7month Switcher - Q's about Managing Open Windows

Discussion in 'macOS' started by cds585, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. cds585 macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hi Folks -
    I'm looking for some tips and tricks. I started using a Mac about 7 months ago. I've got to say, after years of hearing all the hype . . . I'm pretty underwhelmed. It's not that I hate it, but frankly, there's nothing about it that, FOR ME, lives up to the hype. ("it just works" and spyware, viruses, malware agruments don't hold sway with me -- I've never had a problem with my Windows machines and I've never had a problem with my Mac).

    In any event, I'm not trying to turn this into a debate of "My Dad is bigger than your Dad." Instead I have a few questions about managing open windows. There are a couple of things I really haven't really gotten used to and dislike in OSx and was wondering if folks had some tips or tricks for me:

    1. I absolutely hate that I can only resize a window in the bottom right corner.

    2. It drives me nuts that when I click the window maximize button, the window may or may not fill my entire screen. If it doesn't fill the entire screen then I have to resize in the bottom right corner. UGH!

    3. I find it very disorienting that the menu for all windows stays at the top of the screen rather than being part of the open window.

    4. Finally, when I minimize a window, is there a way to stop the animation sequence showing the open window getting "sucked" into the tool bar. I personally find it very annoying.

    I know these are may be minor quibbles for some, and I thought at first it was just a matter of me getting used to things. But I must say that 7 months later, they remain annoyances. So if folks know of any settings I can change or third party add-ons I can use, I'd really appreciate it.

  2. simsaladimbamba, Apr 1, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011


    Nov 28, 2010
    1. and 2. have been discussed and solved to death >>> MRoogle
    3. That is the way it is, that has been the way it has always been. That's one of the main reasons I switched, as it introduces less clutter.
    4. I don't know, as I hardly minimise windows and if I do, it doesn't disturb me.

    Maybe Mac OS X is not for your train of thought?

    Helpful Information for Any Mac User by GGJstudios
  3. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    1 - supposed to change with Lion
    2 - supposed to improve with Lion
    3 - this is something I like about OS X. There is probably some sort of hack, like menueverywhere that will solve this for you but try getting used to it the "Mac way" first. After all, how many menu items can you click at one time? (hint: one). So why should screen space be wasted on 7 windows' menus when only one is foreground at any one time.
    4 - i seem to remember a preference for this in system preferences or maybe it was dock preferences.
  4. cds585 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey - Thanks for taking the time to reply. Especially for pointing me towards MRoogle -- my new best friend.

    I think you might be right . . . my brain may just not be wired for the way OS x implements certain things. Once I'm actually in my application, doing my work, I'm generally oblivious as to whether I'm using Windows or OS x (aside from the application menu).

    Anyway, thanks again for responding and pointing me toward a great info resource!
  5. cds585 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Good information on what may or may not be in Lion. With respect to 3, you're right you can only click one at a time but it's incredibly inefficient. If I'm working in a window on the far right, having to mouse over to the upper left to click on something drive me crazy. Menu's take up very little screen real estate and I'd gladly give up the space for efficiency. To me it's as if all the light switches in my house are located in the front hall and I have to run there every time I need to turn a light switch off or on. Very inefficient. But everyone has different likes and dislikes. These are mine.

    Thanks for reading and responding. :)
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I believe this will be changing in Lion so stay tuned.
    Both of these comments seem to me to be a habit Windows users bring with them.

    The green "+" button is not a "maximize" button, it is a "fit to form" button. It's one of the things that I love about OS X because for most windows, that button will perfectly resize the window to eliminate horizontal scroll bars. Maximizing isn't always the best for every window (as web designers and publishers will tell you). I realize it's a very strong desire to have something at full screen, but try it out for a bit before judging it. :)

    As for the menu, I recommend learning some hotkeys to reduce the need for the menu. I honestly don't use the menu bar very often because hotkeys take care of most of my needs. In addition, Command+Tab and Command+"~" will help you pan windows very quickly so switching between windows will be less of a pain.

    Yes, there is. Go to System Preferences>>Dock>>"Genie Effect"

    You'll see that "genie effect" is the standard preset but you can change it to "scale" which basically just minimizes like Windows does.
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Something that stays in the same predictable place is disorientting?

    BTW, It's much faster to flick mouse up to access menus.

    Just switch to another app. Minimizing windows is such a windows thing.
  8. cds585 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Thanks for taking the time to respond. With all due respect, I'm not sure whether you're trying to be helpful or condescending. Something in the tone suggests the latter -- I apologize if I'm wrong. Nevertheless, I do appreciate you're taking the time to reply. Having said that . . .

    - For me and the way I work, the menus are neither in a predictable place nor are they in a logical place. That's my experience. It's neither right or wrong. So yes, although you may find it hard to believe, I find it disorienting and very inefficient for my work flow.

    - I'm not sure what you mean "it's much faster to flick mouse up to access menus." I run on two 27" monitors . . . that can be up to 54" of horizontal screen real estate to traverse -- so no, for me I don't find that efficient -- particularly when working on the far right of my right hand monitor.

    - "Just switch to another app. Minimizing windows is such a windows thing." Uh, actually, no. The need to minimize or maximize windows depends upon your applications and your workflow. It's operating system agnostic.
  9. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    I don't ever minimize windows in OS X. There's no need for it when you can use Expose and Spaces. I probably have 4 or 5 windows open on a given day when I'm working and Expose is very good at handling it. With a large display like yours, Expose, and the hotkeys become even more useful.
  10. cds585 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Hey . . . thanks for letting me know how to put the genie back in the bottle!

    I understand what you're saying about maximizing windows but for what I'm doing, I need to maximize. And after 7 months of resizing with the bttm right corner -- I still don't like it. As another poster pointed out, there may be some changes coming in Lion that may work better for me.

    Thanks for solving one of my personal annoyances.
  11. cds585 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2011
    Well it sounds like you've found a workflow that works seamlessly for you. I'm still trying to perfect mine on OS X. I'll follow your advice and experiment more with Expose and Spaces and see if I can make some improvements. This is the kind of info I was looking for when I posted. Thanks!
  12. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    This is exactly my concern about buying a Mac after using Windows since... forever!
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    Do you use your mouse, trackpad, or keyboard the most?

    If you use your mouse the most when managing lots of windows, use hotcorners to activate Expose and/or Spaces.

    If you use your trackpad the most, use the multi-gesture swipes, and if you use your keyboard the most, memorize the hotkeys.

    When I'm at my desk and using my mouse, I can go between windows and applications at lightning speed. Mind you, I first started to use a Mac when Tiger was the OS, so I had to get used to this myself. But I can promise that if you get into a routine using the things I've mentioned, you'll be amazed at how much faster things are over minimizing windows a la the Windows method.
  14. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    I use an app called Divvy (link) which allows me to easily resize windows to full screen.

    For me, I just press control+1 and it automatically sizes to full screen (you can create your own shortcuts).

    I got the app as part of a bundle so I'm not sure whether it's worth the full cost of I think $14 but if you are annoyed with resizing windows probably would be worth it. Watch the video on their page and decide for yourself.

    I second the use of spaces/expose. I use spaces and have 9 spaces, and if you want me to switch to an app, I can be there in a fraction of a second using keyboard shortcuts. I've got alt+numb keys mapped for my nine spaces. Some people use arrow keys, etc, I find I like being able to directly hit the space.

    Count me as another user who literally never minimizes a window, I do not think I've done this intentionally ever now on my mac :)

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