Feb 11, 2009 David Lang

Creative Window Management, Part 2

In my previous post, I showed how you can break tabs out of a Workspace, arrange them using the Tile command, and take advantage of window recycling. In this post, I want to take that setup one step further and show you how useful it can be to hide or minimize windows.

You'll recall that I had a separate window containing BDAG arranged beside a Workspace containing the Greek New Testament so that I could see BDAG side by side with the Greek text. But now my Workspace is narrower than I may want it to be. One solution is to hide or minimize the BDAG window until it's needed.

You're probably already familiar with minimizing windows. Just click the yellow button in the window's title bar and it will collapse down into the OS X dock, remaining out of the way until you click the dock icon to bring it up again. The visual effect of minimizing is cool, but that eye candy takes a second to finish and if you do this for a lot of windows you end up cluttering your dock. Add to that the fact that you need to use the mouse to do it and minimizing windows can get cumbersome.

That's where a little known feature of Accordance comes in: the Hide command. You'll find the Hide command in the Window menu, and selecting it will cause the active window to disappear until you decide to show it again. You can bring up a hidden window again by selecting its name from the Window menu (a diamond will appear next to the name to indicate that it is hidden), by selecting the Show All command, or (and here's the cool one) by amplifying to it.

For example, if you hide the recyclable window containing BDAG, and then later triple-click a Greek word to look it up in BDAG, the BDAG window will automatically reappear. The same is true for minimized windows. If you minimize BDAG, triple-clicking will automatically expand it again.

The keyboard shortcut for the Hide command is command-backslash, which is easy to remember if you think of it as "crossing out" the window. Memorize this shortcut, and you can develop a workflow in which you triple-click to open a window, then command-backslash to hide it.

Again, the advantage of hiding the BDAG window is that you can expand the main Workspace to fill the entire screen. Yes, when the BDAG window is visible it will cover some of the Workspace, but then you can easily hide it again.

By the way, if you expand the main workspace in this way, you really don't even need to use the Hide command, since bringing the workspace to the front will effectively hide the BDAG window anyway. You can still triple-click to bring the BDAG window to the front, and then click on the workspace again to cover it up.

Whether or not you decide to hide or minimize windows, Accordance gives you a number of ways to dismiss windows without actually closing them, and amplifying makes it easy to bring them back up when you need them.

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