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I have a Mac Pro (early 2008) with two displays - #1 in front of me for regular work, and #2 off to the side for calendar, task list, Adium, and other "glance at" items.

I'm running Snow Leopard (10.6.2), and most apps seem to be consistently good about remembering their window location when I quit and relaunch them. I hate that!

I have a few applications, like iCal, that I want to always open in their "home" spot on display #2. But I might be working through a web tutorial, and I'll drag a Safari, Preview or Finder window off to the side as I work; I still want all their new windows to open on display #1, but I can't figure out how.

I've looked at nearly every UI-tweak application there is - Fantasktik, MercuryMover, MondoMouse, QuicKeys, Zooom2, Cinch, SizeUp, HyperSpaces - but I don't see this sort of functionality in any of them. Is there some way to accomplish what I want, either globally or at least app-by-app for some of these apps? Off the top of my head, this usually involves:

  • Safari
  • Preview.app
  • Finder/Spotlight
  • Mail
  • Thunderbird
  • VMWare Fusion (yeah, good luck with that)
  • Evernote
  • OmniFocus
  • TextMate
  • Terminal
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Jay, I'm the author of Zooom/2, and I was wondering - how would you want this to work in more detail. Can I ask you to email me at support@coderage-software.com in order to discuss this in private so we can thrash out the details? –  John Clayton Jan 12 '10 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There is not any way to do this except closing a window on the monitor that you want the next window to open on--as you have realized. This is a feature, just not for you! You mention SizeUp which is the best solution to manage windows on multiple monitors in my opinion as it lets you assign shortcuts to move windows between monitors. With SizeUp you can move a window between monitors even if it is behind a full screen movie for example, as long as the window you want to move is the front most window of the active application.

I also make heavy use of Hiding applications rather than dragging them out of my way onto my second monitor, and I have transparent icons in the dock so I can see what I have hidden. When I command tab back to the hidden app it's windows are right where I want them to be.

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You can do this with QuicKeys 4.0. You set up a workflow which sends the front window of an application to the second monitor each time that application becomes the front most app.

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