HOW TO USE SNAP LAYOUTS IN WINDOWS 11
PC Magazine|November 2021
Windows 11 may be better known for its centered taskbar and rounded window borders, but the new Snap Layouts feature (sometimes also called Snap Assist) might be a more useful UI innovation. Windows, as its name implies, has long been excellent at managing and rearranging program windows, but Snap Layouts elevate the operating system (OS) to the next level.
MICHAEL MUCHMORE

HOW DO SNAP LAYOUTS WORK?

To get started with this new productivity tool, you simply hover the mouse over the Maximize icon in a program window’s upper-right corner. You’ll see a choice of layouts, like this:

Note that not every application supports this feature. In my testing, the Firefox and Spotify programs showed only the old Maximize option. But you can still position them within a Snap Layout after starting the process with an app that supports the feature.

The available options depend on your screen dimensions. On my test PC, a 15inch Surface Laptop 3 running Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.176 with the display scale set to the recommended 150%, I was offered only the four choices shown above, with arrangements of two, three, and four windows. Microsoft recently announced a new layout option, three equal windows sideby-side or stacked, but that didn’t appear on my laptop, since it’s designed for large screens of over 24 inches only.

You then hover your cursor over the layout diagram onto the shape you want to fit your current application into. The spot will highlight with a color. Here, it’s the default blue, but it uses whatever color you chose in Settings > Personalization for your Accent color.

After you tap on the spot where you want the current window to live, you see the full layout on-screen with the other available spots shown using Fluent design Acrylic effects that blur the background. All other running apps are shown as options for filling the placeholders.

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