Our Macs are almost like an extension of the family, a techno-pet, if you’ll indulge my analogy.
This family techno-pet does tricks. For example, add zooom for less than $10 to Mac OS X Tiger.
You’re busy trying to figure out my multi-play on words, right? Not? As I suspected…
Zooom isn’t an accelerator that makes your Mac run twice as fast. It’s a nifty utility that lets your Mac do windows. Better.
Moving, resizing, and zooming application windows in your Mac is a point and click affair.
Mac OS X is rather odd in that you can’t just click an open window and drag wherever you want. You can’t even resize a window by grabbing it.
For example, resizing a Mac application window means pointing, clicking, and dragging the little notched lower right corner in the window.
Big deal, right? With plenty of windows open on my Mac’s screen, sometimes I miss the notch and a window pops up from who knows where.
Dragging an open application window has a similar pitfall—you have to click and hold the title bar, or, in some cases, the window edge.
Is there an easier way? Yes. Enter Zooom.
Think of Zooom as an easier, more intuitive short-cut to moving, resizing, and zooming open windows on your Mac.
Brushed aluminum application windows behave differently than some platinum plastic windows. TextEdit, for example, can only be dragged around by the title bar. Who can remember which does which?
Zoom is a System Preference which adds new controls and functions to your mouse which makes windows work better (the only way anyone can make windows work better on a Mac).
It’s simple. Hold down a modifier key, then click in the open application’s window, and it’ll move around.
The same holds for zooming the window (minimizing). Hold down the modifier key and the double-click the window. It minimizes (zoom) to the dock. That’s easier than looking for the little green dot and missing.
Resizing works in a similar manner—hold down modifier keys, then click the open window and drag the mouse. Drag one way and the window gets smaller. Drag another way and it stretches.
There are other utilities with similar functions, though none quite so elegant as Zooom. It works fine with Microsoft Office and most Mac Cocoa and Carbon applications (but not iMovie HD).
Is there anything that’s missing? Yes. Remembering those modifier keys requires steady use of Zoom, but isn’t a deal breaker.
I’d like to see the addition of a “click and hold” function added to Zooom. Click the mouse on an open window, hold for half a second or so, then move, stretch or whatever.
Will Zooom make a big difference in your day-to-day productivity? Yes, it could, especially if you have many open windows on your Mac and need to move them around all the time.
What about you? What “window work habits” have you developed which need or don’t need Zooom? Is this a feature which should be built-in to Mac OS X?