Since switching to macOS a few years ago, I find myself missing some Linux features that I used for a long period. The absence of superior window tiling is one such issue. Because it is a closed system, macOS does not give you as much control over its system components as Linux does, thus it is more difficult to dive deep into the OS and tailor it to your needs. As a result, you don’t have nearly as much leeway to personalize macOS as you would like.
However, there are excellent third-party applications available for managing windows and desktops. In order to enhance the tiling capabilities on a Mac, you would need to replace or extend the functionality of the default display server, Quartz. The apps mentioned above can help you resize and organize windows on your desktop, but they cannot replace or extend the functionality of Quartz.
In Apple’s macOS-based devices, Quartz Compositor serves mostly as an internal system component. It displays the rasterized images generated by the various graphics rendering frameworks. In addition, it serves as a compositing window manager, providing a shared screen buffer for all of your desktop applications.
Top Macintosh Window Manager Programs
Users familiar with macOS’s multitasking capabilities will be familiar with Split View, a feature of the system’s built-in window manager that allows users to open and utilize two applications side by side. If you’re familiar with its use for desktop management, you’re also familiar with its limitations. As a result, you might be interested in exploring alternative window managers for your Mac.
So, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a selection of excellent macOS window managers. When it comes to their core functionality—namely, how they address the issue of window management—most of these programs are essentially interchangeable. However, the methods used and the features provided by each one are what truly differentiate them from one another.
When working with many windows on a Mac, I find that Rectangle is the most useful tool. It’s the greatest option for someone who has never used a window manager before, because it’s free and open source. Rectangle’s open-source nature provides the usual benefits associated with this model compared to its closed-source competitors. For one, it’s completely costless to utilize. Second, it encourages the participation of the entire coding community in developing and implementing fixes for bugs and new features.
Rectangle’s feature set is extensive enough to meet the needs of the vast majority of its users. The convenience also enhances the fun. You can rearrange windows in two ways: by utilizing the menu bar’s preset options or by assigning your own shortcut keys. The latter requires you to learn the keyboard keys for the various window configuration arrangements, but once you’re familiar with them, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently arrange your desktop windows. Rectangle’s default keyboard shortcuts can be modified in the app’s settings if you wish to use a different combination.
Obtain a Rectangle, Free
If you’re looking for an alternative to Rectangle, try out Magnet, another well-liked window manager for Mac. There is some overlap between this and Rectangle, but the similarities end at the cost. Magnet is a commercial app that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, in contrast to the open-source and free Rectangle.
Functionally, it’s as easy as snapping windows onto different spots on the screen to arrange and organize them. You can reposition windows using the keyboard shortcuts or by dragging and dropping them with the mouse. You can modify these shortcuts to work the way you want them to. Magnet’s menu bar icon, much like Rectangle’s, lets you choose between several distinct desktop window arrangements. Finally, if you need to use more than one screen, you can connect up to six external displays at once, each in a unique arrangement.
Payment of $4.99 (Rs 449).
If it isn’t evident from the name, BetterSnapTool is a Macintosh program that helps with window management by allowing you to easily move and resize windows. The app’s default window arrangements are highly customizable.
You can also create a desktop arrangement that is unique to you. You may customize the snapping sizes for individual programs, which is one of its best features. When you have more than two applications running at once and need to restrict some of them to a smaller area of your desktop, this feature can be very helpful.
You can “snap” windows into place by dragging and dropping them in predetermined areas of the display. Keyboard shortcuts can also be used to accomplish the same goals quickly.
To that end, BetterSnapTool provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of configuring the resizing and snapping features.
The action taken when you double-click a window’s title bar is also customizable. BetterSnapTool also works with several monitors, which is a major plus. If you do, you can utilize the software to control your windows across all of your displays. You can modify the size and placement of the windows to suit your needs.
Amount paid: $2.99 (Rs 269 approx.
Mosaic, compared to the other window managers we’ve covered for macOS, is a powerhouse. It’s very modifiable, so you can arrange your desktop as you like and classify your open windows in a way that makes everything easier to find when you need it. Mosaic also allows you to resize and relocate windows on your desktop through the use of keyboard shortcuts in addition to the traditional drag-and-drop method. And if you possess a MacBook with TouchBar, you can just swipe your finger across the bar to switch between different layouts.
Mosaic is a robust window manager that extends much beyond the basics in terms of capabilities and personalization. For instance, you may apply auto-layout to a window so that it remembers where you want it on the desktop, create custom layouts, set a quick single-use layout, alter the padding (space surrounding windows), and more. In addition, you may remotely manage your desktop windows from your iPhone or iPad and organize your windows into layout groups for easy switching.
Get Mosaic for free for 7 days, then pay £9.99
Window Manager Divvy
When it comes to window managers for macOS, Divvy is another strong option. The software is not overly complicated, and its full functionality can be attained without memorizing a large number of shortcut keys. The ability to quickly configure the layout of your desktop without resorting to the time-consuming and error-prone process of dragging and dropping windows is one of the best features of Divvy.
Divvy’s straightforward UI makes window management accessible even to those without prior experience. However, power users can still take advantage of keyboard shortcuts for instantaneous window snapping. Naturally, the program also lets you alter the shortcut keys, alter your preferences for the numerous visual options, and create your own shortcuts for your unique window resizing requirements. Last but not least, a multi-monitor arrangement is supported, which allows you to spread your desktop’s windows across all of your external screens.
$13.99 (1249) after a 7-day free trial.
Learn to Share
The easiest tool to use to handle windows is Moom (move and zoom windows). It allows you to easily resize and relocate windows to new locations on your desktop. Let’s say you’re familiar with Split View in macOS. In that scenario, you’ll discover that Moom’s features are consistent with its own, especially with regards to the various layout settings that can be accessed via the arrow button in the window’s title bar.
A palette will appear when you click the green button on Moom. You can quickly rearrange the windows on your desktop by selecting a predefined arrangement from this palette.
While you can use the pre-configured layouts just fine, you can also resize and arrange windows in a custom layout by clicking on the empty box in the Moom palette and dragging the mouse to set the desired proportions.
In addition, you may take a window, drag it to an edge or corner, and have it snap into place with Moom’s Snap to Edges and Corners function. If you’re more comfortable with a keyboard than a mouse, you may use the software’s window management tools to rearrange windows on your desktop. In addition, it lets you construct your own commands to speedily conduct certain window operations. A Snapshot can be taken of the current window state. After that, reactivating that layout will quickly return the windows to their previous places.
Free for 7 days, then $10 (about Rs 899)
The Importance of Using the Appropriate Window Manager in macOS
Those are a few of the top applications for macOS that let you handle many windows in a streamlined manner.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these window managers are merely programs that improve upon standard window management features.
They do nothing to improve the system’s Quartz Compositor feature. Check out Amethyst and chunkwm (formerly Yabai) if you’re looking for an alternative to Quartz that gives you greater control over your Mac’s window layout, similar to what you’d find in Linux.
You can get a lot more done and enjoy a more streamlined working environment with the help of the tools and software we’ve highlighted if all you need is a means to control windows on your Mac desktop.