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I generally have lots of windows left open on my desktop whenever I am working. Call me lazy for not closing the unused ones, or call me overworked. The truth is things start to get out of control easily. Especially, if you have a small monitor and very little screen estate. Windows 7 does a nice job of managing this clutter with its awesome taskbar, however there are some applications you should download to help manage with your windows management.

I’ve listed 5 of the best apps to hide, resize and do some funky stuff like translucency, all in the name of productivity. Check them out:

KDE Window Resizer

One of the things I absolutely adore in KDE Window Resizer is how they handle window resizing and moving. You simply hold down the ALT key, just about grab the window from anywhere and you can move the window around. No need to grab the title bar. Perfect for situations when the title bar is off screen due to change in screen resolution. To resize the window, just hold the ALT key and click and drag the right mouse button and the window starts resizing according to the movement.

Window Hider

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Window Hider is a simple application that you can use for managing the open windows. It does two things – it can hide the window you want by simply moving your mouse cursor to the corner or it can kill the application you specify.

You can give Window Hider a list of programs and a shortcut key then when you press that shortcut key it hides only those windows in your list. You can also activate hot corners on screen which hides all the programs in your list by simply moving the mouse cursor to the hot corner.

Desk TopMost

So you have a lot of open windows? And you want to access the desktop icons? You could hit Win+D, but then you wouldn’t be able to return to the windows as they were opened, you would have restore the window from the taskbar yourself. Windows 7 and Aero peek does an excellent job of it. In case you are not using Windows 7 or your computer doesn’t support the slick Aero Peek, you should try Desk Topmost. Just hit Ctrl + Alt + D and it provides you with a translucent overlay of your desktop over the open windows. After you are done, just right click anywhere and its gone.

Power Resizer

Allows you to mimic another one of the Windows 7 features, power resizer neatly fits your open windows to half screens or maximizes them as you drag them to a screen edge or to the top of the screen. Simon covered it earlier here Two Cool Apps To Work With Open Windows on Your Desktop Two Cool Apps To Work With Open Windows on Your Desktop Read More .

WindowTabs

WindowTabs attaches a small tab to the top of your windows. You can then drag tabs on top of each other to group them into tabbed windows. Use Alt + Right Arrow and Alt + Left Arrow to cycle through the tabs. Clicking on the tab with your mouse cursor willl take you to the tab as well. The application has a trial and a full version. While the trial version doesn’t have any time limits or nag screens, you would be limited to 3 tabs per group, which is not so bad of a deal.

How did those apps help you with your cluttered screen? Know of any more applications that fit the criteria? Or perhaps better alternatives to the above? Let’s hear about them in the comments.

  1. Pritush
    December 28, 2009 at 4:51 am

    nice post,
    @ted
    for remote desktop , i use free software called teamviewer

  2. Computer Repair
    October 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Nice to know. Will recommend to my customers. Thanks for article.

  3. nomi
    September 15, 2009 at 6:05 am

    Interesting apps to use, this may take some windows configuration.

  4. kakarukeys
    August 27, 2009 at 6:55 am

    I recommend RocketDock and Deskman for multitasking in XP and Vista. Check this out:

    (artwinauto.com/time-saving-guides/windows/xpvista-taskbar-oriented-multitasking-guide.html) Vista Desktop Multitasking Guide

  5. Fabio
    June 27, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Taekwindow for Windows (note the pun) allows Alt+Drag to move and Alt+RDrag to resize, just like KDE Window Resizer.

    taekwindow.sourceforge.net

  6. ed
    June 25, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I use a little program called taskbar shuffle to add the grossly overlooked functionality of repositioning a program in the taskbar. Very handy if you get two rows of things open at a time and need to move one up into view.

  7. Kelly
    June 24, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    might want to spell multitask correctly in the title.

  8. Kai Chan Vong
    June 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Think you missed off fences. I find this amazing for sorting out my desktop. Really important for when you have tons on and billions of shortcuts.

  9. Rommity
    June 16, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Here's a better idea: get in the habit of closing your windows.

  10. chris
    June 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    NiftyWindows (i think thats the name) is great for resizing and moving windows among other things. Winsplit Revolution is great as well.

  11. CCarpo
    June 15, 2009 at 2:43 am

    Try DM2. It's really usefull to minimize open windows to the tray bar or to transparent floating icons when rightclicking on minimize/maximize/close window icons.

  12. yogi
    June 15, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Wintabber is almost free ( 5$ for paid version, which to me is much more reasonable) and does the same thing, and better and easier than windowstabs.

    http://www.wintabber.com/

  13. 2009je14
    June 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    In Ubuntu, the multiple desktop applet is simple and efficient.

    In Windows 2000 to XP, I like VERN (Virutal Environment Resource Navigator). It's free, but send the creator a little cash if you like the app.

  14. Sami
    June 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Funny thing, but question is why NV - called:
    one of the best customization programs by one of the most well-known technological experts on the planet Vishal Gupta - wasn't included in this review, as it has at last few effects related to this category. (not to make further comparison)

    Regards,
    Sami

  15. Arie Skliarouk
    June 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    On linux I use fvwm with custom configuration, that allows me to have 40-50 windows open, with single-keypress shortcut to each of them:

    http://skliarie.blogspot.com/2008/11/my-45-workplaces.html

  16. I Love My Work
    June 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    oh yes, i guess these are very useful for me......thanks a lot

  17. integrii
    June 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Why are you people NOT USING SWITCHER 2.0?

    It does require Aero, but its like expose for mac but with text searching and more options.

    This program totally rocks, google switcher for Vista.

  18. Sammy
    June 14, 2009 at 10:33 am

    If you use the KDE Window Resizer with Photoshop (or some other program that wants the Alt key for a shortcut) you can usually hold down alt+win+key to get the same shortcut and resizer won't interfere. I noticed this tip on lifehacker. These are all good thanks!

  19. Max
    June 14, 2009 at 9:52 am

    You should of mentioned WinRoll - with a simple right click on the title bar the window is minimized to just the title bar, which stays on top of the screen but allows you st see behind it.
    http://www.palma.com.au/winroll/

  20. ashish
    June 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Even i had the same habit of opening multiple tabs but after installing the above application it has made surfing very easy which used to be a tedious task everytime.

  21. Nick Henry
    June 14, 2009 at 9:00 am

    You may also want to try Dexpot (http://www.dexpot.de).

    "Dexpot 1.4 turns your [one] monitor into up to 20. It creates and manages virtual desktops and enables you to work far more efficiently and comfortably with many simultaneously opened windows on Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista (incl. x64)."

    I use it with 4 workspaces/monitors and it does not seem to slow my computer down at all. It is nice to use one screen for what I'm working on, another for an email client, another for a media player, and one free in case someone needs something ASAP -- I can start a new fresh screen and not disturb what I was working on so I can go back to it right where I left off.

    Learn the keyboard shortcuts (windows key - left and windows key - right) to quickly switch back and forth between your desktops.

    For more information, follow this link: http://lifehacker.com/software/virtual-desktops/screenshot-tour-manage-and-organize-your-virtual-desktop-with-dexpot-238612.php

  22. seba
    June 14, 2009 at 8:11 am

    win+D hides the windows. If you press win+D again it restores the windows to their original sizes and positions.

    • Josh
      June 14, 2009 at 9:52 am

      Windows Key D minimizes windows. Window hider actually removes them from view on the screen. It is great for hiding what you are doing from prying eyes.

  23. P
    June 14, 2009 at 7:12 am

    As to Desk Topmost, hitting win-d a second time restores the windows to the same configuration. duh.

  24. Oli
    June 14, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Very nice post - had nevewr heard of WindowTabs before, but it's absoloutely brilliant for multitaskers like me. $20 is a fair price to pay for those little utilities that you end up being not able to live without, and which increase your productivity and ability to work. More work goes into them than people might think, particularly to pull it off well, in a lightweight and compatible way.

  25. melvyn
    June 14, 2009 at 4:00 am

    WindowTabs is fantastic. It needs a few more customization options - the tab which folds back over the titlebar of an app when maximized is a problem especially for users of Remote Desktop but it’s still excellent. However, $20 is too steep a price for what is essentially a one-trick pony.

  26. Windows Boy
    June 13, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    To move a window quickly, you can use Alt+Spacebar > M then aero keys. Unfortunately, no such handy hot keys to resize. KDE resizer looks good.

  27. Brandon Mendelson
    June 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Windows Tabs is fantastic. I would have never found it without this post, so thank you Varun.

  28. Vadim
    June 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    'maximumize'. Enable it, and I guess super+m works

  29. Vadim
    June 13, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    fyi, alt+drag is standard in Linux everywhere, not just KDE.

    @JE: I think there is a compiz plugin with a funny name like 'maximuizer' or something like that does this. It was introduced a while ago even, way before W7...

  30. JE
    June 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Anybody knows about something that works like PowerResizer in Ubuntu?

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