Learn how to… Improve ‘snapping’ Windows

When Windows 7 introduced the Aero Snap feature, allowing you to see two windows side-beside simply by dragging one to the left of the screen and another to the right, we all wondered how we ever managed to live without it. However, this incredibly useful feature has never really been expanded upon – until now! The free Win-dock application has been developed with larger screen sizes and multiple monitor setups in mind.
Finally, you can define not just a left and right ‘snap’, but also top and bottom, screen corners and even pre-defined hot-spots on your screen. Now three, four, or even more windows can be snapped together with new actions. Win-dock can remember a number of different configurations for future use too, which makes
it really easy to quickly place program windows where you want and across multiple screens if you have them.

Step-by-step Arrange and snap Windows

1.Add a profile

Download and install Win-dock from www.ivanyu.ca/windock. When you open the program you’ll see two default options; the ‘ – Active’ suffix tells you which one is currently in use. To make your own profile, click ‘Add’ and then give it a name. We've chosen ‘Triptych’ (three-piece work of art) to describe a setup of three portrait windows snapped together.

2.Set a rule

Now you need to define what your snapped windows look like and how they are to be ‘snapped’. Under the Rules area, choose ‘Add’. A new window pops up showing you how to define the areas on-screen. We’re starting with one monitor, so leave it set to 1. Now pick ‘Edge’ under the Trigger Type and then select which edge you want to define.

3.Understand the measurements

Dock Position is the screen area allocated to each window, and it can be a little difficult to grasp. Essentially, you need to think about a start and end point for each window – the furthest left and uppermost being 0% in each of the Left and Top columns respectively. Our first window would be ‘Left 0%’ and ‘Right 25%’,
making it fill the screen height in a thin column to the left.

4.Add more rules

Click ‘OK’ to confirm the first rule, then choose ‘Add’ again. To create a window of the same size, but this time positioned on the right-hand side of the screen choose ‘Right’ as the Edge and then under Dock Position choose ‘Left 75%’ and ‘Right 100%’. These leaves us with a 50% gap for our last window in the middle. That would be ‘Left 25%’ and ‘Right 75%’.

5.Area triggers

Assign a new profile and add a new rule, but this time choose ‘Area’ as the Trigger Type. We’re going to make the center of the screen the area we want to snap. This would make our Trigger parameters something like ‘Left 30%’, ‘Top 30%’, ‘Right 70%’ and ‘Bottom 70%’. Your Dock Position parameters could be
anything you like; we've chosen the top-left corner.

6.Corner triggers

WinDock also enables you to snap a program window into position by dragging your mouse cursor to a corner of the screen (much like you do when bringing up the Charms in Windows 8).To do this, start by creating a new profile and adding a rule. Now choose ‘Corner’ as the Trigger Type and then choose a corner that will trigger the snapped window.

7.Multiple monitors

Win Dock is ideal for multiple monitor setups too, enabling you to snap windows to an entirely different screen rather than just a portion of your default screen. To get started, add a new profile or rule choose Monitor 2 and select a Trigger Type as before. You can now define what ever area you want, but make
sure ‘Monitor 2’ is selected in the Dock Position area.

8.Get snapping

That’s it! Finally, you can make better use of your snapped windows. Win-dock supports up to four monitors too, meaning you could use the corner areas of your first monitor to snap a window to a different monitor! Whatever configuration you choose, remember that you can change it easily at any time by editing the rules in the Win-dock settings.

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