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One of the clumsiest things to do on Mac OS X is Windows management. I don’t usually look back on my Windows years with longing, but window management has been integrated far less sloppier on Windows 7 than it has on Mac OS X. The buttons at the top of the screen sometimes seem to act illogically. But worse, moving and resizing windows has to be done manually using the mouse. This may seem like a trivial task, but believe me, it adds up.
Mac OS X incorporates some great features to work with a multitude of windows and multitask. Just look at the multitasking capabilities of Mission Control. However, actually moving and resizing leaves much to be wanted. Luckily, there are some great applications available to extend Mac OS X and add the features that are lacking.
In the past, we already took a look at window management with Afloat. However, Moom does perhaps an even better job. And for all its utility, it costs you just $10.
Moom is a great Mac OS X utility that takes care of everything relating to Mac window management. Where I used to have multiple applications to handle the multiple facets of window management, Moom is an all-in-one utility. It takes care of things such as snapping your computer’s windows to the edge of your screen, and automatically moving and resizing windows to preset sizes.
We’ll discuss each of these in more detail below. For now, the important thing to note is that you can enable or disable any of these aspects in Moom’s preferences.
You can run Moom a couple of different ways. Because most of Moom’s business either happens in the background or with popovers, I’d suggest running Moom as a faceless application. This essentially means that Moom won’t take up valuable screen real estate with a dock or menu bar icon. You can configure this in Moom’s settings, at the very bottom of the General pane.
The only drawback here is that you’ll have to relaunch Moom while it’s already running if you want to access the settings. Since you’ll only want to configure Moom at the very beginning after you’ve installed the application, this is a minor issue.
Snapping To Edges & Corners
By enabling Moom’s ability to snap your computer’s windows to edges and corners, your Mac OS X installation will start behaving similar to Windows 7 (or the desktop view in Windows 8). If you drag a window to the edge or corner of your screen, Moom will snap the window to a predefined part of the screen.
Before you release the mouse after dragging a window to the edge of your screen, Moom will show a blue outline of how your window will look like after snapping.
Each side of your screen and the corners in between responds differently to a dragged window. You can configure this behavior in Moom’s preferences, under Mouse -> Snap to Edges and Corners.
We previously wrote about how to make the Mac OS X zoom button behave more like on Windows. Moom offers an even better deal. As an alternative to snapping your windows to the edges of your screen, Moom provides more fine-grained move and zoom control by extending the capabilities of the green zoom button at the top of Mac OS X windows.
Hovering over the green zoom button will show a small pop-over. Here, you’ll find a button to snap to the standard parts of your screen, similar to snapping the window by dragging it to the edge of your screen. You can enable the Move & Zoom grid to show below these buttons. The Move & Zoom grid shows you the approximate size and location of the currently selected window and allows you to move and resize it by selecting part of the Move & Zoom grid.
The third major interface to manage your computer’s windows uses your keyboard. This is enabled by specifying a hot key in Moom’s keyboard preferences. Pressing the hot key gives you control over the currently selected window with your keyboard, allowing you to move, zoom, grow and shrink the window as wanted.
By default, only Move and Move & Zoom to Half Screen are enabled in Moom’s preferences for keyboard control. More of these controls can be enabled as needed in Moom’s preferences. You can also ask Moom to show a cheat sheet, reminding you with a pop-up of the relevant keyboard shortcuts whenever you hit Moom’s hot key.
In the Custom preferences pane, you can create your own custom controls, by specifying the kind of operation you want to perform on your window and filling in the details. For example, you can move and resize a window to a specific part of the screen, or simply add a size and anchor point to resize it in place.
These custom controls can be triggered by using a predefined shortcut, but can also be added the the Moom’s zoom button controls by enabling this in the Moom’s Mouse preferences pane.
Do you keep your computer’s windows on a tight leash? What tools do you personally use to help you with this? Let us know in the comments section below the article!