X application menu. You’ll notice there is a small delay from when you move the mouse to the top of the screen, to when you see the menu drop down. This is designed to make it easier to access the OS X Application Menu when running versions of OS X as a virtual machine.  

Menus in full screen 4.q
Another cool new feature of VMware Fusion 4.1 is the Full Screen Minibar. This feature gives you quick access to commonly used functions of the Virtual Machine, such as, Suspend, Settings Menu, and Toggling between view modes.

Mini Bar

To enable the mini bar go to View > Full Screen Minibar > Always Show/Automatically Hide and Show.

Enable mini bar

Auto Launch your Virtual Machine

Lastly, a popular new feature of VMware Fusion 4.1 is the ability to Automatically Power on a Virtual Machine. Simply launch VMware Fusion 4.1 and your favorite Virtual Machine instantly launches with it. To assign this setting to Virtual Machine go to Settings > General > and select “start automatically when VMware Fusion Launches.” 



9 comments have been added so far

  1. The new fullscreen mode (Lion-style) kinda sucks. I liked it better before where a single click on the yellow dot minimized the whole full-screen virtual machine.
    I guess there are still cmd+tab and Mission Control, but still…
    That said, the whole Lion-style fullscreening kinda sucks in general. It’s not all your fault. 😉

  2. You guys should study what the community wants before adding features or taking them away. The number one rule of software development is to not add features just because they might be cool. The features people want? Put a way to minimize the full screen window back and give us a way to launch VMs at OS boot, not login.

  3. I agree with the above two comments; I was actually pretty happy that Fusion didn’t use Lion’s method of application full screening. With the old method I could still access my full-screened virtual guest using the Mission Control desktop number shortcuts (Ctrl-# for me) since it actually was *on* a desktop. Since full-screened apps aren’t true desktops in the eyes of Mission Control, now I have to either activate Mission Control and use my mouse to get to it, or switch to my last desktop and then Ctrl-Cmd-Right arrow over to it. Just like seemingly everything else in Lion, this seems like a regression in usability.
    Also, regarding David’s suggestion of the use of Cmd-Tab, it’s been my experience that when running multiple guests, Cmd-Tab will only take you to the last guest window used, which renders that method somewhat less useful.
    That being said, I realize that VMware shouldn’t be held accountable for Apple’s shortcomings. However, along with enabling the new full screen method (for those users who like and want it), an option to disable it would have been nice to have.

  4. Agree with all of the above comments. I want the ability to go from full screen to minimized on the Mac desktop with one click. You fixed something that wasn’t broken. Please put the minimize button back in the minibar.

  5. Agree with above on “Full-Screen” behavior, you “fixed” something that wan’t broken.
    I always had my Windows 7 instance on Desktop 2, and was really glad that Fusion did NOT follow Lion’s normal full-screen behavior. I always knew where it was and could get to it quickly. With this change, it is much more difficult to get to the VM I want, and darn near impossible to just “minimize” it.
    Please change back, or give users a choice. Don’t be Apple.
    Else I may have to go back to Fusion 3.

  6. Agree 100% with everyone else!!!! I praised Fusion before this “update” As an embedded software engineer, I know you should warn people before making changes to the UI. ESPECIALLY when removing functionality that was not hindering your application! You shot yourself in the foot with this move. Don’t pull a Netflix…

  7. I really like the fullscreen interface of Fusion4 . Sliding between the Virtual Desktops with the three finger gesture is intuitive and simple.

    I don’t have the burden of exposure to previous versions of fusion, but I find this version to be quite nice and intuitive to use. This UI is nonobtrusive, and it blends in with the look and feel of Lion, IMO.

  8. Manufacturers ‘build in’ embedded software in the electronics in cars, telephones, modems, robots, appliances, toys, security systems, pacemakers, televisions and set-top boxes, and digital watches, for example.[2] This software can be very simple, such as lighting controls running on an 8-bit microprocessor and a few kilobytes of memory, or can become very sophisticated in applications such as airplanes, missiles, and process control systems..-

    See ya soon

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