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Windows 7 Makes Moving Windows a 'Snap'

Rearrange open windows on your desktop


Windows 7 Makes Moving Windows a 'Snap'

The arrow points to the outline of the window about to snap.

Microsoft Corp.

The Windows 7 aero interface not only looks great, but has a lot of useful features; one of the best is "aero snap" or "windows snap", a way to move open windows around quickly. Using aero snap is a little tricky at first, but with some practice, you'll get the hang of it. Follow these steps.

  • Grab an open window by the title bar -- that's the bar running across the very top of the window. To grab it, click anywhere in an open space in the bar, and hold down your mouse button.

  • Continuing to hold the mouse button, move the window either to the left or right. You can snap it in one of two ways:

    1. Drag the window partially off the screen, until a "ghost" image appears behind the window. You'll see the outline of the window; perhaps only the edges will be visible. Let go of the mouse button, and the window will snap to the edge, and fill half the screen.

    2. Alternatively, you can jerk the window quickly to the edge, with a sharp move of your mouse. The ghost outline won't appear, and the window will snap. Both of these methods take some practice, so try it out for awhile until you get comfortable. This a perfect solution for those times you'd like two windows open side-by-side.
  • To put the window back to its previous state, grab the title bar as before and drag down; it should quickly bounce back to its former size and position.

You can also snap a window to fill the whole screen, rather than half the screen. The process is the same: grab the title bar and drag. But this time, drag it to the top of your desktop, and it will snap to fill the whole screen. Drag it back down again, and the same thing happens: it snaps to its former size again.

If you're a keyboard shortcut enthusiast, you can snap windows through a combination of pressing the "Windows" key (the one with the little flag on it) plus the left arrow key to snap the window left, and the Windows key plus the right arrow key to move the window (surprise) to the right.

Snapping may feel strange at first, but I encourage you to play with it until you're comfortable; I think you'll like it, and start using it more and more.

Back to the Quick Guide to the Windows 7 desktop.

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