Technology

Windows 10’s first PowerToys app allows custom Snap resizing and looks amazing

If you are a supporter of the Snap function of Windows 10, you have been waiting and hoping for Windows to enable you to develop your own custom Snap layouts. You can do it now! One of the first PowerToys applications from Windows 10, FancyZones, does just that — and it looks amazing.

If you don’t understand what Snap is doing, go to a PC and open any window there. Then click the Windows key and one of the arrows in the direction. Snap snaps a window as a column connected to the left side of the screen, for instance, if you hit Windows + the left arrow. The window will snap to that corner if you drag it to any corner, enabling you to generate a 4-window tiled impact.

But if the windows are a little lower than you would like? Or if you want three windows instead of two columned windows? Until now, you would have had to manually build your own windows, drag and resize them. You don’t need to.

Microsoft’s PowerToys were a beloved staple of the Windows 95 era, allowing users to add vetted extensions to the basic operating system. Others, like SyncToy’s tool for syncing folders, emerged as PowerToys for Windows XP and Vista. Now, PowerToys is back, and each app even has the code available on GitHub for suggested modifications. There are two initial PowerToys apps: a Shortcut Guide, and the FancyZones app. You’ll need to download the PowerToys installer, then select which apps you’ll want to install. You don’t even need to be on a Windows 10 Insider build to get it—this is open to anyone.

Windows PowerToys’ Shortcut Guide.

Basically, the Shortcut Guide is a cheat sheet on what’s happening on your Windows screen. Depressing the Windows button for more than a second will switch on the Windows shortcuts accessible for what you are presently seeing on your computer with the Shortcut guide enabled. The inference is that the Shortcut Guide is somewhat context-aware and shows what action these shortcuts will take considering the present desktop and active window status. If you still hold down the Windows key after you have triggered an intervention, those shortcuts will adjust to reflect what you see.

FancyZones includes Snap templates, or you can create your own

When you tap a window to the screen’s side or corner, you’re telling the window to decrease (or grow) to a predefined screen region. What FancyZones does is allow you to choose from a list of predefined areas templates, or you can build your own.

What’s fantastic about the predefined templates is that it produces helpful layouts immediately: for example, three text columns that might be well suited for a widescreen monitor — or, alternately, a “priority grid” that widens the center column.

You can create FancyZones from scratch, creating and resizing windows…

You can also generate your own areas if none of these works. FancyZones enables you to do this either additively, by generating areas that can be resized; or by subtracting, where you can remove or adjust a amount of predefined areas. If you are looking for a manner to rearrange windows for the Snap function of Windows rapidly and easily, FancyZones certainly seems worth a look.

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