Move and shape windows

Windows are rectangles that open on your desktop when you start a program.  A window can fill your entire screen or take just part of it.

There should be three little boxes up on the top right of each window.  Starting from the right, an X that when you click, will close the window; a single box or two boxes that if you click will change to the other form; and a dash – that if you click, the window will disappear from view, but still show up on the task bar at the bottom of your screen.

If that 2nd box is a pair of squares, your window takes up your entire screen.  The window can not be moved or change shape.

If that 2nd box is a single rectangle, your window is in the form of a shapable, movable rectangle (like the window in your room).  If it looks like it still takes up the entire screen, then you need to re-size or re-shape it.

To re-shape a window, move your mouse pointer to any window border.  When you have it in just the right spot, the single arrow will change to a two-headed one.  If you hold the left button down (assuming your computer is set for a right hander) while that arrow is two-headed, you can drag that window’s border in either direction.

If you move that pointer to a corner, the arrow will take the shape of a two-headed arrow, but be angular.  By holding down the left button while dragging, you can re-shape the window in both dimensions at the same time.

Once you have it the right shape, you can move the window.  The very top of the window is called the title bar.  By left-clicking and holding the arrow on that spot, you can drag the window to where ever you want it to be on your screen.

Windows will remember the shape and position of the window.  So, the next time you open that particular window, it will resume the shape and position you last left it in.

Cascade, Stack, or Tile Windows From the Taskbar

Right-click the taskbar and you’ll see three window management options — Cascade windows, Show windows stacked, and Show windows side by side. You’ll also see an “Undo” option if you right-click the taskbar after clicking one of these options.

The Cascade windows option will arrange your open windows in a “cascade,” allowing you to see all their title bars at once. This option isn’t the most practical.

The Show windows stacked option is a bit more interesting, as it allows you to arrange your windows stacked vertically on top of each other. This probably isn’t ideal for typical wide-screen displays, but it could be useful in some situations.

The Show windows side by side option is even more interesting, as it allows you to have Windows automatically arrange your open windows side-by-side with each other. It’s like Aero Snap, but it allows you to have three or more windows automatically arranged so they’re side by side — useful for multitasking on large, wide screen monitors.

Aero Snap for Side-by-Side Windows

The Snap feature makes a window take up half of your screen, making it easy to arrange two windows side by side without manually resizing and moving them around. To use Aero Snap, hold the Windows key and press the left or right arrow keys. The current window will be resized and placed at the left or right side of the screen.

You can also click a window title bar, hold down the mouse button, and drag the window’s title bar to the left or right edge of the screen. You’ll see a preview of the shape the window will become. Drop the window on the edge of the screen and it will be automatically resized to take up the appropriate side of the screen.