Conversion Mate I - Better Window Management in OS X
I switched from Windows to Mac recently, and while the transition has been amazingly great, one thing annoyed me a bit: window management. OS X has this design paradigm of only making a window as big as it needs to be, which clutters everything up immensely. At the same time, full sizing a window is surprisingly inconvenient. In fact, arranging windows in general is surprisingly inconvenient: no one-click interaction for proper, distraction free full screen, and the only bit of flexible resizing UI is that terribly tiny, fiddly thing in the bottom right corner. Meh.
So, Divvy! I thought. Divvy is a 14$ app designed to help you with this. But it’s actually only marginally less annoying: you have to define and remember keyboard shortcuts, and there’s an extra interface that pops up whenever you resize anything. There must be a more unobtrusive way of doing this.
And there is. If you have a magic touchpad, that is. So imagine these gestures:
- five finger tap: expand window to fill screen
- four finger tap: revert to previous window size
- rotate left: resize window to fill the left half of the screen
- rotate right: resize window to fill the right half of the screen
No UI, no keyboard shortcuts, no remembering anything, just four simple gestures that integrate wonderfully into any workflow. And seriously: doing that splitscreen thing? I need that about 20 times a day. And now arranging two windows side by side is a three-second process involving exactly four simple touch pad interactions. Neat.
So here’s how to do it:
- Download BetterTouchTool and install it
- Under Gestures → Trackpad / Magic Trackpad, set up the four gestures shown in the above image
- Arrange windows for 5 minutes because it’s just become so stupidly convenient
Sure, it’s not as flexible as Divvy et al., but personally, I’m not missing anything. This setup has sped up and de-annoyed my work day immensely, maybe it will do the same for you. If so, consider donating a few of whatever your local currency is to the author of the tool.
Also, I can’t help but like an app that has a checkbox marked “Only activiate this if I told you to.”