Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Megazoomer: Expand (Some) Windows Full-Screen Instantly

Published April 28th, 2007

Megazoomer makes windows full-screen

Megazoomer Freeware Windows ZoomerOriginally downloaded 12/18/06. I don’t yearn for a button that expands my application windows to full screen like folks who are used to Windows do. I hardly ever want to do that, but I can understand the need, especially if you’re using a laptop or otherwise somewhat shrimpy screen. I’m interested in trying this because I’m curious to see if it’s something I don’t know that I’d like. :-) Freeware just does that to me, you understand. My only concern going in is that Megazoomer relies on SIMBL, and InputManager that I’ve had only mixed success with lately… mostly because of conflicts with the WebKit nightly builds.

Update 4/28/07. Even if you’re a Windows switcher who misses the ability to zoom your windows to full screen, I don’t think MegaZoomer is the tool for you. It’s free, and works as advertised, but what you get isn’t really what you want. Besides, the Mac OS X zoom button works as it does for a reason, and it’s a good reason. Try it for awhile, and you may come to agree. I felt similarly when I moved from OS 9, but soon came to appreciate the value of not having a window zoom to full-screen size by default when clicking the zoom button. Mac OS X’s zoom button, as implemented in apps like Finder and Safari, is brilliant user-interface design… though it will take some getting used to. My advice? Learn to love it—you won’t be sorry. Besides, MegaZoomer won’t help you with a lot of the apps you may most want to maximize—like the Finder—since it’s a Cocoa plugin that works only with native Cocoa apps.



  • Works in Cocoa apps as described.
  • Uses a nice animation for the zoom and unzoom effects.
  • Keyboard shortcut is unreliable.
  • By consuming the whole monitor window, you lose the system menubar temporarily. Since the keyboard shortcut never worked for me going in reverse (and often the other way as well), it’s a pain to bring window back down to size.
  • Doesn’t work in apps like the Finder (non-Cocoa apps), which use the Mac OS X user interface guidelines for the Zoom button’s functionality. Yet this is the kind of app that potential users of MegaZoomer are most interested in “zooming” full screen, I presume.
  • Tools like MegaZoomer allow Windows switchers to avoid learning the real purpose of the zoom button in Mac OS X and to continue thinking an app window must expand to full screen to be functional. Basically, it duplicates an existing function rather than modifying it. Modifying how the zoom button works would be preferable.

Version as tested: 0.4.1.

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash