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Does anybody know a tool that allows to limit the area on the desktop that windows will be maximized to?

Background:

After eight years with my trusty 19" 4:3 monitor, I have now purchased a Widescreen monitor.

I need the extra space mainly for toolbars and such. What annoys me is that every window maximizes to the full width of the desktop. I would much prefer windows maximizing to a centered 4:3 view, leaving a few hundred pixels of space to the left and right that I can fill with toolbars and such.

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have a look at DesktopCoral, it is designed to "reserve" some portion of your desktop which is shielded from maximized applications.

or consider a window manager, these programs allow you to assign rules to program windows, defining size, position, transparency, etc.

Eusing's Auto Window Manager is free, my recommendation would be Actual Window Manager (shareware).

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This is an old post, but I stumbled upon it looking for the same solution.

After checking out some of the options in @Molly7244's post, I remembered that I'd paid for a copy of DisplayFusion a long time ago, so I checked out the feature list, and it also has this function, called "Splits and Areas" in their configuration options (under Monitor Profiles). It seems to work fairly well (and it was always good for dual monitor stuff), so it's another option to check out should someone else be looking for this.

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