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Rafael Conde, posted on Mastodon today:

We’re sharing how we use the Desktop and how we size/position windows on our Macs on our work Slack and it’s absolute madness.

And, then followed it up with a poll:

Time to fess up, how do you primarily use windows “on your” Mac? Bonus points if you reply with a screenshot 📸
⋅ Wherever the appear, I don’t know
⋅ Centered (think Apple marketing shot)
⋅ Fullscreen (as big as you can make them)
⋅ Tiled (in a grid, like taking up half the screen)

I, as many others, have strong feelings about this. And I’d love for this to become the next «Default apps»! So I’ll start.

I’m a big tiler.

I switch between my MacBooks 14 inch screen, and my Studio Display’s 27-inch screen. But no matter which I’m on, I move my apps around quite a lot, and almost always in

  • quarters,
  • halves,
  • and wholes (not fullscreen mode).

Here are some examples:

Half the screen is the Arc browser, and the other half is ulysses, with this post.

Typical half 'n' half.

Same screenshot, but a quarter of Telegram on top.

I use quarters less on my laptop - but I like it with apps (like Telegram) that don't need more. So if I bring it to the front, it doesn't cover the entire browser.

Ivory and NotePlan in splitscreen. Both are full height, but Noteplan takes three quarters of the width.

Sometimes I'll tile like this as well - both being full height, but ¼ and ¾ width.

External screen screenshot, with Ulysses on half and two quarters with Zed and Arc.

I almost never use one app on the entire screen on the Studio Display (only iMac support in Apple Frames 😔). I shift the dock from «bottom, hidden» to «left, visible» - as I like to see the icons if I have the space.

But equally important, is how I move them.

I don’t really have set workspaces, as I switch apps a lot. So i’ll jump between NotePlan, Ulysses, Nova, Arc, Lire, Telegram, Photomator, etc., and move and resize them quite a lot. I do it through keyboard shortcuts set in Raycast, with Caps Lock set as Hyperkey ☆ .

I’ve made a grid under my left hand, so I always can move windows with only that (perhaps while my right hand is on the trackpad):

   ☆+W = Top left ¼  |  ☆+E = Top right ¼
☆+A = Left ½ | ☆+S = Full | ☆+D = Right ½
 ☆+Z = Botm left ¼  |  ☆+X = Botm right ¼

And the left and right halves, cycles the width between ½, ¼ and ¾.

GIF of the hotkeys in action.

I find that I always want to use the entire screen real estate - whether that’s 14 or 27 inches. So chill setups like Rafa himself posted, feels like a waste to me:

He has one main window in the middle, filling about three quarters of the height and width - and some smaller windows lying around.

Rafa's posted screenshot.

However, I have indulged myself with an 8px gutter between windows! Oh, and something I have planned for this week, actually, is to set up hotkeys for my most apps - but currently I mostly launch them with Raycast.

Raycast settings, showing the gutter and a couple of the hotkeys.

What desktop??

I use Yoink to help me move files between apps - so I never (need to) see my own desktop. I can’t remember the last time I used it for anything… I never even check the widgets I’ve placed there. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Looking forward to see more responses in the Mastodon poll - and hopefully some more blog posts as well! Especially John Siracusa, seems to have some wild habits. 👌🏻