Cinch review

Exposé helps you quickly access everything on your desktop with a keyboard shortcut or, in Snow Leopard, a click in the Dock. Spaces gives you multiple desktops on which you can organise sets of windows and navigate between them. What Mac OS X has never been particularly good at, though, is arranging windows on your display. That’s where Cinch comes in.

When we explain what Cinch does, it’s going to sound simple. Here’s how it works: with Cinch running, you can grab any active window by the toolbar and drag it to the left or right of your screen. An animation appears, the active window resizes to exactly half the width of your display and then it is docked there. Alternatively, drag a window to the top of the screen and it maximises to fill your display. And that is pretty much it. In short, Cinch is a cinch.

Though simple, Cinch has clear and immediate applications. Use it in tandem with Spaces to micromanage your work area, setting up multiple desktop layouts. You can easily drag and display two windows side by side for comparison or multitasking. When you’re done, you just drag the window away from the edge of the screen. Windows immediately resize back to their original dimensions.

OUR VERDICT

There are a couple of limitations. You have to play around with your settings to make the tool work properly with multiple displays. And if a window can’t be resized, Cinch doesn’t want to know it. We think it would have been better for the tool to allow us to dock those windows to the edge of our screen. Still, since we installed it Cinch has become an essential tool, worth every penny of its bargain price.

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