Everybody is in to shortcut except me. Macs and PCs are loaded with keyboard shortcuts to do this or that. That’s all well and good if you can remember all the shortcuts.
Managing open app windows on your Mac can be improved if you can remember all the shortcuts. What we need is a Mac app that uses shortcuts to move, resize, and organize app windows.
Memory Cells And Keyboard Shortcuts
Apple’s move to so-called full screen app windows does not come as a surprise. As Mac screens grow in size, as the number of apps we hoard increases, the screens get cluttered.
Moving app windows out of the way to find other app or document windows can be an exercise.
Despite the advent of Spaces and Expose, most Mac users manage to do what’s normal—get lost in a sea of open apps and document windows.
Mac OS X Lion and made-for-Lion, full-screen apps may help, but the optimal onscreen layout comes from a creatively titled app called—Optimal Layout.
In a way, this useful app manages the windows on your Mac the way you’d expect Apple to. You assign a specific layout and screen location using the self-explanatory interface.
Seven different screen layouts are available and range from full screen to quarter screen, half screen and dead center.
Settings show up in the Menubar. A handy, pop-down grid lets you position specific app windows where you want them to go.
Windows can be arranged as groups with keyboard shortcuts to bring them center screen. Switch between windows using tabs and get a preview of each app.
Not only can you control which app windows go where and when, but you can control Optimal Layout’s interface, too. Set font, size, and color for any interface element. Set the size of the preview. Set up locations for specific apps, or tell Optimal Layout to ignore specific apps.
Bring the app window list to the front with a keyboard shortcut. You control the position, behavior, and keyboard commands for each app and element, including placement of popular app window positions in the Menubar.
Think of Optimal Layout as the old Command-Tab key app switcher on illegal performance enhancing drugs. It’s fast. It’s powerful. It’s easy to set up.
But, and here’s the kicker, it’s a new way to manage your app’s windows. There are new keyboard shortcuts to learn and remember and use, so it takes a little time to get Optimal Layout into your work flow. It’s worth it.
The app is available on the Mac App Store, and the developer has thoughtfully provided a free trial download, too. It’s a little geeky, but getting started is easy, and once you get the hang of how quickly you can move about your Mac you’ll see the built-in wisdom.