Hackernoon logoMacOS Window Manager Reviews: Moom vs. Magnet vs. Rectangle by@davidmles

MacOS Window Manager Reviews: Moom vs. Magnet vs. Rectangle

David Morales Hacker Noon profile picture

@davidmlesDavid Morales

Computer engineer. Working as a web developer since 2000.

On macOSthe window manager is pretty basic. You can move, resize, maximize, minimize and obviously close windows. On Windows 10 you can also snap to the edges, so windows resize automatically to take up half the screen.

There are some tools to improve this on macOS. The two I have tried are Moom and Magnet. And lastly I tried Rectangle as well. They are very similar in the way that they intend to solve the same problem, but they differ in some essential parts.

Moom

Moom is an app that sits on the top bar of the system (like the other ones). It provides the snap-to-edge feature, as Windows 10 does, being able to adhere the window to the upper, lower, left or right part of the screen.

Also when hovering the maximize button, it shows a tooltip:

This tooltip can do the same as snap-to-edge, but take a look at the first option. It can maximize the window like Windows does: maximizing but keeping the dock, the top bar, and so on. Then when hovering again, there’s an undo row:

That row can restore the window to its previous size. Pretty handy.

Moom’s killer feature is in preferences. In the custom tab, you can define actions including moving, zooming, growing, shrinking, and so on. Hereare my two custom actions:

The first one resizes the window to fit in a 720p area, and the second one resizes to 1080p (Full HD). Both center the window too. This is very useful to record windows. Then when clicking the top bar icon, I get these actions as shortcuts:

That easy.

But that’s not all. Moom supports window layouts snapshots. This means that it can record where is each window so they can be restored after a trigger. This trigger can be connecting a second display or just a keyboard shortcut. This feature makes this tool way more powerful than its rivals.

Magnet

I see Magnet as a snap-to-edge tool, taken to the limit.

It gives a keyboard shortcut for every predefined action out of the box. It also supports snap-to-edge with the mouse.

And finally, it has three interesting options:

These three options are a bonus so we can maximize, restore and center windows, as Moom does.

Rectangle

Rectangle is the latest tool I discovered and tried, and it looks very similar to Magnet. In fact I think it’s better, since it’s free and open source, and it lets you customize the keyboard shortcuts

Similar to Magnet, there’s a keyboard shortcut for every action. It even lets you snap to edges.

Conclusion

To conclude, what are the fundamental differences? How to choose one? Let’s be clear:

If you want to resize windows to custom sizes, there’s one possible option: Moom.If you want lots of predefined window sizes that are moved to the edges, Magnet or Rectangle would be a better choice.

Worth noting that Moom and Rectangle also let you define a gap between windows (I know it’s just an aesthetic thing, but hey…).

Final recommendations:

  1. I would say that Magnet is the most basic and not free app, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
  2. Rectangle is still basic, and it’s free. So it’s my main recommendation for everyone.
  3. Moom is the most complete, but it’s a paid app. So I would only recommend it if you want those exclusive features.

Also published behind a paywall on Medium's subdomain.

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