On Mac OS X, some windows are a fixed size (eg. Photo Booth). Is there a way I can make them smaller to take up less space on a smaller screen?

  • 2
    You should switch your accepted response to Michael Neale -- that's a slick way of doing it! Dec 4, 2009 at 16:02

3 Answers 3


Actually there is a solution:

Before launching an app, run from terminal: defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.8 That will make all subsequent apps run at 80% size (you can set it back to 1 after it is launched).

To make this easy, create the following apple script (I turned it into an .app and gave it the icon for photobooth):

do shell script "defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.8" 
tell application "Photo Booth" to launch 
do shell script "defaults write -g AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1"
  • That's pretty cool -- I never knew that! Dec 4, 2009 at 15:46

I believe the answer is no.

The only thing that may help is simply increasing your screen resolution.

Not a great answer, but I really don't think it's possible.

Update: See Michael Neale's response below for a really slick solution.

But there are some alternatives:

  • See below - there is a command line way - not for everyone, but works brilliantly. Those other apps look handy though. Dec 4, 2009 at 3:07
  • Thanks for updating it. Actually, the solution below technically fools the app into thinking the screen is higher resolution, adding virtual pixels ;) Its a handy trick. Dec 5, 2009 at 21:59

On your keyboard simply hit the three keys control command F at the same time.

You can do this in the Photo Booth hidden menu at the top of the display as well under View. I couldn't find an answer in Google but found this out in a roundabout manner.

  • The question was about making windows smaller. Control-Command-F puts the app in full screen mode.
    – killdash9
    Oct 15, 2014 at 20:49

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