PowerToys is a massive and extremely useful set of tools made for Windows. I strongly recommend going through all of them, but right now I’ll focus on a particular one that I have been using for years now: FancyZones. This tool allows you to create custom layouts where you can choose the width and heigh of various zones. Once saved, you can just press Shift while you drag a window, and these zones will pop up. Dropping your window into any of these zones will automatically resize your window to the specific zone.
This is extremely useful for many reasons, but especially if you’re working on an ultra-wide monitor and need to consistently resize your windows to 1920x1080 or to a 16:9 aspect ratio. I personally use a 16:9 ratio zone in my ultra-wide to stream from, and then snap another zone to the remaining portion of the screen to open chrome or look up any notes.
2. Installing PowerToys
In order to download and install PowerToys, follow the link here:
Microsoft PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. The currently available utilities include: Currently, PowerToys is available in the following languages: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Turkish.
There is some good information on what kinds of tools PowerToys includes in there, so make sure to take a look!
3. Customizing FancyZones
Honestly, I was planning on writing in detail about this, but turns out the FancyZones Microsoft website does an amazing job on explaining and going into detail about it. Including GIFs and images on how the process works. I feel like I’d just be writing the same thing all over, so instead I’ll leave you a link here, and then gloss over some other ideas. Read everything about FancyZones here:
PowerToys FancyZones utility for Windows
FancyZones is a window manager utility for arranging and snapping windows into efficient layouts to improve the speed of your workflow and restore layouts quickly. FancyZones allows you to define a set of window locations for a desktop that are drag targets for windows.
You can make multiple layouts, and assign different monitors (if you have more than one) different layouts. There are also two types: Grid, and Canvas. Grid allows you to divide the screen into different zones (horizontal and/or vertically) and Canvas is more of an unrestricted setup.
To take full advantage of your screen real estate, you might want to bring the “Space around Zones” to zero, or just toggle it off. You can edit this after you’ve already created your space, but make sure to go back to it and expand your zones to get those extra pixels.