Greg Ferro - Work to Live

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OSX: Sizeup – Screen Layout Using the Keyboard

Sizeup - Screen Layout using the Keyboard

SizeUp is a utility that provides keyboard shortcuts that layout the applications on the screen by "breaking" a screen into four quarters (top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right) or two halves (vertical or horizontal) and then assigning shortcut keys to each area. With the currently selected window, a keyboard shortcut can assign that window to the selected area of the screen.

Consider the following screen shots (at low resolution so that they can fit your screen)

Top Left

Sizeup qtr 1

Bottom Left

Sizeup qtr 2

Right Half

Sizeup qtr 3

All four quarters.

Sizeup qtr 41

Mixed Layout

There are no restrictions on placements. For example, my most common layout is below.

and I have placed each of these windows with a single keyboard shortcuts. NO CLICKY CLICKY with the mouse. This means that my workflow is very fast to get to this layout.

Various Options

Menu Bar

Sizeup 1

For the first few weeks I need to refer to the keyboard shortcuts. now they ae part of my muscle memory and I don’t have to think about it anymore.

Preference Pane

SizeUp can be configured to your personal requirements.

Sizeup pref pane 1You can change the keyboards shortcuts (but I don’t)

Sizeup pref pane 2This preference can set margins between the edges and the windows. I have a configured margin of 3 pixels between the windows because I couldn’t see where some application windows ended e.g. The terminal window is black all the way to the edge, and multiple terminal windows means it was solid black every where which I found confusing.

Sizeup pref pane 3This allows you to create an asymmetrical layout. I tried this for a while but I found that having a “major window” and “minor window” sizing didn’t work well because of the highly dynamic layout of the screen.

The Etherealmind View

Because I tend to use a lot of programs at the same time and blend different combinations of programs according to the each job, this is my MOST USEFUL OSX utility. I understand that other people have fixed screen layouts but I have never been able to reduce the software tools that I use to a number that can fit on one or two screens. Workmates have always been impressed when seeing this tool in action.

My workflow is hugely improved because I can rapidly redeploy applications aournd my screens according to the task at hand. I have been using SizeUp for about a year and have never had any compatibility problems or crashing.

SizeUp is available from Irradiated Software and costs USD$13.

My Menu bar looks like this

This is one of a series of articles that look at my Menu Bar after colleague asked what software I am using.

Menu bar 20100321 1