Friday, November 13, 2009

Win7 slam the sides feature

I frequently need to view two web pages side by side but I find that I have those two web pages open in separate tabs in the same browser.

What I used to do would be the following:

  1. Copy the URL from one of the tabs.
  2. Minimize all windows on the desktop (Win + D)
  3. Open a second browser.
  4. Paste in the URL and hit enter.
  5. Restore the original browser.
  6. Right click the task bar and select "Show windows side by side" (or whatever the XP equivalent was).

I've found two shortcuts to improve this process. One of them from Windows 7 and the other seems to be a new(ish) feature on modern browsers that I just stumbled across.

  1. Click the title bar of the browser with the mouse and slam it onto the right or left edge of the screen. (This will cause the browser to fully occupy one vertical half of your screen.
  2. Drag the tab off the browser and it will immediately create a new new window.
  3. Slam that title bar into the other edge.

I've discovered that dragging the tab away from the tab bar will create a new browser window in FireFox, Chrome and Opera but I haven't been able to get this to work in IE8.

In Firefox and Chrome you can drag the tab down onto the current page and it will pop up a new windows. However, in Opera, you need to drag the tab off the browser to get it to create a new window. That's why it's better to slam the side with the browser before dragging the tab because then you know that you have space to drag the tab onto.


  1. I like keyboard shortcuts, and you might as well :)...
    Win + right arrow = dock right
    Win + left arrow = dock left
    Win + up arrow = maximize to viewport
    Win + down arrow = minimize
    Also, I used to use UltraMon for my work machine when managing 2+ monitors...I now just use Win7's built in keyboard shortcuts.
    Win + Shift + left arrow = left one monitor
    Win + Shift + right arrow = right one monitor
    There are some other good ones here []

  2. Good tips - thanks.