Earlier this year I had a chance to edit a story about a must-have free Mac app that would seem to solve my biggest complaint about using a MacBook: multitasking is just too complicated.
Sure, Apple lets you run apps side by side by hovering your cursor over the full-screen button and then clicking “Tile Window to Left of Screen” or “Tile Windows to Right of Screen.” But this is slow, and you don’t get a lot of options. Plus, there’s no real equivalent to Snap in Windows 11.
So I recently took the plunge and downloaded Rectangle app (opens in new tab) for the MacBook Pro 14-inch. This free macOS utility isn’t just one of the best Mac apps overall, it's so good that Apple should just buy it and incorporate it into macOS.
Here’s why I love Rectangle, what you can do with it, and how it can change how you work.
How Rectangle works
When you’re just getting started, the easiest way to use Rectangle once installed is to click the menu bar icon that sits at the top right of your screen. From there you can click Left Half, Right Half, Center Hap, Top Half or Bottom Half. Or you can get more granular with a bunch of other options like Top Left, Bottom Right, Last Two Thirds or First Two Thirds.
There are 14 main options in all, so if you tend to have a lot of open windows when using your Mac, Rectangle can be a godsend. You can also perform further tweaks, such as making windows smaller or larger or maximizing height. And all of these options have keyboard commands attached to them.
For example, if you want to move an active window to the left half of your screen, you can just click Control + Option + Right arrow on your keyboard. And bottom half would be Control + Option + Bottom Half. The Control + Option + Return shortcut will take any app full screen.
Three’s another way to use Rectangle that some may prefer. All you need to do is click and drop the top of an app window in a certain direction, and you’ll see the outline of a box appear that previews where the app could be placed.
So if I wanted the Notes app to be on the left and Chrome on the right side of my desktop, I can just drag those windows where I want them.
Rectangle Pro vs Free
If you want even more control there’s Rectangle Pro (opens in new tab), which costs $10. The premium version of the app gives you ability to create application groups the way you want them arranged with a single shortcut. Plus, you can create other keyboard shorts with window sizes and locations and sync your settings over iCloud.
Maybe macOS 13 will incorporate some of these features when Apple announces it at WWDC 2022. But I wouldn’t wait: download this killer app now.