Crappy Window Management on a Mac

I’m getting used to the Mac OS X interface on my new computer. I swear I am. But there is one thing that Windows handles much better than Mac and that is window (small “w”) management — that is, how windows are displayed on screen.

My main beef is with the Mac method of “maximizing” the window in which you’re currently working. On Windows XP, if you click the maximize button, the window fills the entire screen and you can easily focus on your current project. In Mac OS X, however, the maximize button is, by design, a “zoom to a bigger window but don’t fill the entire screen” button.

Let’s say I want to do some Web design work in Dreamweaver. In OS X, my screen looks like this (click to enlarge):

Mac-Cacophony-761579
Huh? Where’s the Web page I want to work on. I guess it’s the upper-most window, but with all that clutter, who can be sure? Oh wait, I just accidentally clicked somewhere outside one of the Dreamweaver windows. Now I’m in a different application! How do I get back to Dreamweaver?

In contrast, in Windows XP I can simply click one button and have Dreamweaver fill the entire screen — allowing me to focus my attention where it should be.

I am not alone in the recognition that Mac OS X’s “maximize” is crap. See also:

http://shiflett.org/blog/2006/feb/mac-os-x-annoyances-and-resolutions
http://forevergeek.com/apple/mac_vs_windows_its_all_about_the_maximize_button.php
http://acurrie.wordpress.com/2007/01/31/windows-osx-shortcomings/

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