Saturday, December 22, 2012

Slate (or How I Learned to Hate The Finder)

Sometimes I find myself tolerating something that sucks because I haven't really thought about how much better it could be. Moving, hiding, and window switching in Apple's Window manager is one of those things.

I didn't realize how much it sucked until I discovered Slate (
Installer & Github site). It's a great little tool that allows you to bind hotkeys to window focus, move, or hide events.

It is a hyper-configurable (in fact it'll be mostly useless to you without a configuration file; but I'll point you at my configuration as a starting point) app for managing focus, size, and position of your windows with hotkeys.

A few examples that I've set up:

Command-Shift-B: bring my browser into focus.
Command-Shift-T: bring my terminal app into focus.
Command-Shift-Space: hide everything other than whatever window I have in focus.
Command-Shift-Delete: hide the current app.

It would be worth installing as just a replacement for command-tab as a window switcher, but you can do super-complicated things by chaining a bunch of operations together like so:

Command-Shift-=: hide everything except safari, eclipse, and iterm. Then move eclipse to the right side of the screen taking up 80% it. Then move iTerm to the other side and Safari to the bottom left. Finally, bring eclipse to the foreground.

Oh, and if you find yourself moving between laptop and monitor (or monitors) you can set up operations like that one to be triggered automatically when you plugin your monitor and get your apps into the right positions on all your monitors as soon as the OS detects them.

Here is my current configuration file:
http://code.google.com/p/geekery-blog-code/source/browse/trunk/src/main/scripts/slate.config

If you want to install it, just download it, and save it to ~/.slate with terminal or something.


And here are a few more resources I've found:

The Github Site: https://github.com/jigish/slate

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