It must happen to you sometimes. You open several programs and you do not know how to arrange them to see the windows simultaneously on the screen.
However large your computer screen is, it will always seem too small when you start opening program windows. You have your file browser here, your calendar there, your customer’s email on one side, your word processor with two documents open on the other… How do you arrange the windows so you can see them at the same time and not have to go from one to the other?
From version 7 onwards, Windows has a feature known as Aero Snap, Windows Snap or just Snap, that enables you to arrange program windows so that you can work with two or more programs at the same time without having to switch between them using the mouse or the CTRL+TAB key combination. This Snap feature is present both in Windows 7 and in later versions (8, 8.1 and 10), and although it is not used very much – because it is somewhat hidden – it will be very useful for you and will save you time, making it easier to do your work.
Let us see how Windows Snap works, how to turn it on and how to turn it off when you do not need it.
What is Windows Snap?
Before Snap was invented, when you wanted to work with multiple windows, you had to move them around manually. That is to say, you had to click on the title bar of each window, drag it to a different place on the screen and adjust the sides to reduce or enlarge the size of each window. That is because, before Snap, the only thing you could do automatically with a window was minimise it, or expand it completely, which was very useful for seeing one window, but not very practical for two or more.
Windows Snap changed this because, with a combination of keys, Windows automatically resizes program windows so that you can make the most of your screen space and see two or more windows at a time. This saves you time if, for instance, you are composing a document and you have to constantly consult your web browser or check your email.
How Windows Snap Works
Snap works in many ways, depending on how many windows you want to accommodate. For instance, if you want to work with two windows at a time, each occupying half of the screen or desktop, with Windows Snap, all you need to do is drag a window to the left or right edge, depending on where you want it to be.
What if you want more than two windows? The process is just as simple. First you position two windows as we have mentioned before, and then you adapt the size of one of them or both of them with the Windows key and the arrows. That is to say, by selecting a window that is on the left hand side, pressing the Windows key and then the arrow above, the window will occupy only the top left quarter of the screen.
As a result, you can combine three or four windows easily. And if you do not like the size they occupy by default, you can drag the adjacent borders.
Another advantage of Windows Snap is that if you put a window on one side and you have other programs open, Windows will automatically show you thumbnails of those windows, in case you want to enlarge them with Snap too.
How to Disable Windows Snap
If you do not want to use this feature in Windows, you can turn Snap off, so that windows do not adapt their size when you drag them to one side of the screen, which can be a little frustrating if that is not what you want.
In that case, you will have to go to Control Panel > Access Centre > Mouse Features and tick the box which says, “Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen”.
If, later on, you think Windows Snap would be useful, you can enable the feature in the same way, by going to the same Control Panel section and unticking that option.
Image | Pixabay