One of the upside benefits of the high resolution Retina displays in today’s modern Macs is all that wide screen real estate. That means each Mac is capable of running multiple applications all at the same time, with many visible on the screen at the same time. The downside is what I’ll refer to a screen clutter; that mess of app windows that blocks light from shining on the Finder, and prevents you from knowing where an app window really is at any given moment in time.
Enter app window managers for your Mac. There are many but here’s a look at two that fall into the Good Value category of Mac screen utilities. That means they’re worth more than you pay.
First on my list is Better Window Manager. What it does is both simple and elegant, and remarkably useful if your Mac’s screen is cluttered and messy with a dozen open apps. Basically, Better Window Manager lets you move windows to where you want on the Mac’s screen, save their positions on the screen, and restore them to that position with a keyboard shortcut.
It comes with default window states that can be assigned to almost– but not all– app windows. Adobe’s apps don’t play nice-nice with such useful utilities.
Better Window Manager is more manually oriented than some window utilities, but that also means more precise control. For example, it doesn’t restore all windows for all apps at one time– only one at a time.
On the other hand, the similarly priced and similarly named BetterSnapTool gives you a few more options and a set of customizable keyboard shortcuts to resize and reposition app windows on your Mac’s screen.
App windows can be resized and repositioned to maximize a Mac screen, setting apps side-by-side in half, quarter, or three-quarter settings (and more). BetterSnapTool also supports Macs with multiple displays. The ‘snap’ in the app’s name indicates that screens will ‘snap’ into place when dragged to the edge of the screen.
The geek in me prefers BetterSnapTool over Better Window Manager because of the extensive list of options and customizable configurations. Basic settings are lengthy, Keyboard Shortcuts are many and varied, and you can tweak to your heart’s content with the Customizations and Snap Area options.
However, if you’re a Mac user with window clutter issues but don’t want to be bother with a laundry list of confusing options, Better Window Manager makes for a decent choice for roughly the same money. Either way, your Mac’s windows will look more organized to your eye, and that and a little chocolate, some wine, regular exercise, and you’ll live longer.