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Drag a Lion Window From Any Edge

In my Using Lion book, I describe (“Resize Efficiently, Lose the Lozenge”) how to resize a window by dragging any edge or corner. In version 1.2 of the book, I added a fact that I’d missed: as you drag, you can hold Shift to maintain the window’s current aspect ratio, or Option to resize from the window’s center (or both). Incredibly, however, I still managed to miss a further aspect of this feature: If you drag from an edge or the bottom of the window the wrong way, you drag the entire window to reposition it, rather than resizing it.

By “the wrong way,” I mean perpendicular to the direction of the arrow cursor that shows you the resizing direction. So, for example, you click at one side of the window and start dragging up or down, instead of sideways as the arrow cursor indicates. Presto, you’re dragging the entire window! Once you’ve started dragging the window, so that Lion knows you want to drag rather than resize the window, you can continue dragging in any direction, and put the window where you want it.

This is a big improvement over earlier Mac OS X systems where, for many windows, the only way to reposition the window was to drag the title bar. There were exceptions; for example, in the Finder, if you showed the status bar at the bottom of the window, you could drag the window by the status bar. But Lion extends this so you can drag any resizable window by any resizable edge.

Posted by Matt Neuburg (Permalink)