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.

16 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

I would pay good money for a Windowshade feature like we had in OS 9.

@Charles there used to be things like SIMBL that could enable Windowshade and other more deep-hook features. Personally, I think Minimize is much better as a window management tool, but Windowshade can be super handy if you just want to get a quick peak behind your current window

I used Windowmizer until it broke in an OS update. I emailed the developer and months later, I got a message back, incompatible with Sonoma, it's trying to access unsanctioned APIs, blah blah blah. I used to keep dozens of windows windowshaded, so at least I could see the title.

You can add a keyboard shortcut for the move right/left in Settings -> Keyboard -> Keyboard shortcuts. Once added, the options also always show in the Window menu. I set {control}{command}{right}/{left} whenever I use macOS.

@Ryan Yes, I just like built-in stuff so I don’t have to reconfigure every time I set up a test Mac.

I use Magnet daily and it’s become very important for me for Windows management. But I use it 100% via keyboard shortcuts. Does macOS introduce keyboard shortcuts for this?

Since a third party app could do this on macOS, Apple adding it is nice but not earth shattering. What really baffles me is how terrible Stage Manager is on iPadOS, which is the platform that would benefit the most from full screen, world class tiling implementation; and somehow to this day, many apps somehow still don’t support split screen… Apple should just make it mandatory.

…maybe one day.

I’ve been using Rectangle for this functionality and will probably continue using it for the lack of some functionality.

Are the keyboard shortcuts customizable for these? I’ve got a lot of muscle memory from the now defunct SizeUp, and recently Moom.

I wonder how Stage Manager interacts (read: messes up) with tiling. If you drag the window to the left border, is it gonna be sucked into the stage manager strip, or causes windows to fly everywhere, or...?

I use gaps on my Hyprland setup (tiling window manager) - it helps break the content up. Personal preference for which way you like it.

What the heck kind of menu key is “fn-Control-Shift”?

Peter: fn is the globe key.


Now make all windows tab-able to each other, Apple.

Unfortunately, the fn/globe key is really tough to type as modifier if you have a full-sized keyboard because it’s way on the right side next to Home.

@plume you can do that with https://manytricks.com/witch/

I use Divvy. I have Magnet and probably Rectangle too, but I have used Divvy for so long and Magnet's drop menu is too long, so I use Divvy. I look forward to completely disabling Apple's basik approach and continuing to use Divvy in Sequoia.

I guess I will start putting a piece black tape on my screen to hide the fucking clock in the menu bar. Thanks, Apple.

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