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Here's the common scenario:

  • You are working in a full screen application.
  • Then you open a text editor to write a note or edit a text document.
  • You need to reference some of the information in the full screen application, so you move the text editor window down.
  • But now the text editor is half on the window, and half off, making it harder to use (scroll bars are half hidden, status bar is hidden, and if you perform a find operation in it, the result may be on the section off the screen).

What you really wanted to do was resize the text editor window, but given that it's 10 times easier to move a window than resize it, you chose to move it. Yes, you could make window edges 10 times bigger, but that wastes too much valuable screen space.

The other problem with resizing a window is that it's a bit of a hassle, each time, to get the window back to the size it was before you resized it (especially for applications where the exact size is important).

Is there a Windows tool to help with this?

Here's what I'm thinking, but I'm open to all solutions:

  • A utility that resizes windows automatically as they are being moved off the screen... and then automatically resizes them to the previous size as they are dragged back into the visible area.

Gratis tools are preferred, but all will be considered. Open-source is a always a bonus, but not required.

  • What I've noticed on Win7 (at a customer's site): Moving the window so it touches the top of the screen makes it full-size. But moving it to the left or right border makes it full-height 50%-width. Might fit your purpose, having your text editor using the other half of the screen then. (Or doesn't fit as the window gets too small, I cannot tell ;) – Izzy May 24 '16 at 5:47
  • @Izzy I think you have an interesting idea, but I'm not quite seeing how it could work. Ping me in chat and we can talk about it. – RockPaperLizard May 24 '16 at 7:34
  • Well, as you didn't want to talk to me in chat: Steve has put it in an answer, so I'd say we can cleanup our comments now :) – Izzy May 24 '16 at 15:33
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One possibility is the use of the windows shortcut keys and docking if you:

  • Open your editor as described then
  • hold the windows key and press the cursor right button, this will dock your editor on the right using half the screen,
  • alt-tab will switch you back to the previous app,
  • then windows+left will doc that to the left.

(Directions can be reversed of course).

Example: enter image description here

Definitely works on Windows 7, 8.1 & 10 but may well work as far back as XP.

  • I just noticed that the right screenshot is an image of you writing your answer! Nice touch Steve! :-) – RockPaperLizard Jun 10 '16 at 20:52
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The Sizer application adds a menu to all windows from which certain pre-configured dimensions can be selected. It does not automatically size windows. However, you can specify your own custom windows sizes and select them from the menu. The software seems to be quite old. To make it work in newer versions of Windows, I usually run it with Admin account and also set OS compatibility options to Windows XP.

After you have resized a window, you can double-click on the title bar to maximize it. If you double-click again on the title bar, the window will revert back to the old custom size. Many applications, but not all, remember the last window dimensions when they are closed. Hence it is not necessary to have another application remember them.

  • Thanks for the recommendation! I'm not sure if that meets the requirements, though. Can you explain how it does? – RockPaperLizard Jun 23 '16 at 17:19
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AutoHotKey can be used to move and resize windows. For example the script at the bottom of this page maximizes the current window across multiple monitors:

+#Up::
   WinGetActiveTitle, Title
   WinRestore, %Title%
   SysGet, X1, 76
   SysGet, Y1, 77
   SysGet, Width, 78
   SysGet, Height, 79
   WinMove, %Title%,, X1, Y1, Width, Height
return

The AutoHotKey WinMove documentation presents an example of centering a window on the screen:

Run, calc.exe
WinWait, Calculator
WinMove, 0, 0 ; Move the window found by WinWait to the upper-left corner of the screen.

SplashTextOn, 400, 300, Clipboard, The clipboard contains:`n%clipboard%
WinMove, Clipboard, , 0, 0 ; Move the splash window to the top left corner.
Msgbox, Press OK to dismiss the SplashText
SplashTextOff

; The following function centers the specified window on the screen:
CenterWindow(WinTitle)
{
    WinGetPos,,, Width, Height, %WinTitle%
    WinMove, %WinTitle%,, (A_ScreenWidth/2)-(Width/2), (A_ScreenHeight/2)-(Height/2)
}

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