MercuryMover Review

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I am most certainly what you would call a keyboard jockey. As much as I like my mouse, I'd prefer to keep working on the keyboard. One task that, until recently, always took a bit of mouse work was the process of sizing and moving windows. That was, until I discovered Helium Foot Software's MercuryMover.

MercuryMover is a preference pane that enables keyboard shortcuts to move and resize windows directly from your keyboard. While I found the default keyboard shortcuts to work for me, you can easily change them to suit your needs.

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Once activated, you can resize and move your windows on the fly in 1, 10, and 100 pixel increments. If you go overboard and overshoot your window movement, there is undo support. I particularly like the shortcuts that allow you to slam a window into a border or center it on your screen. Both of these are instantly useful on a laptop. This is also very helpful on those occaisions where you have a window nearly off screen and no "handle" to grab with the mouse.

If you have particular sizes of windows, you can save them as a preset. This feature is very helpful if you have different configurations in certain applications. For instance, in Keynote I normally run it in two sizes: a large size that fills the screen and a smaller one that affords room for inspectors and other applications. Using the hot key presets I can force the application into these predefined configurations with just a few keystrokes. This sets the window exactly where I want it in a fraction of the time it takes to accomplish driving a mouse.

I have been running it on two Macs for three weeks and experienced no stability problems. It has no troubles with multiple displays.

The tipping point is the fact that you have to memorize a few hot keys. If you are a fellow keyboard jockey, that shouldn't be a problem. If you'd rather reach for the mouse, this one isn't for you. After using it for a few weeks, it has become second nature to me and is much faster than my prior methods involving rodents.

A license is $20 and can be obtained from Helium Foot Software. There is a free trial so give it a try and see if it helps you.

You can listen to this review on the Mac ReviewCast, # 220.