Among the several features Microsoft first introduced with Windows 7 were the immensely well-received Aero Snap and the relatively less discussed but still useful Aero Shake. The former is a drag-and-snap capability that let you snap windows to left and right edges of the screen. Aero Shake, on the other hand, allows you to easily minimize all open windows other than the one you want to keep on the screen, by simply holding and shaking it with your mouse. Both these options were also included in Windows 8, though the name Aero was dropped from them, in addition to dropping the Aero Glass effect. If you want to tweak all these Aero features beyond their stock configuration, try AquaSnap. The application gives you fine-grained control over changing all the functionality that comes under the Aero umbrella, including Snap, Shake and Glass, and customize various additional options as well. Details after the jump.
On its basic level, AquaSnap allows you to snap windows to more than just left or right, proving extremely useful on large monitors where there’s plenty of screen real estate for use. For instance, the above screenshot demonstrates four windows that I quickly snapped to four screen regions using this app.
The configuration window of AquaSnap is small but loaded with several tweaking controls under six tabs: General, AquaSnap, AquaStretch, AquaShake, AquaGlass and Appearance. AquaShake lets you switch Aero Shake’s functionality from minimizing all other windows to making them transparent. You can easily adjust the transparency level, shake sensitivity, speed and duration to your liking using their pertaining sliders, or even disable this feature altogether if you never use it.
AquaGlass, on other hand, doesn’t really change or enhance what Aero Glass offers. Instead, it basically makes windows transparent when you click and drag them around on your screen. You can also adjust the transparency level.
One of the most interesting bits about the app is the AquaSnap tab. Where the default Aero Snap makes windows snap as maximized or half the screen width on the left and right sides, AquaSnap adds in quarter-screen sizes as well, which can be activated via clicking AquaSnap Advanced. There’s also a custom option that lets you tweak the layout however you please, with the possibility to have a 3×3 snapping grid as well.
The application also allows you to modify a few cosmetic parameters of Windows under the Appearance tab. AquaStretch lets you enable and control windows stretching mode when you snap windows to your desired side while holding the Shift key on your keyboard. This makes it possible to snap windows in custom patterns, for instance, 1/3 or 2/3 sizes etc. When you drag the window to either size, it is automatically adjusted according to the predefined area.
All in all, it’s an excellent app for controlling several Aero-related parameters of Windows. AquaSnap is available for free for personal use, while there’s also a paid variant that comes with multi-monitor support. The application works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.