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Zooom!: Another Utility To Enhance Window Handling

Published April 28th, 2007

Zooom: Window stuff, “done right”

Zooom Window EnhancerOriginally downloaded 11/5/06. Zooom is about the third software package I’ve downloaded in recent months that adds the ability to move and resize application windows in more ways than the default Mac OS X behaviors. I suspect this is being driven by the needs of Windows users who’ve switched to the Mac and long for the comfort of their usual window behaviors. Zooom adds a preference pane to control its actions, which are triggered by keyboard shortcuts. One gets a positive impression of the software right off the bat thanks to an interactive demo that launches as soon as you install Zooom. Based on that, I’d say Zooom is pretty darn easy to use, but I’ll play with it and its fellow utilities for awhile before picking one. Zooom, unfortunately, isn’t free, but at $8, it’s not unreasonably priced. (Update 4/28/07: Zooom is now $10.)

Update 4/28/07. Zooom! is really cool, but I’ve decided to chuck it for myself, as well as its close competitor, MondoMouse, in favor of some freeware that takes care of the main functionality and does so more satisfactorily for me. That said, Zooom! is a fine product that I can recommend without reservation. It has a broader range of functions than the more expensive MondoMouse , and its developer is responsive to suggestions, actively seeking to improve the product. Zooom! is also the only one of these tools that extends its powers to the difficult, non-standard Mac OS X products from Microsoft. For control freaks, Zooom!’s new Magnetics feature will be a dream come true. It lets you assign an invisible grid to your monitor, to which you can snap your windows as you move and resize them with Zooom! Unfortunately, you can’t snap to the grid by using Mac OS X’s built-in move and resize tools. Below is my summary of pros and cons.



  • Good introductory tutorial.
  • Provides “ignore” list so you can deactivate Zooom! in certain apps. Deactivation is fine-grained so you can deactivate only certain Zooom! functions rather than all of them.
  • Provides visual feedback when Zooom! is active, letting you know whether you’re resizing or moving a window, though this feature is only marginally helpful.
  • Provides a menu extra so you know Zooom! is active and have ready access to its settings.
  • New “magnetics” feature makes it a “snap” to precisely align windows in a configurable grid. The grid can be set to become visible when you’re moving or resizing windows, to make it easy to see where the “snap” lines are.
  • Claims to be the only such tool to work its magic on the very non-standard Microsoft Office Mac OS X apps.
  • Trial period too short to make a decision.
  • Although the developer was very responsive, he was unable to give me a trial license that could allow me to continue testing Zooom! on my main system. I eventually reinstalled it on a system that had never had Zooom! installed. In addition to the new license, I had tried using various “uninstall” utilities on my original system, as well as various hack techniques I happen to know. :-) Nothing worked. I advised the developer to provide a more “friendly” demo trial scheme… for example, giving users another 2 weeks for each new major version that’s released, but as far as I can tell that hasn’t happened yet.
  • Can’t resize some windows… for example, QuartzClocks digital display when window is transparent. Also can’t resize System Preferences windows, for example.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can’t utilize the right-hand mouse button, which limits your flexibility in assigning simple shortcuts.
  • Magnetics feature only works when you move using Zooom!, not when you drag with toolbar.

Version as tested: 1.2.

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