mac: Keyboard shortcuts and navigation with Rectangle

Ok, time once again for figuring out how to be productive to the max on the Mac, so first asking ChatCPT3, so straight from the collective mouth of the Internet and then culling to the most useful ones, but the ones that I use most often are ⌘-⌥- left and right arrow will move applications into the top, bottom, left and right halves. But if you have a full screen applications then there are some really convenient ones:

Using Spaces with Ctrl-Arrow keys

Spaces gives you a bunch of virtual desktops and with the Mac touchpad, just doing a three finger swipe left or right moves you. But very conveniently, ⌃⇨ and ⌃⇦ will move you between spaces (that is CTRL-Left Arrow and CTRL-Right Arrow). And ^⇩ shows you all the spaces at the top and you can drag windows and ^⇩ will show you all the windows available for the current application.

Note that I can’t find a keyboard shortcut to push an application from one space to another, it says that you can just hold it at the edge, but with Ventura, this enables Window snapping to create a tile that is on the right or left side (a la the Windows behavior).

The best way to use Spaces I’ve found is for things like looking at separate Screen shares since trying to jam two screens is hard, the best thing to do is to maximize the screen sharing window. There is a little green icon at the upper left of each Mac Window which does this. Since Catalina, they’ve added a bunch of modes that are like iPadOS for Split View, so you can use that to create a two panes for instance just by clicking on the green icon, see more by hovering over the green icon and or holding the option key while hovering for some more.

Tiling with the MacOS default shortcuts

They actually have a good basic set now, so you can:

  • Minimize a window with ⌘M
  • Minimize all windows of an application with ⌘⌥M
  • Close the current window with ⌘W
  • Close all windows of the current application with ⌘⌥W
  • Tile applications with ⌘⌃ and then arrow keys to tile to upper, lower, right and left halreve of screen

Rectangle for deeper management

But Rectangle really ges detailed your some great shortcuts for handling tiled windows, it basically gives you keyboard shortcuts for the new ca→↑➡talina modes and also it implements the Windows behavior where moving a window close to edge causes it to tile to that half. In addition to the ability to throw windows from one screen to another with a keyboard shortcut. It is really useful and open source, so check it out. But some of my favorites are:

  • ⌃⌥ and then hjkl are vi-modes to put windows into each quarter of the screen
  • ⌃⌥⏎ to maximize the current window
  • ⌃⌥+ and ⌃⌥- so plus and minus to make the windows slightly larger or smaller
  • ⌃⌥C to center the current window
  • ⌃⌥ and the arrow keys to put window sinto the upper, lower, right and left halves
  • ⌃⌥⌘ and the arrow keys to throw a window to the next monitor
  • ⌃⌥⌫ to restore window
  • I actually set ⌃⌥ and then 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 to get the sixths tiles for really big screens but you have to set this yourself.

ChatGPT3 answer is not that great

There are bunch of shortcuts that I didn’t know but note how it doesn’t really know what Spaces is and the term Rectangle is so general, I had to add “open-source application”, so it is like a search engine but without a source of the information so it is hard to figure out if it is accurate (the big downside):

Q: What are the best keyboard shortcuts for managing Mac windows and Spaces using defaults and the open source Rectangle Application?

A:Here are some popular keyboard shortcuts for window and spaces management on Mac using the defaults and the open-source application Rectangle:

Command + M (Minimize Window)
Command + Option + M (Minimize all windows in the current application)
Command + H (Hide Window)
Command + Option + H (Hide all windows in the current application)
Command + Shift + H (Hide all other windows in the current application)
Command + Option + T (Add current application to the Dock)
Command + Option + W (Close all windows in the current application)
Control + Command + Left/Right Arrow (Move current window to the left/right half of the screen)
Control + Command + Up/Down Arrow (Maximize/Restore current window)

Using the open-source application Rectangle, you can use these shortcuts:

Control + Option + Command + Left/Right Arrow (Move current window to the left/right half of the screen)
Control + Option + Command + Up/Down Arrow (Move current window to the upper/lower half of the screen)
Control + Option + Command + C (Center current window)
Control + Option + Command + F (Maximize current window)
Keep in mind that Rectangle is a third-party application, and you may have to set those shortcuts in the application's preferences.

I’m Rich & Co.

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