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When I click the green plus icon in any window, I would like it to expand to the full size of my monitor, instead of having to drag the corner of the screen.

I have seen paid ($10+) tools that do this.

Is there some sort of Terminal hack or free program that would do it?

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Related questions: 1 2 3 –  ؘؘؘؘ Jul 29 '12 at 13:44

8 Answers 8

up vote 3 down vote accepted

RightZoom is what you want (scroll down to the bottom of the page or use this MacUpdate link)

This free tool fixes an inconvenient behavior of green Zoom button in Mac OS X. It will always expand windows on a full screen instead of strange resizing.

Another one is BetterTouchTool. You might not think of BetterTouchTool as being a window manager, but it has window snapping (as seen in Windows 7). Take a look:

Cinch also does the same thing, but it costs $7.

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BetterTouchTool is my preferred option, and the extra functionality is fantastic! –  AlanJC Jul 29 '12 at 9:50
Yes. I agree. I love it!! –  daviesgeek Jul 29 '12 at 16:25
I purchased BetterTouchTool. Works great (albeit slightly buggy with my double monitor set up on ML). I love the right-click on the green plus icon to maximise feature (which you can find in the preferences). –  Adam Jul 30 '12 at 10:52
Do you mean RightZoom? –  daviesgeek Jul 30 '12 at 16:35
No, I purchased BetterTouchTool as it has the snap feature which I was interested in anyway. –  Adam Jul 31 '12 at 11:36

I use Spectacle it's free and open-source. A compiled version is available from the AppStore. You can change the various keyboard shortcuts that allow you to snap the window to any side or corner of the screen as well as maximize the application window to fit your screen.

The default shortcuts are:

  • Center / + alt + C
  • Fullscreen / + alt + F

  • Left Half / + alt +

  • Right Half / + alt +
  • Top Half / + alt +
  • Bottom Half / + alt +

  • Upper Left Corner / + control +

  • Lower Left Corner / + shift + control +
  • Upper Right Corner / + control +
  • Lower Right Corner / + shift + control +

  • Left Display / + alt + control +

  • Right Display / + alt + control +
  • Top Display / + alt + control +
  • Bottom Display / + alt + control +
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I use Divvy for this sort of window management, it was the one that closest fit my mental model. It uses shortcuts to allow changing window size and position and it allows you to resize to a grid using the mouse very quickly.

You can define system wide shortcuts, or shortcuts which are only available when the Divvy window is open.

There are a lot of alternatives to Divvy, most are also commercial, but ShiftIt is free and open source, but with a more limited set of features.

What it does do is allow you to have a system wide shortcut for putting the window into a corner or vertical or horizontal halves or full screen.

The source is available on github, but if you aren't comfortable compiling the code yourself, or dont want to install the 4GB of Xcode needed to do so, I have uploaded my compiled version of ShiftIt to filedropper.com.

(All the usual warnings and none of the guarantees apply. I have not tested this code, apart from running it for a few days to try it out for personal use. Please be careful when downloading software from random people on the internet. Look both ways when crossing the road.)

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Well, I'm using Snow Leopard and to my knowledge there is no way to trigger a fullscreen mode with just the click of a button. Unless something new has to come to light that I don't know of, you will simply have to drag the window and make it as large as you want by using the grabber on the bottom right of the screen.

Keep in mind, though, that it depends on the application. Some applications have a full screen mode.

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I was more wondering whether there was some system-wide tweak I could make to solve this. It doesn't relate to ML specifically, so maybe I shouldn't have added that tag. –  Adam Jul 29 '12 at 4:39
I saw that you mentioned is there a terminal hack to do this, but no, I do not think there is. –  Ryan Christman Jul 29 '12 at 4:49

In OSX Yosemite, you can achieve this by holding the ⌥ option and click the green (+).

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ShiftIt will do this, with its Maximize feature:


(The version 1.6 binary linked to from this page is more reliable than the default build from the default git hub page, and has an additional feature: it will move windows between monitors.)

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On Mavericks 10.9.4, it seems you can hold the Shift key down while you click the green (+) and the window will expand fully.

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On 10.9.5, option-click on the green button in the top left.

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