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Resize OS X Windows From Any Edge or Corner

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A feature that has always bothered me about Mac OS X is its restriction on resizing windows. In versions of OS X through Snow Leopard, windows can only be resized via the handle in the bottom-right corner. Why the limitation? Comments on the Web dating back for years include phrases such as “because it’s always been that way”, “it’s more elegant like that”, “it’s simpler” or “that’s just the ‘Apple way'”.

The problem with one (or even multiple) corner-only control for adjusting window size is that it is difficult to maintain the original aspect ratio of the window and resizing in just one direction is nearly impossible. For example, having set the width of my Web browser’s window for designing Web pages, when I connect my MacBook Pro to a 24-inch external monitor I only want to adjust the height to the larger desktop. However, it is very difficult to do so when resizing from a corner. What I want to, and am able to do on other operating systems, is resize the top or bottom edge.

Fortunately, someone at Apple may have realized that things do not have to remain the way they always have been, more control is not less elegant or users are now more sophisticated. Whatever the reason, it is a welcome change to see that, beginning with OS X Lion, a window can be sized from any corner or any edge.

One counterpoint to the new resizing functionality is that it can be confusing for some. I have watched someone, who was accustomed to earlier versions of OS X, struggle with this new-found freedom. Accidentally missing the corner of the window and grabbing the right edge, for example, limits movement to horizontal directions, which can be unexpected. Nevertheless, it is not an insurmountable learning curve.

If you are not yet on OS X Lion or are not planning on upgrading. You, too, can have more resizing control. Check out Flexiglass at the Mac App Store. It enables you to move, resize, maximize, and close windows on a Mac with the mouse, trackpad or keyboard. You can even manipulate windows with gestures.

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