January 06, 2010

Instant love: Cinch & SizeUp

Man, I can’t tell you the last time I parted with $20 so quickly: Irradiated Software’s Cinch and SizeUp are companion Mac utilities that facilitate common window-resizing tasks:

  • Cinch ($7) lets you “drag any standard window to the left or right edge of a screen to resize it to fill that half of the screen, or drag to the top of the screen to zoom it full-screen.” [Via]
  • SizeUp ($13) lets you perform similar operations via the keyboard.

Done and done. Just yesterday I was playing with CSS Edit, experimenting with some new kid-blog tweaks (a work in progress, but coming right along) and wished I had an easy way to tile the windows. Bingo; cash on the barrel.

Mostly unrelated note: I can’t begin to imagine how or why people use Macs without Default Folder installed. Also, yes, I realize that Windows 7 offers built-in functionality like what Cinch provides. Good for everybody.

Posted by John Nack at 7:32 AM on January 06, 2010

Comments

  • NB — 7:54 AM on January 06, 2010

    Cinch is a step in the right direction, but it still needs some polishing up. Using it next to a Win 7 comp makes you notice the differences.
    1.) A bit laggy. The windows snap is almost instantaneous. The slow dotted line expansion maybe a part of this.
    2.) Windows will not keep there ‘Cinched’ size on drag. In Win 7 if you quickly drag a window it will revert back to it’s original size, but if you slowly drag the window it will keep its ‘snapped’ size. This is really useful on multi-monitor setups.

  • Welles — 8:22 AM on January 06, 2010

    Too bad Cinch doesn’t work with Adobe products.

  • Craig — 9:42 AM on January 06, 2010

    Wow. Love size up. Good call for the window alignment freak in me. : ) I’m exploring Default Folder now. Any tips there?
    [There’s lots to love in Default Folder, but if nothing else, you’ll dig having big previews of whatever is selected in your Open dialogs, and once you learn to hit Opt-up/down arrow to move among your 10 most recently used folders, you’ll do a face-palm wondering how others ever live without it. –J.]

  • Joshua Bloom — 2:01 PM on January 06, 2010

    You should also take a look at Breeze http://www.macendeavor.com/breeze/
    Which lets you define the window states/sizes you like and bind it to keyboard shortcuts.
    You can have universal states (for all apps) and app specific states (by application)
    -josh

  • Mark — 3:57 PM on January 06, 2010

    They are both great apps!

  • Phil Brown — 4:19 PM on January 06, 2010

    What I really wish Windows 7 understood was monitor borders on extended desktops over multiple monitors so you could snap to the monitor boundary and not just the desktop boundary.
    You can do the slow drag to effectively position a window, of course, but snapping would be even better.
    It’s great functionality and it’s good to see it on both platforms in one way or another.
    These sorts of organisational features often leaving you wondering how you ever worked without them (like me finally installing Directory Opus and wondering how I’ve been working without it all these years since I gave up my Amiga and went to PC).
    Also, being able to get some UI consistency between platforms by tweaking is useful, too, so thanks as always for the post, John :-)

  • Travis — 7:24 PM on January 06, 2010

    I tried both yesterday myself. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cinch, as I found the dotted animation a bit slow each time, but SizeUp was an instant buy for me. I also like that SizeUp lets you define margins around the windows since for some reason I hate drop shadows overlaying adjacent windows!
    Thanks for reminding me about DefaultFolder too!

  • mike Boden — 10:07 PM on January 06, 2010

    One of my favorite applications for OSX is Simple WindowSets. This application remembers Finder window sizes, positions and folders. For me…it’s indispensable.

  • Andy — 4:22 AM on January 07, 2010

    Default Folder… I’ve had this for ages, and it is clearly one of my must haves. One of those utilities you forget you have, because it does its thing so well that it feels like it is part of the Finder. Can’t imagine using OS X without it.

  • Mario — 7:23 AM on January 07, 2010

    I’m a huge CSS Edit user and fan. Too bad the project looks dead.

  • jcool — 7:46 AM on January 07, 2010

    I know you guys don’t use Windows so it’s easy to ignore this, but:
    PLEASE implement the Vista/7 common dialogs for open/save. It’s a constant irritation having to drill down through multiple directories because my shortcuts aren’t displayed in the dialogs.
    NOTEPAD has better open/save dialogs. This doesn’t speak well to my $1400 pro suite.
    Fixing this would improve the usablity for every windows user in practically every session of Photoshop. How many opportunities like that do you have to improve your app?

  • Craig — 7:52 AM on January 07, 2010

    Wow – how did I miss Default Folder? I’m addicted already! Thanks!

  • Calvin — 2:40 PM on January 07, 2010

    For snapping to monitor boundaries you can use Windows+Left/Right arrow keys. This is also useful for moving windows rapidly between monitor.
    You can also minimize, restore, maximize with Windows+Up/Down.

  • Chris Betcher — 6:20 PM on January 07, 2010

    Yep. I stumbled across Cinch last week and had a play…
    I quite like it, but one thing pretty much kills it for me, and that’s the fact that it’s broken the functionality of Spaces. You can usually drag a window to the edge of the screen and hold for a moment before then pushing the window into the adjacent Space. I know there are other ways to do this, but I’m a little wary of Cinch because it appears to take over this push-to-edge-of-screen action from Spaces, so I wonder what mixed messages it sends the OS?
    Or is there a workaround I haven’t discovered yet?

  • Stefan N — 6:43 AM on January 08, 2010

    While we’re on the subject of window management; as a newly Mac-convert I found it a bit restricting that only the lower left corner allowed for a window resize in OS X.
    [Interestingly, we got *crucified* for adding all-sides window resizing in CS4. Never mind that Apple does it in Final Cut, etc. If they don’t deign to give you something in Finder, it’s *morally wrong*, dammit. –J.]
    But then I found Zooom/2 (http://coderage-software.com/zooom/index.html) and it took 30 second of trial usage until I decided to pay for the $15 full version. It’s actually a joy to move and resize windows now (how corny as that sounds)!

  • Phil Brown — 4:39 PM on January 08, 2010

    Calvin – thank you! That’s awesome :-)

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