Get OS X El Cap­i­tan fea­tures to­day!

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Per­haps the high­light of El Cap­i­tan is Split View, which is es­sen­tially a new fea­ture of OS X’s full-screen mode. Rather than forc­ing you to fo­cus on one app, you’ll be able to fill the screen with two. Cre­at­ing a split view is just a case of hold­ing down a key and drag­ging on a win­dow’s green zoom but­ton, choos­ing to send it to the left or right side of the scren, and then se­lect­ing from a Mis­sion Con­trol-like view what you want in the other half. The split can be ad­justed to suit.

This isn’t a new con­cept. It bor­rows heav­ily from Mi­crosoft’s Win­dows Snap, which de­buted in 2009; and plenty of util­i­ties al­ready add sim­i­lar func­tion­al­ity to the Mac. Moom ($10 – about £6, manytricks.com) is prob­a­bly the most cus­tomis­able win­dow man­ager out there. You can snap win­dows to screen edges and corners by drag­ging them, use key­board short­cuts to move and zoom them, or even en­able a ‘move and zoom grid’ that ap­pears when you hover the cur­sor over a win­dow’s green zoom but­ton. The grid de­faults to a 6-by-4 setup but you can have up to 16 cells hor­i­zon­tally and ver­ti­cally; when the grid’s vis­i­ble, you sim­ply ‘draw’ where you want the win­dow to be po­si­tioned. The app’s pow­er­ful cus­tom con­trols pro­vide fur­ther means to move your win­dows around the screen with­out your fin­gers ever leav­ing the key­board.

An ex­cel­lent and free al­ter­na­tive to Moom is Bet­ter Touch Tool (bet­ter­touch­tool.net), which you can use to cre­ate ges­tures and short­cuts for your mouse, track­pad and key­board. The app in­cludes a ‘Win­dow Re­size & Move’ cat­e­gory and sup­ports up to five-fin­ger swipe ges­tures. Within min­utes, you can be fling­ing win­dows around and pre­tend you’re star­ring in a ver­sion of Mi­nor­ity Re­port with sig­nif­i­cantly more alu­minium than in the movie (and fewer psychics in fish tanks).

Nei­ther so­lu­tion gets you El Cap­i­tan’s fullscreen shenani­gans, but both match the means to quickly snap win­dows to a screen half, and also of­fer far more di­verse ways to split your screen. Even when OS X 10.11 ar­rives, they’ll still be worth hav­ing in­stalled. Craig Grannell

Moom and Bet­ter­Touch­Tool pro­vide ex­ten­sive op­tions for split-screen views.

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