Thursday, July 1, 2010

Windows 7 - The secret of the "Snap"

Windows 7 has a new feature called “Snap” where you drag 1 open window to the right side of the screen another open window to the left and each window “Snaps” in place equally sharing the full screen. Many people who have tried the “snap” feature have had minimal success because they don’t know the trigger for making each window “snap”.

The trigger is the mouse pointer. Click and drag the title bar of each window to the right or left and when your mouse pointer touches the edge of your computer screen, release the mouse and the window "snaps" in place.

Windows XP Users

For those of you who are still using Windows XP there is a similar feature called “tile windows vertically”.  Open 2 windows that you want to view side by side.  Right-click on a blank area of the taskbar and select "Tile Windows Vertically" from the context menu. The windows are automatically arranged side-by-side, equally sharing the screen.

This Helpful Hint on Windows 7 “Snap,” generated the following question from a reader:

“I’ve run into an issue w/ Windows 7 that I’m sure many others have. I cannot figure out how to have two Excel files up on the screen at one time. Quite often, I need to copy and paste data from one spreadsheet into another, and I would like to use the SNAP feature to read them side by side and manually copy and paste data. But I cannot figure that out.”

ANSWER: There are a couple of options to use with Excel (which doesn’t automatically open a second window when you open a second file, as Word does.)

Option 1: (Windows 7) Open the first Excel file, then open the Excel program again (right-click on the Excel icon on the task bar and select Microsoft Excel) and then open the next file using the “Open” command. This creates 2 instances of the program and allows you to SNAP the 2 windows following the instructions above.

Option 2: Open the 2 Excel files you wish to view side-by-side. The next step varies based on the version of Excel you are using. In Excel 2007 or 2010, click the View tab on the ribbon. In the Window grouping click Arrange All. Select Vertical from the provided options and click OK. For Excel 2003 or older, click the Window menu and select Arrange… Select Vertical from the provided options and click OK.


  1. I have windows XP. Please note that the 'Tile windows VERTICALLY' option is what will give you the side-by-side view. The Horizontally option gives you and over/under view. Thanks for this great tip, I love this option!

  2. I have corrected the Helpful Hint...Thanks!