No, not that kind of Windows. Application windows. Despite the widespread use of Retina displays, we Mac users live in an age where the number of applications we use has increased but screen real estate has not. That means screen clutter. How do you get rid of the screen clutter of many different app windows?
There are many solutions but let me focus on two I’ve tried; one of which I settled on because it’s an absolute bargain considering what the utility does.
First of all, there’s fullscreen mode on your Mac. Rather, it’s a fullscreen mode in most applications. In the upper left hand corner of most apps are the three familiar buttons, red, orange, and green. Red closes an app’s window. Orange minimizes the app window into the Dock.
What does green do? In most Mac apps on recent versions of OS X and macOS Sierra, the green button puts the app window into fullscreen mode and that covers the Mac’s screen entirely. If all your Mac apps are in fullscreen mode then switching from one app to another is merely an exercise in remembering the app switching keyboard command– Command+Tab. That works well enough and it’s built into the Mac’s OS so what’s not to like?
Second, and this one solves the obvious problem of the built-in solution, is a window management application. The one I use and recommend highly is called Magnet. For a few dollars you get a Menubar utility which, with one click, moves the frontmost app window pretty much wherever you want it to go, and perfectly– one quarter of the screen, half the screen, the whole screen but without the built-in fullscreen mode.
With a single click, app windows are placed where you want them to go.
The benefit to not using the Mac’s built-in fullscreen mode is the ability to 1) view multiple app windows side-by-side or in quadrants, and, 2) copy and paste easily from one app to another without having to use the Command+Tab app switcher.
Not only can you click on Magnet’s Menubar icon to move app windows where you want, but you can also drag and drop. There’s even a clever way to drag an app window to the top of the screen to make it go fullscreen (without the drawbacks). Drag a window from its dropped position and it goes back to where it was before.
For Mac power users, Magnet has plenty of keystroke combos that do the same thing so your hands never have to leave the keyboard. Magnet works much like a similar option in Windows, but blends into the Mac’s OS with ease. It even works on Macs with multiple displays.
The only caveats I’ve run into have to do with certain apps which use a non-standard Mac screen, or which have a minimum (or maximum) window width which prevents Magnet from putting the app window into a corner or half screen. Every Mac user has a handful of apps that get installed on new Macs, and this one is in my Menubar group. It just works. Over 4,000 four and five star ratings on the Mac App Store. Unfortunately, there’s no try-before-you-buy option but the ridiculously low price makes it worth try.