How Do I MAXIMIZE a window?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by WabeWalker, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. WabeWalker macrumors member

    May 20, 2006
    I can't figure this one out.

    Yes, I realize that I can use my mouse and stretch a window until it fills the whole screen.

    But what I want to do is be able to hotkey this procedure so that the window automatically fills the whole screen perfectly. I know that this is possible because a number of times now, when using Safari, I've visited a website that has automatically caused the Safari window to fill the entire screen perfectly.

    Well, anybody?

    (By the way, it's shocking how many 'mac enthusiasts' in my circle have been unable to answer this question - one person got mad at me when he couldn't answer the question, and said, why the hell would you want to do that anyhow, which I thought was interesting.)
  2. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2004
    way out in the sticks
    Press the green button (the one with a + sign).
  3. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    If you press the green button in the upper left, it will make the screen big enough to show the whole page, unless it's wider than your monitor.

    Window maximization is one of the things that is different os x v. windows. It just doesn't happen the same.

    If you really want it to take up the whole screen, you have to drag it out. AFAIK, there is no screen combination that does that.
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    You could use one of these links at the bottom of the page. You may want to bookmark it. :)
  5. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    No, the green button won't typically fill the screen.

    There is no standard way to do this, and it isn't the Mac way to do so anyway.

    Safari and other browsers do it on some sites because JavaScript is there to tell the browser to max out its dimensions.

    And mj - that doesn't appear to work in Safari. Edit: your edit works.
  6. lamina macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2006
    From Canada, living in Seoul
    You must be a switcher :)

    Pressing the green + button will only make the window as big as it 'needs' to be. As far as I know, there is no way to fully maximize a window in OS X unless you manually resize it by dragging the bottom right corner.

    Hope this helps.
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia

    Yeah, I changed the link because I can't work out how to get it to work properly through vBulletin. However, there's a link at the bottom of the page I linked to (isn't that confusing) that should work. :)
  8. WabeWalker thread starter macrumors member

    May 20, 2006
    When OS X was originally launched a writer actually asked this same question of an Apple technician and got an answer. (Unfortunately, I didn't buy the magazine, nor, obviously, can I recall the solution).

    There IS a way to maximize windows in OSX - all I can remember is that it's a hotkey only procedure.

    The vast majority of Apple users have no idea that you actually can maxamize an OS X window exactly as it is done in Windows. No, seriously, you can - I'm willing to bet money on this.

    (And, yes, as others have pointed out, clicking on the green button certainly does not maximize the window - this was what made my friend at work angry as well.)
  9. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
  10. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    Rather than covering up the problem, I suggest you see a psychologist to resolve your irrational fear of the desktop. :)

    Just kidding. :)
  11. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Close but no cigar. Option + green button in iCal will full screen it. I think it has to do with how the Zoom feature is implemented.
  12. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    No sense in getting uptight about claiming you know for a fact that you can, everyone's just trying to help and offer what knowledge they have. And as much as I've looked into the issue, I've found no sure fire way to do this.
    The closest I've found is to open a window and drag it out to the size you want, then click the green + button. When you do that, it should make it a bit smaller to the size it "needs" to be. Click it again and it'll go back to what you dragged out. At this point, you should be able to close the window/app and reopen it and be able to click the + to get the size you want... it'll remember the setting. Again, however, this isn't guaranteed to be remembered.

    I'm a switcher too and at first it annoyed me that there's no way to fully maximize the window. But then once I embraced the smaller windows, I found myself being much more efficient on my computer and not fumbling around trying to get other windows all the time like I had before.
  13. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Really? How much money?
  14. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    And when I come across one of those sites, I leave. It annoys me when some developer decides they know better than I do.
  15. Peace macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Another little trick I've found.Granted it doesn't maximize the window but it does allow you to go to pages you've visited or forward to pages you've visited.At least on a MacBook..

    With the pointer somewhere on the page simple hit the delete key and the page snaps back to the previous page you visited.Shift-delete takes you forward to a page you've visited.And so on.

    BTW that link worked pretty good for maximizing the window.Just drag it to your bar and rename it maximize.

    And there you go!
  16. WabeWalker thread starter macrumors member

    May 20, 2006
    Every cent that I've got. I'm also willing to bet my wife's life on this - not mine, but my wife's. I'll throw in the family dog as well. Hell, I'll even throw in my kids. That's right, I'm willing to bet everything on this. Except for my own life, of course. I'm not going to go THAT far.

    Also, I remember that the hotkey procedure for maximizing an OS X window was pretty complicated - if I recall correctly it was actually a three-keystroke combination.

    I'm contemplating sending an e-mail to Steve Jobs about this.
  17. quigleybc macrumors 68030


    Jun 17, 2005
    Beautiful Vancouver British Columbia, Canada

    Ha ha...not you're own life,

    ya, send the e mail...
  18. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    After some more poking around, I came across this, utilizing Quicksilver's triggers. If you don't already use Quicksilver religiously, you should start. Also make sure you have "access for assistive devices" enabled in System Preferences under Universal Access. Worked perfectly for me under 10.4.7:

    Open Script Editor and paste this

    tell application "System Events"
    	if UI elements enabled then
    		set FrontApplication to (get name of every process whose frontmost is true) as string
    		tell process FrontApplication
    			click button 2 of window 1
    			--button 2 is the green "zoom" button for all applications
    			--window 1 is always the frontmost window.
    		end tell
    		tell application "System Preferences"
    			set current pane to pane ""
    			display dialog "UI element scripting is not enabled. Check 'Enable access for assistive devices'"
    		end tell
    	end if
    end tell
    Save that in /Library/Scripts . The filename can be whatever you want. Now in Quicksilver, make a trigger to run this script and set a hotkey for it... or mouse gesture. Just for the sake of having this available if I ever decide I want it and to make it something kind of obscure that I won't hit by accident, I set mine to cmd+opt+shift+z (Z for Zoom).

    Since Quicksilver's hotkeys are global, now whatever app you've got active, just hit your hotkey and voila, it's stretched across the whole screen. Note that you'll need to hide the dock to make it cover the bottom portion of the screen.

    Watch what you set the hotkey to, you don't want it to interfere with other shortcuts that could cause errors and make it not work.

    I accept paypal via ;)
  19. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    The problem with exactly as it is done in Windows is that this wasn't a feature of Windows... it is a limitation leftover from the earliest versions of Windows.

    Windows doesn't have a rootless mode for most applications... this is to say, most Windows apps have a root (main) window in which all the other windows for that app are restricted. This comes straight from the original version of Windows which was little more than a GUI shell for apps running in DOS. The other reason for the root window limitation is that the root window is where the menus preside.

    What this limitation does best is keeping a user on task... that is to say, keeping the user from multitasking. With a root window maximized to full screen (usually so you can see all the document windows for that app) you are unable to see any other applications that may be running in the background. This is great for secretaries and data entry workers... but not so great for people who need a number of apps to work on a single project.

    The primary reason for a lack of drag-n-drop in Windows comes from the fact that you can't see any other apps to drag something to.

    Very few other operating systems have this limitation... Mac OS X doesn't. Mac apps aren't restricted to a root window as apps are in Windows (which means you've lost your bet because without a root window you can't maximize exactly as it is done in Windows).

    Photoshop is one of the best examples of how this limitation on Windows gets in the way of working. In the attached graphic you'll note that you don't see the desktop in the background, what you do see is the gray background of the root window.

    On a Mac you would see the desktop and other running apps... including those apps which you may be preparing the image for.


    Individual windows in a GUI are very much like documents on top of a real desk. For most people the sizes of the pages are designed for their functions (8.5"x11", 3"x5" or 3"x3") and work well at those sizes. What Windows users seem to want by comparison is pages and Post-It notes that are all 6'x3' that will completely cover their desk and everything else on it. :eek:

    Attached Files:

  20. nutmac macrumors 68030

    Mar 30, 2004
    It's a bit unfortunate that green button behavior isn't consistent. For instance, in Safari, it intelligently resizes to show current page without occupying any more space than necessary. Whereas with iPhoto, it causes the window to completely occupy the available desktop (minus the dock). Given the sluggishness of manual window resize function (at least on non-Intel Macs and non-dual G5 Macs), such functionality should be more predictable and consistent.

    The counterargument for all this is that Expose frees you from managing multiple windows and window sizes. Just set the window size to your liking once and use Expose to find your way through.
  21. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    Well, the reason iPhoto fills the whole page is because of its layout- to better see all the photos in the window, it has to get as big as it can. As big as it can get is however large your screen is.

    Plus see my post above about getting a more "consistent" zoom going on
  22. Mammoth macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2005
    I would guess it's the 'click and drag the bottom right corner' treatment?:confused:
  23. iZach macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2005
    West Bloomfield, MI
    bookmark this in safari:

  24. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    Correct, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Everything in the windows world is about legacy.

    Most windows users also have crap monitors with low res screens, so it's convenient to switch apps that take up the whole page. I was at a friends place and he had bought a new dell , and it had a 19" monitor, which was smaller than my 17" iMac, ugly.
  25. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California

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