How to Maximize a window...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cabasner, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2005
    Hi All,

    I'm pondering the switch to Mac, but for the time being, I am borrrowing an Imac G5. I've found that clicking on the green '+' button in the upper left hand corner of a window does not appear to have the same effect as on a PC. On the PC, doing so causes that window to go to full screen. On the Mac, it appears to only increase the window to some size larger than the current size, but does not go 'full screen'. Am I missing something? Can anyone tell me if an analogue to the PC full screen function exists?
  2. macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    It makes it be the biggest size it needs to be.
    like, if the page is only 400 pixels wide, it won't make it be 1200 wide, and have a lot of blank space of every side.

    You CAN stretch it out in the lower-right...

    Whenever a windows user is on my PB, they don't understand why it won't go full-screen.. there isn't really a need. Being able to see the 4 open windows at once (or portions of them) really makes switching between apps faster.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    This is a question that switchers often have. There is no direct analogue to the Windows maximize function on a Mac. The green button is called zoom, and does just what Katie Ta Achoo said. It's one of those little user interface differences between Mac OS X and Windows. Ask just about any Mac user and I think they'll agree that it's one of the many little things that makes the Mac UI superior to Windows. In most cases, maximizing a window serves no practical purpose, and actually just ends up wasting screen space by filling it with blank whitespace. After you get used to Mac behavior, I think you'll see why it's better.
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    In programmatic terms the "Zoom" button attempts to remove all scroll bars.

    As an example, loading Macrumors in Safari and pressing the "Zoom" button will make the window as tall as possible (for the vertical scroller) and about 800-1000 pixels wide (depending on your settings).

    If I remember correctly, Mac OS X is a multi-document interface whereas Windows is by default a single-document interface that can clumsily to multiple documents via menus, the taskbar and other assorted methods.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    This was also one of my concerns when I first switched a little over a year ago. Over time I came to appreciate this one-time annoyance, and now wonder why Windows insist on maximizing my windows. I'll find myself on firefox(on my pc) trying to drag the window to just encompass it's present contents, and laugh to myself at how this one-time annoyance has reversed itself. Give it some time, and you'll probably grow to appreciate it as well. It really helps when your working on a high resolution display, and want to have application windows open side by side, etc..
  6. macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    The OS X GUI utilizes floating windows.. You'll notice this when using Flash, Photoshop, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, even final cut, motion, livetype, and iMovie. I think that using a mac brings out creativity because of the elegance of the machine and the elegance of the operating system. The floating windows allow for faster multi-tasking and smoother workflows.
  7. macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2005
    louisville, ky
    i'm a recent switcher and prefer full-screen, particularly when i'm working in word. i maximize by dragging the screen from the lower left hand corner triangle (you can actually find the same thing in windows--never noticed it).

    works for me.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2005
    Thanks to all of you who answered. That explains a lot! However, it's STILL going to take a lot of time to get used to the difference. For example, in Photoshop, it was really nice to be able to hit maximize and have the entire 'matte' around the image go full gray, then hit 'tab' and be essentially at an 'image only' state. I guess everything has its plusses and minuses...
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2005
    I get what your saying, but the only diff imo is that now the pallate is on the desktop rather than in the program...idk.. i can undersand how its diff (recent switcher).. but at the same time.. its not too hard to get used too.. im used to it by now, and only have been using it for 2-3 weeks. :)
  10. macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2005
    I don't see how inconsistent and unpredictable behavior is better. If the zoom button is supposed to be a fit to content button, it sure doesn't work that way half the time. The fact is you never know what size window or even what kind of window you'll end up with unless you're already familiar with the application. That's not intuitive. That's confusing. The zoom button should behave the same way in every application, and the behavior should be predictable.

    Open Calculator. Click the zoom button. Notice how window switches between basic, scientific, and programmer view. That's not fit to content. That's not even zoom. That's taking a button that was designed for a specific purpose and making it do something completely different.

    Open Dictionary. Type in a word like watermelon. Notice how the definition is short. Click the zoom button. Notice how the window maximizes and just ends up wasting screen space by filling it with blank whitespace. I thought the zoom button wasn't supposed to do that. That's not fit to content.

    Open iTunes. Click the zoom button. Notice how the window changes into a funky mini window. That's not fit to content. What the heck is that anyway?

    Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see how this is superior.
  11. macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I prefer the Mac way of doing things now; I spent the first month resizing everything to full size when I first switched.

    Why? Because when I use my Windows computer at work, I'm conscious that much of the time my 'full screen' mode is mainly white space that I'm not using. That wasn't the case when we all worked on 800x600 or 1024 x 768 resolutions but now, most Windows programs have acres of white space on the right side. It's useful occasionally when I'm working with very wide Excel sheets, the rest of the time it's annoying since I'm often working with 3 or 4 applications and have to keep clicking between them since trying to have two programs tiled on the screen in Windows is complicated.

    On the Mac, it's easy to have window sized to the appropriate content and you can have other apps/windows running in the background that you can still use; whether it's watching what's happening in it or dragging/dropping from it.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    This is one of those things that seems confusing but turns out to be really intuitive, much like having the menubar at the top of the screen instead of the top of the application. Like others have said, you definitely get used to it.
  13. macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2005
    My point is it doesn't work the way it's supposed to work half the time, otherwise it wouldn't bother me.
  14. macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2003
    Alta, Norway
    I can agree with that. I'm never really sure what will happen when I click that +.

    And I mostly prefer to keep things maximized anyway, though that could possibly be because of the low resolution of the 12" screen. The apps really need all the space they can get.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    True. The Zoom button can play a double role. In most apps it resizes the window the utilize the space on the display. In other apps, such as Calculator and iTunes, it's used a "mode switcher". I think it makes sense not to have the calculator take the whole screen. And with iTunes it's nice to have it to where you click the zoom button and it goes to the mini player. True it may not make sense to a new Mac user, but in time they should get used to it and understand how it works in different apps. Then when you think about it, it really does make sense as to why it does what does. I've just noticed on apps suck as iPhoto and Mail that the Zoom button actually acts like the maximize button in Windows; in that it actually does fill up the whole screen.

    So in other words, the zoom button doesn't necessarily have a universal way in how it works, other than doing what it does in the most useful way appropriate for a particular app. Course some might disagree with the way it works in some apps, while other find it very useful. With me I tend to remember how it works in different apps, so I usually know what it's going to do.

  16. macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    When I used to be a Windows-only user, I used to think I'd be annoyed by not having my apps in full screen. But now I actually like it a lot more this way. It helps a lot when designing graphics and multi-tasking.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2004
    Have to agree. Windows floating around on the screen are just not a good use of the available space for many applications. Much as I like OS X I have to say that Windows tends to make better use of the screen.
    I don't run all my apps at full screen, but with so many floating palettes in Adobe and MS Ofice apps, I really don't want to see any of the desktop round the edges - I need every single pixel I've got.
  18. macrumors regular


    Oct 4, 2004
    I had the same problem when I switched several years ago. I soon got used to it though because when you set a windows size, like scaling it to full screen with the bottom left corner... OSX will generally remember that setting for that application, or that particular folder.
  19. macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    Why on earth do they call it "Windows" when most users just run things full screen most of the time?
  20. macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2004
    They should just call it "the mystery button". Clicking it won't do any major harm; you might be pleased with the results; if you aren't, just click it again to go back to how it was.

    I actually have more beef with the X button. Sometimes it quits the app and sometimes it doesn't.
  21. macrumors 68040


    Apr 11, 2003
    In Photohop, you can do this by changing the view at the bottom of your tools palette.

    I think maximized views are pretty limiting and pretty wasteful. It's that Windows 'I'm using a program' mentality vs. Mac's 'drag and drop',let's use all these programs together and at the same time' mentality.
  22. macrumors 68020


    May 18, 2009
    Sorry to bring a thread back from the dead, but are you telling me I cannot maximize windows on a Macbook Pro 17 (2009)?

    I was trying to figure it out in the Apple store today, and found it extremely annoying.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    For this purpose I press F in Photoshop to switch o full-screen editing mode. Pressing it multiple times will cycle through different modes.

    EDIT: Oops - this thread is *old*!
  24. jnc
    macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    You should have asked someone.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    Download RightZoom. It works wonders!

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