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WindowDragon: Simply The Best Free Window Tricks

Published April 30th, 2007


WindowDragon Provides Free Window TricksOriginally downloaded 12/11/06, updated 4/29/07. For me, the modest, free WindowDragon software won out over all the other competition in the race to provide the best Window Tricks for my Mac. What the heck does that mean? Quite simply, I wanted the ability to move my application windows from a location other than the titlebar/toolbar, and I wanted to be able to occasionally resize them by dragging from some location other than the lower right-hand corner. That’s pretty much all I needed, and that’s pretty much all WindowDragon does. It simply does it better than the rest. How better? Glad you asked:

  • WindowDragon is the only tool that lets me keep my left mouse button free, to keep the keyboard shortcut simple. You see, as my library of custom keyboard shortcuts has grown, the ability of my tiny brain to remember them all has shrunk. With WindowDragon, I can keep the shortcut to one key, and for me that tiny number is huge! WindowDragon can do this because it lets me use the right-hand mouse button instead of the left, thereby avoiding interfering with all the hundreds of other shortcuts that rely on the left. It definitely takes a little practice to automatically use the right mouse key for a drag function, but once learned, it’s a blessing.
  • WindowDragon is the only tool of all those I tested that could resize my QuartzClocks windows even when their background was set to fully transparent. This is cool because my favorite QuartzClocks clock—the digital one—by default resizes with its background window. But if you make the window transparent, you can’t resize it using the little widget in the lower right-hand corner. Ergo, you either live with a huge clock (since you can’t change the font size), or you find a Window Trick somewhere. Lucky for me, I found one. :-)
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  • Because WindowDragon is a haxie, using Unsanity’s APE framework, rather than a Cocoa plugin, it can work with older Carbon apps like the Finder, as well as newer Cocoa apps. Though some of the commercial products also can do this, none of the other free ones can.

WindowDragon's Preferences Pane

Now, a major caveat for WindowDragon is that you have to first install the free APE framework. But the APE framework won’t run on Leopard (yet), so WindowDragon, unfortunately, does me no good when I’m working on my Leopard build. :-( I haven’t decided what I’m going to do about that yet, but it is a bit of a pain for now. Otherwise, I have never experienced any instability or other problems stemming from WindowDragon, and I’ve really enjoyed having it around… and knowing it didn’t cost me a dime! :-)

Here are a few notes I took while testing WindowDragon.



  • Free!
  • Easy to set up.
  • Has both functions I’m mainly interested in: resizing and moving.
  • Can assign any keyboard shortcuts, including the option to use a right-hand mouseclick with only one key.
  • Can disable WindowDragon in any application.
  • Nice built-in help file.
  • No additional features.
  • Can’t customize features for each application.
  • No visual cues.
  • Requires Unsanity’s APE framework… not compatible with Leopard (yet).

Version as tested: 1.1b2.

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