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One of the most common requests I have received for Rectangle is the addition of shortcuts for more window dimensions that are not currently in the app. The preferences window for Rectangle is already pretty packed with shortcuts, and in my opinion, there is a limit to how many shortcuts are desirable in its current UI.

In Hookshot, I went with a table view so that it isn’t quite so overwhelming to have more shortcuts. This frees Hookshot from a UI restriction on the quantity of shortcuts, but it removes an element of simplicity and immediate accessibility. …


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In every single post I’ve seen where someone asks which apps they should install on their new mac, one of the first suggestions is a window manager. Rectangle is increasingly mentioned (thanks!), but I still see Spectacle users that say they have no reason to switch. If Spectacle does it for you, that’s awesome — it’s a great app, but there are some concrete reasons to go with Rectangle, even outside of a direct feature comparison.

Apple Silicon

As of v0.38, Rectangle is available as a universal binary that runs on both Intel and Apple Silicon. Currently the only way to get Spectacle running on Apple Silicon is to compile the app yourself. Even if someone else took up the torch and released and hosted a universal binary of Spectacle, the odds of bugs getting fixed in Rectangle are higher since it’s written in Swift. …


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A while back, I created a free app called Scroll to allow users to scroll with just one finger on an Apple trackpad. The first iteration of the app was really slim, and was really just aimed to solve an accessibility issue for people that were unable to use two fingers easily to scroll. I received a lot of feedback for the app, and surprising to me, a lot of the feedback came from users that did not have any impediments to using two fingers for scrolling. I finally got a chance to work through a lot of the suggestions that I received and created Scroll 2. …


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The Magic Mouse is awesome, but some apps are overly sensitive to its horizontal scroll — to the point where it’s kinda unusable. My latest iteration of the Scroll app aims to solve this problem in a simple way.


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Finder is pretty easy to take for granted. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about it, but whether you like it or not it is pretty amazing software that I’ve always liked. With that said, it might be odd to hear that I’m getting ready to release HighTop, my new macOS file browser app!

HighTop adds a level of convenience to my file usage workflow that I haven’t found in any other app. It saves me a ton of time working with Google Drive, Dropbox, and local files.

Why create another file browser for macOS?

Accessing my files in Google Drive has always been oddly annoying for me. Maybe I’m weird, but I‘ve never been that excited about the first party apps for Google Drive and Dropbox because I like to keep my cloud drives separate from my local drives. The official apps are kind of built around syncing and integrating with Finder and I found myself always using the browser instead. Convinced there was a better way, I built the first version of HighTop, dubbed “Cloudwing” to put my Google Drive file tree directly in a menu bar app, and honestly it just felt right — like I was building the app that I wanted one of those companies to create. …


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Sometimes you have tedious tasks that require you to just input the same text in a ton of different places, and copy paste just isn’t enough. There’s now two options in Multitouch that can help you out: Keystroke Recording & Paste Text. Both of these options can be tied to either a gesture or a keyboard shortcut.


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The Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse are truly amazing devices, but there’s one thing that is just missing: the middle click. I’m not sure why Apple never built in at least some way to execute a middle click, but there’s been a few 3rd party solutions that have come up over the years. I was dissatisfied with all of them, and added in my own implementation for executing a middle click in my app, Multitouch. Realizing that a lot of people wanted just the middle click functionality from Multitouch, I extracted only that behavior into a separate app called Middle.


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I’m the developer of the Rectangle window manager app for macOS, and I’ve been busy iterating on it to create the perfectly balanced window manager: my new mac app called Hookshot. There’s a lot of window management apps and you might already have your workflow configured how you like it, but Hookshot can fit seamlessly into your workflow while dramatically improving your efficiency. Here’s how it works.

First move your cursor over a window that you wish to snap somewhere — say, right or left half, corner, or maximize. The window doesn’t have to be in focus. Press and hold the control and command keys, and a dot, appears under your cursor. Move your cursor away from the dot in a direction, and you’ll see the outline of where Hookshot will snap your window. Release the modifier keys and your window is snapped! It’s surprisingly easy to get the hang of, and there’s no need to memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts — just the modifier keys control and command. …


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Nowadays, there’s a ton of 3rd party window management apps that have for years filled a void left open by Apple. There seemed to be a lot of hope that Catalina would fill this void, and for some people it might — with a bit a configuration.

With Catalina, Apple made some incremental updates to macOS’s built in window management, including the addition of default menu items for moving and tiling windows left and right in the “Window” menu for an application. Interestingly enough, we can actually configure keyboard shortcuts for these menu items directly within macOS.

See where we’re going here? If all you care about is keyboard shortcuts for left and right half or full screen, you could make do without a 3rd party app. Here’s…


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I put off learning AutoLayout for a while when I first started developing macOS apps, mainly because developing a UI in Xcode has a bit of a learning curve and sometimes you just want to get an app out the door. It’s a really valuable skill that you should prioritize learning, especially if you want to localize your app.

It turns out that AutoLayout is not really something you can just pick up from tinkering around with Xcode, and sometimes the Apple docs can take a decent amount of time to glean what you actually need to get know to get started. …

About

Ryan Hanson

I like to make mac apps. https://ryanhanson.dev

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