How to Get Windows 7 “Aero Snap” on your Mac

One of the greatest features, as well as most highly touted features in Windows 7 is Aero Snap. At its core, Snap gives you a way to quickly and sensibly organize your active windows for easy viewing. It’s great for comparing two documents, images, or websites. In Windows 7, I just pull one window’s title bar to the right edge of the screen, and it autmoatically sizes the window to the full size of the screen’s height, and exactly half the screen’s width, while docking the window to the right side. I then do the same to the other window, only on the left side of the screen, and I’ve basically got two full screen documents, taking up half my screen each.

Here is an example of how it looks when you’ve snapped one window to an edge:

cinch-win7snap-halfscreen

As you can imagine, this helpful feature can be sorely missed if you are a seasoned Windows 7 user switching to Mac OS X. Luckily, there is Cinch that can fulfill your windows “snapping” needs.

Cinch is a simple OS X application that replicates the functionality of Snap in Windows, and its super easy to install and setup. The only necessary steps follow:

  • Head over to Irradiated Software’s page for Cinch and click on download.
  • Once you’ve downloaded the Zip, open it up, and drag Cinch to your Applications folder.
  • Once you’ve moved Cinch to Applications, launch it, and you will see the Cinch icon in the menu bar.

cinch-menuicon

Configuring Cinch

With Cinch started, click its menu bar icon, and click on Preferences. When the windows opens, you’ve got four options, including Enable/Disable Cinch, Start Cinch Automatically at Login, Show Cinch in the Menu Bar, and Automatically Check for New Updates.

cinch-preferences

You’ll definitely want to have Cinch enabled, as well as started at login. This will make it automatic, just like its Windows 7 counterpart. Having it available in the Menu Bar really boils down to your personal preferences, but since it makes for quick access to its preferences and uses nearly no system resources, I would recommend it unless you’ve got a full menu bar already.  Lastly, as far as the automatic update check, that too is preference.

While you’re using the demo version, Cinch will display a prompt at startup that will ask you to purchase a license. The license is only $7, so it is quite a good buy, but they will let you use it indefinitely for free if you like, all you have to do is wait three seconds and click continue.

Using Cinch

Once Cinch is running, grab a window and drag it to the edge of the screen. When you do this, a dashed box will come up indicating where, upon release of your mouse button, the window will “snap” to. To top off Cinch’s simple operation, if you continue to hold a window at the edge of the screen, Spaces will still work, giving you the best of both the Windows and OS X worlds. Here is an example of two Safari windows “Cinched” to my screen sides.

cinch-halfscreen

Enjoy, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments if you know of any similar apps, or if there is anything else from another OS that you miss on your Mac! There may be an alternative that we could help you find!

Don’t forget to get Cinch here!