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MercuryMover - Move/resize windows via the keyboard Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 9 out of 10]
MercuryMover is a utility designed to help you keep your hands on the keyboard. Installed as a System Preferences panel, MercuryMover makes it possible to move and resize windows using just the keyboard. (In many ways, MercuryMover is basically the exact opposite of MondoMouse, a previous Pick of the Week selection. MondoMouse lets you move and resize windows easily using the mouse without having to drag them, and implements a "focus follows mouse" feature.)

You use MercuryMover by pressing one of three defined hot keys -- Move, Resize Right/Down, and Resize Left/Up. After activation, a small pop-up window appears over your window, explaining exactly how it can be moved or resized using various key combinations. Here's what the Move window looks like:
By default, pressing just the arrow keys moves (or resizes) a window one pixel at a time; adding Shift changes that to 10 pixel jumps, Option gives you 100 pixel jumps, and Command snaps a window to a screen edge. However, the settings for each keystroke (unmodified, Command, Option, Shift, and Control) can be customized, to some degree at least. I've set it up on my machine to move by 10 pixels at a time without any modifier keys pressed down (and by 1 pixel with the Shift key down). Unfortunately, you can't specify an exact value for each setting -- you're limited to 1, 10, or 100 pixels. I'd actually like my default "no modifier" value to be 20 pixels, for instance.

Resizing down/right works just like it would with the mouse -- you'll pull the lower right corner of the window down and right from its current location. The Resize up/left feature is interesting, and may be of interest to Windows switchers. It lets you resize windows from the upper left corner, so that the bottom right corner stays anchored. It's not a completely smooth operation, as you can see MercuryMover repositioning the lower right corner each time you resize the upper left, but it works and gets the job done.

Another minor irritation is that MercuryMover shares the settings for movement and resize jumps, so you can't specify, for instance, that Shift-arrow will move a window 100 pixels, but resize it only 10 pixels. Whatever value you choose will be applied to both move and resize operations. Allowing different settings would complicate the interface, but would make it more flexible -- I typically will move windows in much larger unit increments than I will resize them.

At $24, MercuryMover isn't cheap, but if you prefer the keyboard over the mouse, you may find it's worth the cost. You can try it out for free for 30 days, and the developer offers a full 60-day money back guarantee, so you can try it in a very low-risk manner.

If you're a keyboard fanatic, MercuryMover can really reduce your mouse use. It takes quite a lot of effort to overcome years of training to reach for the mouse whenever you want to move or resize a window, but I think it's time well spent. Between snapping to edges and the various pixel-distance options, MercuryMover makes it quite speedy to put a window just where you want it, without ever touching the mouse
  • Currently 2.27 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (15 votes cast)

MercuryMover - Move/resize windows via the keyboard | 1 comments | Create New Account
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MercuryMover - Move/resize windows via the keyboard
Authored by: keithalperin on Apr 28, '08 10:45:33AM
As the developer of MercuryMover, i thought i would pass on a hint addressing one of the points raised in the review. In order to keep the interface easy to understand, we don't provide a means to specify arbitrary values for how much each modifier key is "worth". However, if you're not afraid of the terminal (and how many people who frequent MacOSXHints are? ;-) you can change these values via the command line. If, like our reviewer (the inestimable robg), you want your "no modifier" behavior to be 20 pixels, then you would use this command:

defaults write com.heliumfoot.MyWiAgent MyWiModifierNone 20

Each modifier key has it's own name: MyWiModifierCommand, MyWiModifierShift, MyWiModifierOption, MyWiModifierControl and MyWiModifierNone . The number at the end of the command (in this case 20) can be any integer greater than 0. Of course, if you make it too large, MercuryMover will Move you right off of your screen.

Finally, i wanted to offer a special "Pick of the Week" discount to all MacOSXHints readers. Enter the discount code "HINTS" when purchasing MercuryMover for a 20% discount. This discount will be in effect through 5 May 2008.

Happy moving and resizing,
Keith Alperin

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