Manage Windows In OS X Like a Boss With Spectacle

I hate using the mouse or trackpad on my MacBook to manage open windows. When using multiple monitors, I move windows between the monitors and resize them all the time. That’s why my mind was blown when I found out about Spectacle.

Spectacle is light, simple, and open source. It does one thing – control window size and position using keyboard shortcuts. It does it well. I installed it a couple of days ago, and I just can’t remember how I was able to work without it.

This post is part of my Mac Power User Training series. Follow it to see how I try to go from Mac novice to a pro.

Spectacle app for OS X lets you control window size and position with keyboard shortcuts

h/t to Gabi for recommending it to me!


Spectacle comes with a whole set of keyboard shortcuts to do a bunch of things with your windows. I don’t use them all. In fact, I use just 3 – and it saves me a lot of time.

  1. ⌥⌘F: Maximize current window.
  2. ⌃⌥⌘→: Move current window to next monitor.

  3. ⌃⌥⌘←: Move current window to previous monitor.

Of course, you can customize the keyboard shortcuts if you want.

The application lives in the menu bar, so you can always open a quick menu with supported commands if you forget a specific keyboard shortcut. If your menu bar is too crowded, you can configure Spectacle to run as a background service instead in the preferences.


The only thing I miss in Spectacle, is a keyboard shortcut to move the current window between spaces. Apparently, I’m not the first one to want it, but it appears to be rather difficult to implement.

While this feature is missing, I am open to trying out other applications that offer this ability, along with the features that exist in Spectacle.

A couple of alternatives I am considering are:

  • SizeUp (not open source though).
  • Slate (is open source, looks somewhat more complex from the looks of it).
  • Divvy (not open source as well).

If you’re already using one of those (or others that I didn’t mention), I’d love to hear your opinion and recommendations in the comments!

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