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I recently switched from Windows to Mac M1 running Big Sur and can't find a feature that I had on my Windows Laptop.

On windows, I had AquaSnap installed, which has really nice features. One of those is that when windows were next to each other, I was able to resize the windows simultaneously when they were next to each other. E.g. when I want to make one app bigger and the other side smaller, I just pressed Ctrl while dragging one app to a side and both sides got resized.

I found a video on YouTube where somebody did this on the Mac, but in the video, both apps went into full-screen mode (and obviously shared the space). However, my Mac does not behave like this (i.e. does not go into full-screen mode and also does not resize both apps simultaneously when resizing) and I think this behaviour was part of an earlier software version.

Is there another (simple) possibility to activate this feature?

It is worth mentioning that on my Mac I have BetterSnapTools installed, but did not find such a feature there.

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Option 1: Native Split View in Big Sur

  1. Make sure you have at least two windows on your desktop

  2. Start by hovering your mouse over the green maximise button of one of these windows

    hover green button

  3. Click on "Tile Window to Left of Screen"

  4. Then, choose the other window, which should become the right part of your tiled window arrangement, by clicking on that window.

    click on right window

  5. When you adjust the width of the left window, the right window will resize accordingly.

    resize window

To learn more about Split View in macOS, have a look at this support document: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204948.

Option 2: Tiling window manager

If you would like more configurations options, or you would like to extend this mechanism to more than two windows on one desktop, using a tiling window manager like yabai would be an option.

For example, if a couple of windows are on one desktop using yabai, resizing one of the windows makes the other windows adjust their sizes accordingly.

yabai resize

yabai is a window management utility that is designed to work as an extension to the built-in window manager of macOS. yabai allows you to control your windows, spaces and displays freely using an intuitive command line interface and optionally set user-defined keyboard shortcuts using skhd and other third-party software.

  1. Install the homebrew package manager

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"
    
  2. Install yabai

    brew install yabai
    
  3. Adjust the configuration in ~/.yabairc if needed to customise the tiling behaviour.

    # ~/.yabairc
    yabai -m config window_placement             second_child
    yabai -m config window_topmost               off
    yabai -m config window_shadow                on
    yabai -m config window_opacity               on
    yabai -m config window_opacity_duration      0.0
    yabai -m config active_window_opacity        1.0
    yabai -m config normal_window_opacity        0.90
    yabai -m config window_border                on
    yabai -m config window_border_width          6
    yabai -m config active_window_border_color   0xff775759
    yabai -m config normal_window_border_color   0xff555555
    yabai -m config insert_feedback_color        0xffd75f5f
    yabai -m config split_ratio                  0.38
    yabai -m config auto_balance                 on
    yabai -m config mouse_modifier               fn
    yabai -m config mouse_action1                move
    yabai -m config mouse_action2                resize
    yabai -m config mouse_drop_action            swap
    
    yabai -m config layout                       bsp
    yabai -m config top_padding                  12
    yabai -m config bottom_padding               12
    yabai -m config left_padding                 12
    yabai -m config right_padding                12
    yabai -m config window_gap                   16
    

Have a look at this wiki to learn more about the tiling-configuration options.

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  • Hey @fiedl, thanks for the answers (You also answered my other question here yesterday :D ). I actually tried the first solution yesterday but it did not work...now I tried it again and it works heh... however, it automatically puts both windows into "full-screen mode" which is quite annoying...is it possible to stop this? – Mikhail Mar 26 at 14:28
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    ALSO, since Yabai seems to be a solution for BOTH my questions, I'm actually thinking about trying it out! :) However, in this git issue github.com/koekeishiya/yabai/issues/725 a recent post suggests that "the features requiring SIP disabled do not work" on M1 Macs. I posted a question there and will update it here, but if you have more info about that, let me know! – Mikhail Mar 26 at 14:31
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    Sorry, I didn’t realize that yabai does not yet fully work with the M1. I’ve only tried these things on Intel Macs, yet, because I‘m waiting for the 14/15-inch M1 MacBook Pro. But, apparently, so does the author of yabai. He plans to fix the M1-related shortcomings beginning with Q3/2021 when he gets his device. github.com/koekeishiya/yabai/issues/725#issuecomment-770206571 – fiedl Mar 26 at 14:45
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    Native Split View unfortunately only works with both windows being fullscreen. – fiedl Mar 26 at 14:50
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    I think it should work, but I haven’t tried myself. – fiedl Mar 26 at 15:01

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