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126 - Opening Application Windows in Full Screen Mode

If you're like me, you would prefer to work in a window that uses the full screen, not just a part of it. Many application programs default to what is known as a "normal window". A "normal window" is one whose height, width, and position on the screen are set by you. Since I rarely want to work with a partial screen, I set mine to open automatically to the full setting. I'm perfectly happy to tell it to use a smaller screen for that once-in-a-while occasion when I need it. Admittedly, it's a minor aggravation, but it's so easy to fix. Why put up with it at all? This tip tells you how to change the default for how a window opens.

First, a quick lesson in how to tell if you're looking at a "normal window" or a "maximized (full screen) window", and how to resize and reposition a "normal" window.

   Note - If you know how to do this already, skip to the "So here's the Tip" paragraph.

The way to tell is to look at the three buttons in the upper right corner of the window. The button in the middle is the one you want to look at. That button will have one or two squares square with dark line(s) at the top. One square means it's a "normal window". Two squares and the window is already set to "maximized".

A "maximized" window is already as big as the screen will allow. A "normal window" can be re-sized and re-positioned by placing your cursor on any edge, holding down the left mouse button and dragging. Place the cursor on either side edge of the window and drag it left or right. Use a top or bottom edge and drag it taller or shorter. Rest on a corner and adjust both dimensions at once. Place it on the title bar (at the top of the window) and drag the entire window to a new position on the screen. When you close the application, Windows will remember the size, shape, and location of your normal window and will use those dimensions the next time you call for a normal window in that application.

The reason I mention all this here is that sometimes you find "normal" windows which have been resized to fill the entire screen. Windows end up this way because the user wanted a maximized window, but didn't understand how to get it. That's fine, but the next time you want to reduce the size of the window, you'll have to do it manually by dragging its edges. It's better practice to leave the normal window at about half the screen size and use today's tip to automatically open it maximized.

So, here's the Tip -
To make an application open in a maximized window, you need to change the command that calls it. When you open the application, where do you click to do that? It can be an icon on your desktop or on the bar along the bottom of your screen, a menu item on the upper part of the Start Menu, or a menu item from the "Programs" menu off your Start Button.

  1. Point to the icon or menu item and RIGHT-click
    (there's our old friend RIGHT-click again!)
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. Select the "Shortcut" tab
  4. In the box labeled "Run", click on the down arrow
  5. Select "Maximized"
  6. Exit with "OK", and you're done.

That's it.  The next time you open the application from that icon or menu item, it will open maximized.

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