The Robservatory

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Gain control over Photos’ floating windows

As a recent somewhat-forced convert to Photos, I’m struggling with a number of things—more on that coming in a future post. But one of the tougher adjustments for me is that Photos uses a floating Info window, whereas iPhoto had an embedded info panel.

I keep the Info window open all the time, because I do a lot of work with keywords and location. (I also like to keep the Keywords window open, though this one was also floating in iPhoto.) I resize the iPhoto/Photos window quite often, depending on what I’m doing with other apps—sometimes I want my photos covering the screen, sometimes I don’t.

In iPhoto, this isn’t an issue (left GIF), as the info panel is attached to the main window. In Photos, though, resizing the main window leaves the Info window floating in space (right GIF).

I don’t like the big gap, either visually or operationally, so I wind up moving the Info window next to the newly-resized main window.

There are a few solutions to this problem, the best of which only Apple could provide. They could make the Info window a panel below the photos, or they could make it magnetic so that it would stick to the edge of the Photos window, even as it resizes. I don’t suspect we’ll see either solution coming from Apple, though.

Instead of waiting for Apple, I used one of Many Tricks’ own apps, Moom, which (among its other tricks) has the ability to save window layouts, either within an app or across many apps.

I used Moom to save three different layouts, each with varying sizes for the main Photos window and with the Info window just to the upper right of the main window.

Given I was saving layouts, I also opened and positioned the Keywords window where I wanted it, so that its size and location would also be saved in the layout. I then assigned each saved layout a keyboard shortcut in Moom, and now have something similar to—though not as flexible as—what I had with iPhoto; here’s how the layouts look in Moom’s menu:

Now, when I’m in Photos, I can toggle between my three layouts with a quick press of a hot key…

This isn’t perfect, but it works well enough—my two floating windows stay attached when I switch between any of the three sizes. There are other apps that do what Moom does; perhaps even some that offer magnetic effects…but I sort of have an affinity for Moom for some reason.

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