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I just checked but the following "Window management" entries are blank for Mac OS X:

  • Move the focused window
  • Resize the focused window
  • Maximize the focused window

Are there really no built in keyboard shortcuts for these in OS X? I do this stuff all the time with GNOME under Linux.

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On 10.9.4, worked for me. Be sure to name it exactly "Zoom". – user60022 Aug 4 '14 at 19:37

11 Answers 11

up vote 40 down vote accepted

Spectacle hasn't been mentioned yet. "Move and resize your windows with ease." --

It's open source:

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Nice - supports behaviour similar to "windows key" + "arrow" on Win7. Just what I was after. – Frederik Feb 13 '14 at 14:54
Exactly what I was looking for, simple, well-designed, and free! – Jeff Jul 25 '14 at 3:26
Yes thanks again... I am new to MacOsX and I just think this should be included in the OS natively... why the green button does not make the same effect. – ruffp Mar 15 at 15:13

Not built in, but you can install 3rd party software.

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MercuryMover seems like what I was looking for. Thanks. Too bad it isn't built in. – Philip Durbin Nov 11 '09 at 6:33
+1 to MercuryMover. I've tried Optimal Layout, Size Up and ShiftIt. MercuryMover is the best for me because it's the quickest way to move/resize windows. Plus, you can make your own shortcuts for resizing to a particular size. – Eddy Aug 18 '12 at 12:13

Personally, I prefer Size Up - it has a huge array of options for auto resizing with a single keypress including quarter screen, maximise and moving windows between monitors and even Spaces.

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Following along with the idea of windowflow - check out it's parent project Optimal Layout. I tried sizeup for a while and was actually trying to find a replacement for it when I found Optimal Layout.

It is by far the best OSX keyboard based window manipulation app I've seen yet! Rocks...

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If you consider yourself a "hacker" you may consider Slate. Slate is like Bettertouch or Sizeup on steroids. Here is the github repo.

There is a learning curve but it is very powerful and customizable. There is a great write-up on how to set up and use it.

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Thanks! The write-up led me to add an answer about as well, which I noticed in the comments. – Philip Durbin Apr 24 '13 at 11:09

I haven't tested in other versions, but in OS X 10.9 (Mavericks), you can use the Voice Over Utility to move and resize windows.

  1. Enable Voice Over in the Accessibility control panel.
  2. Click "Open Voice Over Uitlity"
  3. Click "Commanders" in the left panel.
  4. Select "keyboard"
  5. Select "enable keyboard commander"
  6. Add a new commander.
  7. Specify any keyboard key not already in use.
  8. Choose the command: Size and Position -> Start Moving Window
  9. Select with window to be moved
  10. Hold down the right option key, and press the key selected in 7.
  11. Move the window with the cursor keys.
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Clunky, but very helpful to understand why a Java window was going missing: it dislikes being moved to my other monitor. Grr. – android.weasel Mar 3 at 13:30

I've tried the other third party apps here and have found Moom to be the best:

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See the following AppleScript for the popular (and free) Mac OS X keyboard/mouse shortcut program QuickSilver that will get you a keyboard shortcut for the green zoom button. When you install that and use it with Quicksilver, you'll be able to customize your keyboard shortcut.

tell application "System Events"
    if UI elements enabled then
        set FrontApplication to (get name of every process whose frontmost is true) as string
        tell process FrontApplication
            click button 2 of window 1
            --button 2 is the green "zoom" button for all applications
            --window 1 is always the frontmost window.
        end tell
        tell application "System Preferences"
            set current pane to pane ""
            display dialog "UI element scripting is not enabled. Check 'Enable access for assistive devices'"
        end tell
    end if
end tell


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Weird, that quicksilver link now redirects to some baseball program. – Steve Bennett Sep 15 '11 at 3:41

The best answer is to create a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts.

Then add Chrome or whichever and in the name exact as it appears enter: Zoom.

This is the critical part...

The shortcut has to include the Shift key. When you want to fully maximize the window using the keyboard and mouse you can do so by holding down the Shift key and clicking the Green Maximize/+ button in the browser toolbar.

I assigned my shortcut to be Command+Shift+Return and it works like a charm.

System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts

enter image description here

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Features and ease of use are combined in a way that I can't find in any alternative software.

I use it with Mountain Lion.


SIMBL (required by SizeWell) is not recently updated.

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I have a utility called BetterSnapTool running on my OSX 10.9.4 MacBook. This is a very nice tool that mimics the behavior on Windows 7 of snapping a window to the top, left, or right sides if you drag a window to one of these sides with your mouse. Within BetterSnapTool there is an "Extras" tab and on this panel is an option for "Move Windows". Here, I've chosen CTL and OPT and now when I depress these keys I can move any window under my mouse cursor. BetterSnapTool is rated 5 stars in the Mac App Store application and costs $1.99.

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