Archive for June 11, 2024

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Window Tiling and Snapping in Sequoia

William Gallagher:

Now with macOS Sequoia, it’s having a third go — and this time it’s mimicking third-party window management apps. There are very many of these, including perhaps the most popular, Moom.

All of them, including Apple’s new window tiling feature, let you either drag a given window to a certain spot on your screen, and then have it automatically reposition itself. It’s startling how many options there can be, but the basics that Apple does mean if you drag a window to the left, it expands out to occupy the whole left side of your display.


Apple has also copied one particularly good element of third-party window management apps. Once a window has been dragged to tile on one side or the other, dragging it back immediately resizes it to the width and height it had before.

I’ve tested this a bit, and it seems great. I’ve never understood why Apple spent 20+ years working on Mission Control, Spaces, full screen, and Stage Manager—all while mostly neglecting regular window management. (They did add the hidden Move Window to Left/Right Side of Screen commands in the Window menu, which only appear if you hold down Option and which have no built-in keyboard shortcuts.)

It’s great to have these features built-in, but I will probably still use Moom because of its more advanced tiling features and ability to reposition windows when I connect and disconnect displays.

On my Mac, with Developer Beta 1, the Window menu shows the new commands with no modifiers keys for the keyboard shortcuts. I couldn’t figure out how to type them. This screenshot shows that the modifiers are intended to be fn-Control and fn-Control-Shift, which do work on my Mac, even though I can’t see them.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

The biggest ‘finally’ of the WWDC keynote was macOS picking up Windows-style window snapping.

Craig Grannell:

What got me: someone at Apple thought it a good idea to leave gaps between the windows.

I wondered that, too, but there is a Tiled windows have margins setting to turn off the extra spacing.


Update (2024-06-12): Jack Brewster:

I don’t think I’ll be switching away from Moom. Saved layouts, and automatic layout changes with display changes are too useful to me. And the custom window sizes with keyboard shortcuts are more useful to me than what I’ve seen with Apple’s feature.

I do think it’s a solid implementation though, and lighter-weight tiling apps will probably be Sherlocked by this.

I think Apple is leaving room for more powerful third-party utilities. I just Apple would give them better APIs to work with.

Many Tricks:

In theory, we could add support in Moom to leave space for the thumbnails, but it’s non-trivial because Apple didn’t provide a developer API to Stage Manager (which we would use to find out if it’s running, and the size and location of its thumbnails).

Tim Hardwick:

PC users have had tiling since at least Windows 7 and Aero Snap, and if you've ever used those, the new window tiling feature in macOS Sequoia will be familiar.


The dragging system is far from infallible though. If you drag a window to the side of the screen and hold it for more than a couple of seconds, you can sometimes unintentionally switch to an adjacent desktop space if one is active. It can also be quite tricky to place certain app windows so that they snap to corners.

A good reason to use keyboard shortcuts, except that the fn/globe key is hard to access on a full-sized keyboard.

Update (2024-06-18): Ben Cohen:

I only have four non-default settings I need on a fresh Mac install and now I have a fifth one.


An underrated feature in macOS Sequoia is that you can now make it so that when you double click the title bar of an application it will fill the screen.

There is a zoom option, but that only tells the application to use as much space to show all content, not the whole screen.