Managing multiple windows on a Mac is a tedious job.Since they tend to overlap, your monitor can quickly become cluttered and you lose valuable work space.Unfortunately, the built-in macOS window manager doesn't offer many features to solve this problem.
"Mac Window Manager" is the name given to a set of Mac applications that let you organize and resize windows with built-in shortcuts, mouse clicks, and gestures.Here are some of the best Mac window management apps to keep your desktop organized.
Magnet is a simple window manager app for Mac that organizes and manages windows by pinning them to different locations on the screen.With Magnet on the Mac, window preemption is possible via drag and drop, keyboard shortcuts, and the menu bar.
This arrangement eliminates the need to switch applications and provides better workspace efficiency no matter how many monitors you use.
To get started, drag your window to a specific location, or use the customizable shortcut.By dragging the windows to the edge of the screen, they arrange themselves into horizontal or vertical halves.And when you drag them to a corner, they take up a quarter of the screen.
Main features of Magnet:
1. Pin windows to the four corners of the screen, and even restore them to their original positions.
2. Magnet supports up to six external monitors in different orientations.With keyboard shortcuts, you can move windows between screens.
3. Maximize a window without losing access to the menu bar and Dock.This is useful when you want to always access the menu bar.
4. Exclude applications that don't work well with window grabbing.For example, applications built with the Electron framework, which is problematic.
Download: magnet (US$7.99)
In your day-to-day work, you may like to have a specific window arrangement.But when you use too many applications, it becomes difficult to maintain a consistent set of windows on the desktop.This isMosaicWhere a window manager can help.
Not only does it locate your windows, it also helps you categorize them so you always have them within reach.First, grab your application window and drag it to the top, on any of the size options.If you wish, you can also define a hotkey to provide a layout selector for any active application.
The Layout tab gives you full control over all possible layouts.Just use a configurable grid to define areas of the screen and set a shortcut.You can even organize your layouts to suit the way you work via the Groups tab.
Main features of Mosaic:
1. Create any number of layouts with configurable grids and grooves.You can assign apps to their own desktop space without swiping to it.
2. Make a custom layout for a three-stage configurable application.Further organize them to suit specific workflows by laying out groups.
3. On Macs with Touch Bar, all layouts are available at your fingertips.You don't have to remember any shortcuts or define a modifier key.
4. The handy Mosaic Remote app makes all your layouts available on iOS.With just one click, you can switch between layouts on your Mac.
Download: Mosaic ($30, free trial)
BetterSnapTool is a customizable window manager for Mac and probably the best alternative to Magnet.The app lets you instantly change the position and size of windows by dragging them to the top, left or right edge and four corners of the desktop.
Just open the application menu and select Change window position/size.Alternatively, assign a shortcut to snap the window where you want it.The options listed in Snap Location are customizable, so you can disable those you'll never use.
Key Features of BetterSnapTool:
1. BetterSnapTool provides unlimited resizing and snapping area options.Just define a specific window size and a grab area.
2. You can use Desktop Spaces and BetterSnapTool at the same time.You can make it work as long as you set an appropriate window edge delay between them.Otherwise, trying to grab the window will cause a switch to the next space.
3. Sets options for the window control buttons to resize when you right- or middle-click.Go to BetterSnapTool > Preferences > Extras and configure it to your liking.
4. Use the modifier keys to move and resize inactive windows.Go to BetterSnapTool > Preferences > Extras to set up special keys.
Download: Better Snap Tool (US$2.99)
As you probably know, your windows can overlap each other.However, a window manager application can arrange and organize the windows of applications on your Mac into non-overlapping tiles.It does this by placing your applications side-by-side, in a row, or arranging them in a similar fashion.
Amethyst is a tiling window manager that automatically positions your windows according to one of its predefined layouts (see Amethyst's GitHub page).You can move, focus, or cycle through application windows by pressing hotkeys.
For example, to enter the Tall layout, press Option+Shift+A.In this layout, the main window is on the left and the secondary windows are stacked vertically on the right.
Main features of Amethyst:
1. Amethyst supports a large number of layouts.Height, Width, 3 Columns - Middle, Columns, Full Screen, all with the help of shortcut keys.
2. Each layout lets you resize windows (Option + Shift + L), cycle through windows (Option + Shift + J), reposition windows, and more.
3. With so many shortcut keys, you can set custom modifier keys to help you ease the learning curve.
4. You can enable or disable layouts to control whether they appear in a looping sequence.
Download: Amethyst (free)
Having lots of open windows can be distracting, especially when you're trying to focus on a task. HazeOver is a useful aid that highlights active windows and masks windows in the background to reduce distraction.It enables you to control and configure the intensity and speed of the haze to suit your preferences.
First, go to HazeOver > Preferences > General, and turn the wheel to adjust the dimming percentage.Alternatively, set up a hotkey and trackpad gesture to adjust the intensity in 20% increments.
Key features of HazeOver:
1. Configure the effect intensity from soft light shades to intense blacks, which will definitely reduce distractions.
2. Select whether you want to highlight only one or all open windows of the application.You can even adjust dim animations via the Advanced tab.
3. Adjust fog intensity for multiple monitors.You can highlight just the front window or dim all windows on any screen.
4. Use the Shortcuts app for Mac to control status and settings.Using a shortcut, you can enable HazeOver dimming and Do Not Disturb at the same time.
Download: HazeOver ($4.99, free trial)
Moom is a customizable macOS window manager for moving and resizing your application windows.To get started, hover over any green fullscreen button and use the palette that pops up to choose the size you want (whether it's half, third, or quarter).You can also drag a window to the edge or corner of the screen.
After a few seconds, it will display a preview showing the size and position of the dragged window.The app also lets you configure a hotkey to trigger the Moom logo.
Main features of Moom:
1. Press the Option key while hovering over the green icon to select a preset to position and scale your window.
2. Create and define custom controls from customs labels.Set actions that will resize, move and snap windows across multiple monitors.This is great for anyone who wants to manage their windows with predefined templates.
3. Save a window layout as a snapshot.Later, you can easily activate the layout again and restore the windows to their original positions.
4. Wire custom controls to perform complex window management operations by pressing hotkeys.For example, you can move a window to another monitor and then expand it to full screen.
Download: moom ($10, free trial)
Which Mac window manager should you choose?
Magnet and BetterSnapTool are excellent Mac window management applications with some overlapping properties.However, BetterSnapTool offers many unique features such as custom snapping areas, multiple ways to snap windows, and better integration with desktop space.
If you have special requirements for windows with a specific layout on the desktop space, we recommend using Moom.On ultrawide monitors, you can save time arranging and resizing windows.
If you're wondering why the list of preset layouts is limited, choose Mosaic.With the help of layout creation tools, you can create your own layout by drawing an area on the grid.
Using Multiple Desktops with Mission Control
When you leave multiple windows as on-screen clutter, they affect your productivity and you end up wasting time sorting them out.The apps discussed above will help you regain control of unmanageable windows to save time.
With multiple desktops, you can assign windows to a specific space. Mac users should learn how to use Desktop Space and Mission Control to take advantage of all the multitasking tools built into macOS.
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