How to tile windows on your Mac

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 7 May 2015

I know this may be controversial, but Windows does have one feature that Mac’s are sorely missing — organizing and tiling windows. Multitasking and trying to use multiple apps at the same time on a Mac sucks and it’s one of my biggest gripes with Apple. Nevertheless, there are some third-party options that can help you manage your myriad of application windows.

Windows 8 - Multitask

How to tile windows on your Mac

When someone argues that Mac already has a system for organizing windows in Exposé and Spaces, I really want to smack them in the face.

Mac - Expose

While Exposé and Spaces helps Mac users sift through cluttered windows, it does not help with multitasking or easily viewing two windows at the same time. You can manually resize windows so that they fit side-by-side, but that can be a time-consuming and inefficient process. Luckily for you, I have found a bunch of applications that really do allow you to tile windows and improve multitasking. Some offer free trials, some are paid, but they all do the job, so the choice is yours. Make sure to check out each program’s website and find which option is best for you.

How to tile windows on your Mac using Spectacle 

I downloaded Spectacle to test out how well a free program would work. Luckily, I was not disappointed. For best performance and support, users should have OS X 10.9 or newer. For more information, check out Spectacle’s GitHub page.

  1. Download and install the free application
    Install - Spectacle
  2. Allow Spectacle to “control your windows” by enabled the option in System Preferences
    System Preferences - Spectacle
  3. If you have a locked Admin. Account, you will need to unlock it by selecting the Lock icon and entering your password.
    Makes Changes - OS X
  4. Once unlocked, click the box next to Spectacle to enable it.
    Spectacle - Enable
  5. Launch Spectacle, and review the shortcuts. You can also change these hotkeys by tapping on the one you wish to change, and entering a new hotkey command.
    Spectacle - Shortcuts
  6. Enjoy tiled windows on your Mac!
    Tiled Windows - Mac

Spectacle also offers keyboard shortcuts that allows you to not only tile, but organize and resize windows, which makes it even more convenient to use it. Here’s a list courtesy OSXDaily:

Spectacle Keyboard Shortcuts:

  • Center / Cmd + Alt + C
  • Fullscreen / Cmd + Alt + F
  • Left Half / Cmd + Alt + ←
  • Right Half / Cmd + Alt + →
  • Top Half / Cmd + Alt + ↑
  • Bottom Half / Cmd + Alt + ↓
  • Upper Left Corner / Cmd + Ctrl + ←
  • Lower Left Corner / Cmd + Shift + Ctrl + ←
  • Upper Right Corner / Cmd + Ctrl + →
  • Lower Right Corner / Cmd + Shift + Ctrl + →
  • Left Display / Cmd + Alt + Ctrl + ←
  • Right Display / Cmd + Alt + Ctrl + →
  • Top Display / Cmd + Alt + Ctrl + ↑
  • Bottom Display / Cmd + Alt + Ctrl + ↓

It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t implement a feature like this in all of its computers, but perhaps it will appear in the next OS X version. Let us know which option works best for you in the comments section.