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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.