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I am trying to find a way to have a button or key combination that, when pushed, would rearrange all the windows on the desktop to a pre-determined state. There are five programs that need to be arranged to fit in a certain way. I first thought of AutoHotkey, but honestly I have no idea how to approach that method.

8

DisplayFusion can create monitor profiles that memorize and recall desktop placement and resolution as well as program window placement. You might be able to take advantage of that latter feature.

8

I just open sourced an app that can remember and restore window layouts. See https://github.com/adamsmith/WindowsLayoutSnapshot.

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    Awesome, @Adam. Simple, but awesome. Thanks a lot, but is it possible to launch it via hotkey? Maybe your program has some command line parameter? The docs show nothing about it. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Sep 29 '14 at 21:01
  • author no longer maintains this. perhaps consider a fork, e.g. github.com/lapo-luchini/WindowsLayoutSnapshot/tree/v1.3.0.0 – TT-- Oct 2 '18 at 14:05
  • NB: "Snapshots are not stored across app instances (or, thus, restarts)" and also the automatically taken snapshots seem to eventually overwrite manually created ones in the list. – TT-- Oct 4 '18 at 22:31
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WinSize2 is a program written in AutoHotKey that can make Windows remember window position, size and more. The program gives you the ability to save the window size and location for any program or folder.

To save any window position, click on the Windows title bar to make sure the window is active and press the hotkey Ctrl+Alt+Z. A tooltip message will confirm that the position has been saved. Now if you close the window and open it again, the program window will be automatically resized and moved to the position where you saved it.

You can edit the behavior and position of any previously saved window by right-clicking on the tray icon and choosing “Special Parameters”.

enter image description here

Here you can manually enter window position coordinates and size, force the window to open maximized, minimized, full screen or hidden, make it “always on top” and even enter a delay between opening the window and resizing.

WinSize2 works on all versions of Windows right from 95 to 7.

enter image description here

  • Looked promising but doesn't work. I opened one of the applications hit the hotkey. It 'saved'. I brought up the dialog and checked 'always' and when I relaunch the application it launches in maximize like normal. – Unfundednut Feb 1 '11 at 17:41
  • @MrStatic: I have no experience using this app but looking at the "Rating and Reviews" on the project page, I can say the program should work without problems. Maybe you could reexamine the settings of the program (there seems to be a lot of settings!) and retry. This is all I can say at the moment. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Feb 1 '11 at 18:15
  • It didn't work for me either. Behavior was very odd, some windows it put in wrong places, others it just did nothing with, others would open then resize then move to the (correct) position. ALl in all I found it to be pretty useless. – Colin Jack Sep 7 '11 at 21:10
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As @AdamSmith, but from command line, I have designed a program to save and restore the windows, too.

Here it is, on another thread, if you need it (.exe files and .ahk source code).

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I had this same problem so I built a small application to take care of it. Free, no ads, just works. You can find it under my "Freeware" section, called "TAN Window Manager". I use it everyday.

Simply place a shortcut to the program in your startup folder so it runs at boot. Open all the programs you want to save and place them where you want. Right-click the TAN Window Manager icon that will be in your tray and click 'Save Window Locations'. In the popup check the windows you want to save and click 'Save'. Now you can use the 'Restore Window Locations' button to magically move your saved windows back to where you placed them. The program is a standalone EXE, no install routine, just place the EXE anywhere you like.

Todd

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    Welcome to Super User! Please read how to recommend software in answers, particularly the bits in bold; then edit your answer to follow the guidelines there. Thanks! – bertieb Sep 19 '18 at 21:41
  • I just installed your program on my Windows 10 machine that uses two monitors, 1° = 1920x1200 in portrait mode, 2° = 4k in landscape. I had to convince my antivirus program it was safe, but after that it seems to work as advertised. – Rocky Scott Feb 22 at 12:41
  • Cool, glad it worked for you, thanks for commenting. I’ll have to look into what’s involved to get it ‘trusted’ by the various A/V programs. But rest assured it’s safe. Looks like it’s my only app I didn’t upload the source. I’ll add that later today. – Todd1561 Feb 23 at 14:45
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So far my favorite solution so far is a program by DeskSoft called "WindowManager", as found here: http://www.desksoft.com/WindowManager.htm

Takes a little bit to understand its interface, but once you do you will realize how much flexibility it has with how simplistic the task is. You choose how it finds the types of windows you want to arrange (name, process name, etc) then it will try to arrange it for you, and you can use a hotkey if the window changes after it is launched, for example.

I really wish this was an optional Windows feature, being that the OS is called Windows after all, but I digress. It seems they tried to use the snap feature to do this sort of thing, but this program is much more reliable and flexible in my experience.

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