One of the most valuable things for me on my computer is screen space. No matter how large of a monitor I have or how many monitors I am using it just never seems like it is enough. I try to keep the number of concurrently running applications to a minimum but it never seems to work out in my favor. Before I know it I’ll have so many applications/windows open that I’m afraid to close any of them.
I started searching around and found two great freeware applications that will make saving/optimizing precious screen space a piece of cake! They each have a different techniques to get the job done which means you could actually use both applications simultaneously to really be productive.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to clear up some room on your Taskbar is to make use of an application like WinTabber, which is a little more complete than the Jedi Window Dock created for the App A Day site. WinTabber will let you pick and choose some of your open windows to throw into one simple tabbed interface. As you can see in the screenshot below I took a few of my open windows and in just a few clicks I had them removed from the Taskbar and placed into the application.
One program that I probably would keep out of it is Firefox though. Not because it doesn’t work properly but having the tabs in Firefox and the tabs for the applications can get quite confusing when you are trying to switch between websites quickly.
This program is actually more focused on optimizing your screen space rather than trying to conserve it. It will take some of your open windows and try to arrange them in the most optimized fashion so that you can view them next to each other. The list of features isn’t long but the usefulness can be greater than you think. Here is everything that it can do:
- Hide of window borders and captions
- Customize number of windows per each monitor
- Customize layout for each screen configuration
- Has three modes for window ordering: manual, by process, by title
- Hotkey shortcuts for quick operation
- Rules for the flexible management of windows to be arranged
WinArranger can be configured to work just how you want it to. In the bottom left corner of the application you’ll see a button that says “Arrange” or “Re-arrange” and it will order your open windows in a fashion that lets you view them side-by-side. On the Rules tab of the configuration screen you can remove an application from appearing in the list of windows to be arranged. Here is what WinArranger did with the two windows that I had open:
There is all kinds of freeware out there, but it can be difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. Actually, you have to know what you’re looking for first. Maybe you say to yourself “there has to be some way to clean up my Taskbar,” but you just don’t know what you need. Another good solution might be using virtual desktops…you’ll need to play around with some solutions until you figure out exactly what’s right for you.