Mac OSX windows managers, BetterSnapTool and Slate.

Published on Mar 23, 2014

I recently started to arrange my windows in a particular way. I like to have my text editor on the top 75-80% of my screen and my terminal window on the bottom 20%.

I have my tests running on my terminal window while I can work on the the editor and have immediate feedback.

Nothing earth shacking here.

I also have a second arrangement, specially when working on UI related tasks. I split the window in three panes. Browser takes the left half, editor the top of the right half and once again my terminal below the editor.

It works pretty well while working on UI for small screens (phones).

It got annoying very fast the manually resizing of windows every time I start a new session.


After a quick search I found BetterSnapTool

This tool allow you to define "Snap areas" in your screen. When dragging a window to the area it will automatically resize that window to a predefined size and position in the main screen.

With this tool arrange and sizing of my windows is a very fast operation that I only have to care about once per session.


But sometimes you want to quickly change windows sizing using the keyboard, without having to drag and drop windows around. I recently started using this other tool, Slate.

Slate is extremely powerful. At the moment I'm only using the resizing features but you can certainly do much more with it.

Slate can handle positioning, scaling and focus as well as layouts.

You can also take snapshots of some windows arrangement and activate it to go back to a given configuration.

I think that Slate has the potential to be my tool of choice from now on.

While BetterSnapTool is nice to have around, the ability to quickly change between arrangements is very compelling.

I was able to quickly create both arrangements as layouts on Slate and bind them to Ctrl:Shift:1 and Ctrl:Shift:2.

I still have to read a bit more on some of the more powerful options but so far I'm very happy with it.