I confess that I don’t like windows. Or, Windows. The Mac had windows first, and even in OS X Leopard, the Mac’s windows can be a mess.
If you’ve noticed something weird about Leopard, grabbing a loose window on your Mac is a hit and miss proposition. Zoom makes it easier.
Granted, I’m a Column View Girl from the concrete valleys of NYC. I don’t like windows, and with a dozen or so open Mac utilities, applications, and documents, open windows are all over the place.
Moving windows around in Leopard requires precise point and click, and success seems to vary depending on the application’s window. To move a window around, you have to click the Titlebar of the window in question; sometimes the thin bar around an application, but it depends.
Resizing Mac windows is also hit and miss. All we get is that little lower right hand corner gripper to grip with the mouse pointer. Windows users have it even better than Mac users.
What Zoom does is give your windows more functionality. It lets you control the resizing of a window and the movement of a window. In other words, click anywhere inside the open window and you can drag it around.
That can be very handy. But there’s more.
Using the right keystroke combination, you can also resize the windows on the fly without having to use the little grabber gripper handle in the lower right corner of the window.
Turning Zoom on is as easy as double-click, select Start Zoom at Logon and it’s automatic. Otherwise, click the Activate Zoom button.
Zoom will also minimize a Mac’s window. Instead of clicking the little green dot in the upper left of the open window, using the controller key, double click the window and it zooms in or out.
Windows can be moved in a similar manner. Click the controller key for dragging, then click anywhere in the window to drag it wherever.
Resizing a Mac window works similarly, too. Click the controller key, then click, hold and drag the mouse in whichever direction you want the window resized. Easy, no?
Why isn’t this kind of functionality built-in to OS X? Resize should be easy and anywhere. Drag should be easy and anywhere. Ditto for minimize.
There are a few caveats to Zoom. It only works with applications that utilize OS X’s Accessibility API’s, which are used in most Mac applications, but not all. It’s a hit and miss routine, but Zoom works on nearly all my over 200 Mac apps and utilities.
Zoom lets you create and ignore list, logs what it does in case there’s a problem, and has a hidden secret or two.
The Auto Raise function is downright cool for those heavy into using windows on their Macs.
Bring a window to the front simply by floating the mouse over that window and clicking a controller key. Therein is my second big rub with Zoom. There’s controller keys for everything. It’s yet another keystroke combination to remember.
I don’t know if I have enough brain cells left to remember all the little keys I’ve got to click to get something done.
Still, Zoom is cool, works very well on most Mac applications, doesn’t cost much, though the Zoom developers reflect their pride in the price tag, and, of course, Zoom users swear by it. I just don’t understand why they spend so much time bouncing between windows.