Moving and Resizing Windows

by Barry Dysert
(last updated September 22, 2014)

4

Windows is great about letting you work on multiple things at the same time. For example, you can be working on a Word document, updating an Excel spreadsheet, creating a PowerPoint presentation, etc., "in parallel" by having the applications running in separate windows. Sometimes, though, you may have to move or resize these windows so that you can more easily move among them.

One of the simplest methods for getting a window out of the way of others is by minimizing it. If you know you're not going to be working in a particular window for a while, you can minimize it by clicking the button that looks like an underscore and is located in the upper right hand corner of the window. (An alternate method of minimizing a window is by right-clicking the window's title bar or its taskbar icon and selecting Minimize from the menu.) Minimizing a window keeps the application still running, but it moves the window to the taskbar and thus frees up the desktop "real estate" for other windows. When you do want to work in that window again, just click on that window's icon in the taskbar and it is restored to its former size and location.

On the other hand, if you know you are going to be working in a particular window for a while, you can maximize it either by double-clicking the window's title bar, or by clicking the button that looks like a square and is located in the upper right hand corner of the window. (You can also maximize a window by right-clicking the window's title bar or its taskbar icon and selecting Maximize from the menu.) Maximizing a window increases the window's size so that it totally fills the screen, essentially hiding any other windows behind it. When you want to restore the window to its former size and location, just double-click its title bar or click on the window's restore button, which is again located in the upper right hand corner of the window and looks like two squares on top of one another.

If you simply want to reposition a window so that all of your windows are still visible on the desktop, click the window's title bar, drag it to where you want it to go, and release the mouse button. This allows you to see other portions of your desktop and/or other areas of other windows. (Incidentally, once you've clicked a window's title bar, if you "shake it" by rapidly dragging it back and forth, you will cause all of the other windows to become minimized.) If you'd rather move the window using the keyboard's arrow keys, you can right-click the window's title bar, select Move, and use the arrow keys to move the window however you like. You exit "move mode" by pressing the Escape key.

Moving, minimizing, and maximizing windows is quite useful much of the time, but there are also instances where it makes more sense to simply resize a window. You can resize a window by changing its width and/or its height. To change a window's width, hover your mouse pointer over either the left or right edge of the window until the cursor changes to a double-headed arrow. Then, click and drag the edge of the window left or right until the desired width is obtained. To change a window's height, hover your pointer over either the top or bottom edge until the cursor again changes to a double-headed arrow. Then, click and drag the edge up or down until the desired height is obtained. You can also maintain the window's proportions by resizing both the height and width at the same time by hovering the pointer over any of the four corners of the window and dragging the corner diagonally.

 This tip (11965) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is 7 - 0?

2014-09-30 14:43:27

PD

No comment at present, but this looks like a very useful tool in a few weeks, when I expect to have my own new Win7 machine.

PD


2014-09-22 11:21:25

MWilson

Martin

To restore all the windows you just reduced by shaking, simply shake the title bar of the remaining window again and they all pop back up.

Another cool looking feature of Aero is to hold down the Windows key and tap the Tab key. It scrolls all your open windows in a 3 D view.


2014-09-22 07:17:37

jon halsey

For Win7 Pro these tips evidently only work if one of the Aero options is activated (Control Panel, Display).


2014-09-22 06:26:18

Martyn Crawford

That shaking tip is amazing! Not sure how to get the minimised windows all back together (Windows key + shift+ M does not seem to work after you have shaken).

There are also some great keyboard shortcuts that save even more time, such as using the Windows key + an arrow key.


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