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00 Zoom and Resize.jpgAll the major OS’s used today – Windows, Linux and Mac – have three buttons on the title bar of their open windows. While the functions are more or less similar (to close – minimize – resize/maximize), there are slight differences among them.

In Mac, for example, the close button will only close the open window but not the application. And unlike Windows, Mac OS X also maximises the open window (using the green button) as large as it needs to be, and not necessarily to full screen.

There’s nothing wrong with the way each OS handles the process to size windows. But there’s room for improvement. In Mac OS X, we can use SizeWell to get better options in to zoom and size open windows.

Simple Way To SIMBL

Similar to Afloat Solve Your Mac Window Management Issues with Afloat Solve Your Mac Window Management Issues with Afloat Read More – another Mac windows management software – SizeWell runs on top of SIMBL. For those who are not familiar with SIMBL, this is one of the ways to enable hacks and/or tweaks to existing Mac apps.

The current version is 0.9.7a and will work for both 32-bit and 64-bit applications running on Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). For the owners of older cats, you should use the older version (v 0.8.2) instead.

Installing SIMBL is as simple as running the installer package.

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01 Install SIMBL.jpg

Adding SizeWell

The next step is installing SizeWell. This is an application in the form of a SIMBL plugin. After unarchiving the package, you can’t just run it. You need to put the “.bundle” file inside the “~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins” folder.

02a SIMBL plugin location.jpg

The “~/” stands for your Home folder. The name may differ from the one in the picture above.

If this is your first time using SIMBL, you might need to create the “Plugins” folder.

To complete the installation, you need to relaunch Finder. There are several quick ways to do this:

  1. By clicking on the Finder icon in the dock while holding “Control + Option” and choose “Relaunch” from the pop up menu.

    02b Relaunch Finder.jpg

  2. By using Terminal command “killall Finder

    02c Terminal Relaunch Finder.jpg

  3. By using Force Quit: Press “Command + Option + Excape“, choose Finder from the list and press “Relaunch

    02d Force Quit Applications.jpg

Note:  there are cases where a system restart is needed to complete the installation.

Using SizeWell

What SizeWell does is add more options to the normal actions to zoom and size windows. This is achieved by adding more players into the game: Command, Option, Control and Shift buttons.

Using SizeWell is a matter of resizing (click and drag the bottom right corner of the window) or zooming (clicking the green button at the top left corner of the window) while holding one of the keyboard combination.

03 Zoom and Resize.jpg

The SizeWell site has a list of what these keyboard keys do, but I’ll put them down here for reference.

To Size a window, hold:

  • Shift to keep its width or height.
  • Command to keep its aspect ratio.
  • Option to keep it centered.
  • Control to pin its bottom right corner.

To Zoom a window, hold:

  • Shift to really maximize it.
  • Control to maximize it left.
  • Command to maximize it right.
  • Shift + Control to maximize it top.
  • Shift + Command to maximize it bottom.

There’s also a short video on the developer’s website showing you the usage of SizeWell.

What’s Coming

For those who think that it’s just too much trouble to install this app, the developer promises a more user-friendly version with the next major upgrade. The user-friendliness will include easier automatic installation and updates, and a System Preference pane interface.

While SizeWell may not be for everyone – and some might only remember one or two of the functions – the app delivers on its promises to enhance the way we zoom or size the windows.

Do you use SizeWell? Do you know of any other alternatives? Please share using the comments below.

  1. stefano
    February 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I've just seen on MacUpdate RightZoom 1.7, a little application to change the default behaviour of green Zoom button ...

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