Divvy Up Your Screen

One annoyance that I’ve found in dealing with multiple windows in OS X is how each application seems to view the green plus button a little differently. Some applications use it to make the app full screen, and some of those use the button to return the window to its original size, and some choose to ignore it altogether.

iTunes is particularly poor at window management, choosing to display the mini player when the button is clicked. Safari and Finder seem to resize themselves without rhyme or reason. We’ve covered other aspects of window management here a few times, but my favorite way to manage my window size is now a little app named Divvy.

Divvy uses the OS X support for assistive devices to automate resizing windows. By default, Divvy is activated by clicking a status bar icon. Once clicked, you can select the size that you’d like your frontmost window to be. When you release the mouse, the window will be resized, and the Divvy window will disappear.

However, if you have multiple windows open, there’s an option to allow Divvy to stay open until dismissed. This helps by letting you choose each window, then select its desired size instead of having to recall the app for each window.

Like all great apps, Divvy’s usefulness is enhanced by keyboard shortcuts. You can define a system-wide shortcut to call the app, and then create shortcuts for common window positions. I’ve created shortcuts to make windows go full screen, center, and take up half-left or half-right positions.

I enjoy Divvy as it is, but I can think of a couple great enhancements. For one, it would be nice to be able to call a shortcut from outside the application, instead of having to call Divvy first. I’m not sure exactly how that would work internally, maybe through some Apple Script or Automator magic. The other addition I would love to see is something similar to Windows 7 and Cinch’s ability to resize windows by dragging them to “hot edges”.

What’s your favorite way to manage window size? Any tricks or apps that help? Sound off in the comments!

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Apple Company Profile