Something you might have noticed while using Windows and various pieces of software, is that sometimes when there is a box or window on the screen, and if you want to alter its dimensions, you can simply hover the mouse over the edge and drag the window to a different size. The thing is, some windows allow you to resize them in their width and height, and some don’t. It’s also not uncommon for a standard window function like the minimize / maximize button to be missing or inoperable because the program has disabled its use or removed it altogether.
In most cases, the window has been given a fixed size because the programmer feels it’s the correct size and doesn’t need altering. It can become frustrating if you feel the window should be bigger to display more information, or smaller to fit a given size, to take a screenshot perhaps. It’s quite annoying for us to have to scale an image because a window is 20 pixels too wide to fit on the webpage and isn’t re-sizable. Scaling reduces image quality, and it would be much better to shrink the window slightly rather than resizing the image.
There are tools around that can help you reduce or increase the size of windows that normally don’t give the option to do so, or set a window to a preset dimension. Here’s a selection of 5 for you to look at. All tools were tested in Windows 7 64-bit.
Sizer is a freeware utility that allows you to resize any window to an exact, predefined size. This is extremely useful when designing web pages, as it allows you to see how the page will look when viewed at a smaller size, and is also handy when compiling screen-shots allowing you to easily maintain the same window size across screen grabs. When you run Sizer the sizing arrows icon appears in the system tray and you can right click and select a size from the predefined list and any custom sizes you have set up, the last active window will then snap to that size.
There are a few other ways to resize a window using Sizer. While it’s running, move your mouse cursor to any edge or corner of a window you CAN resize and right click. A pop up menu will appear with the list of predefined sizes and you can set the window to that size. Some windows will also have a right click system menu, which you can also add an entry for the Sizer defaults. Alternatively, you can right click on the Maximize / Minimize button in a window.
To add new sizes to the menu or redefine existing ones use the Sizer Configuration Dialog. In addition to the default dimensions of a window, you can also set its default position to 9 presets or custom coordinates, and also snap windows to the closest size with the aid of the Ctrl key. Sizer has portable or setup installer versions, there is a development build with improved 64-bit support if you’re having trouble running the standard version.
The way Autosizer works is slightly different because it sits in the system tray and when a window title or name matches one in its list, various functions can be applied to the window. You can choose to maximize, minimize, restore or alter the size and position of the window. The program works by displaying any open windows in the upper pane of the interface and those that are to be processed at the bottom. To select a window for processing, highlight it and press the Autosize button.
You’ll then have the option to choose what to do with the window, and a custom size can be set along with the option to center or position the window at the specified coordinates. A tick box to set the window to be always on top is available in all modes. Windows can be identified by either class name or title, do note that many dialogs in Windows might have the same class name so you will need to use title matching instead.
The tray icon will give you the option to rescan and apply the settings to any watched open windows and set any currently opened window to top most status.
Using ResizeEnable is pure simplicity and there is absolutely nothing to configure at all. It is programmed by the same developer who made a handy little splash screen remover tool called SplashKiller. The program works by sitting in the system tray and hooks itself into any open windows allowing them to be resized. Simply download, extract and then run the portable ResizeEnableRunner.exe.
The icon will sit in the tray and has no options apart from an About entry. Find a window that won’t resize under normal circumstances and move the cursor over the edge of the window. Hopefully now the mouse cursor will change to the arrow that shows you can alter the window dimensions. Now click and drag like you would on any other ordinary window that can be resized.
This won’t work in all windows especially those that use non standard windows for their GUI interface. Something ResizeEnable does seem to do better than some other tools is scaling the controls, buttons and boxes inside the window to match the new size, instead of resizing just the border.
It’s not just being able to resize a non resizeable window that AltMove can do, because there’s so much more. It also allows you to move a window that has been given a fixed position, maximize, minimize and restore any window from or to the desktop by dragging the mouse, set the opacity of a window from 0-100%, enhance the built in screenshot function and magnify the desktop using a mouse key.
More advanced functions can be setup including assigning combinations to standard menu items of different programs and using the mouse to run your programs and open documents from anywhere. Not all actions are added by default and you can go to Actions -> New or press Ctrl+N simultaneously to add a new action. All actions in the window start by default and each can be turned off using its stop button, the maximize button will show the available options for it.
The resize window action has the left Ctrl and left mouse button combination set as the default to enable resizing a window, this can be changed. The good thing here is you don’t need to place your mouse on the edge of the window to resize, anywhere near that edge will do. There are a few options in the action that will need a bit of experimenting to get the resizing performed to your liking.
5. Mihov Active 800×600
This is an easy to use and simple tool that will resize any window to the specified dimensions, unsurprisingly the default is 800×600. There is another default of 1024×768 or you can choose “other” and enter your own width and height in pixels. To alter the size of a window, press the Start button and then hover your mouse cursor over the target window. Then after a 3 second countdown, the window under the mouse will get resized to the chosen value. The countdown can be increased if you want more time to choose the window. Mihov Active 800×600 is a tiny and portable program of only 150KB.