Show a Full Size Window Preview in Mission Control for OS X

Dec 1, 2011 - 5 Comments

Full Size Window Preview in Mission Control

Mission Control in Mac OS X groups together thumbnail previews of windows from the same app. By hovering the mouse cursor over a cluster of these thumbnails and scrolling up on a multitouch trackpad or Magic Mouse (or scrolling up the mouse wheel with other mice), you can cause the cluster to expand, showing more detail in those behind the main window. Give it a try now—it’s pretty useful.

This trick can be enhanced with a small tweak to a hidden system setting. To make clustered windows expand to full size so you can see their contents rather than merely slightly larger than they normally are, open a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults write expose-cluster-scale -float 1;killall Dock

The changes take effect immediately. A variation of this tweak is to substitute a value of 0.6 rather than 1 in the line above. This will cause the windows to expand to a larger size than the default but not to 100 percent of their normal dimensions.

To undo the tweak at a later date, open a Terminal window and type the following:

defaults delete expose-cluster-scale;killall Dock

Like this tip? Don’t miss our other Mission Control tricks.

This is another great tip from Keir Thomas, author of the new book Mac Kung Fu, which contains over 300 tips, tricks, hints and hacks for Mac OS X Lion


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Posted by: Keir Thomas in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Fericit Bostan says:

    Too bad this doesn’t work in Expose. That would be very helpful when multiple windows are open, in Safari for example, and you need to zoom in on each of them to properly identify them. Is there another defaults write command to enable that functionality?

  2. […] a defaults write command you can also set this zoom feature to show the full size of windows in Mission Control. stLight.options({ publisher:'fe5e0a84-1fac-40de-8014-9f89fc1cbe6a' […]

  3. Jromo says:

    I dont know if anyone’s noticed this before but this effect its a bit different to the one advertised in the osx lion commercials, in the commercials when a cluster of windows is expanded all the other windows that do not belong to the app cluster that’s being expanded shrink to just the app icon, you can see it in here

  4. Mipz says:

    Is there a link to that flower wallpaper? It looks really nice!

  5. fstop says:

    This works great for smaller windows but browsers are simply too big, it’s too bad there isn’t a limiter so the window can’t go beyond the available space. Probably only an issue for those of us with lower resolutions though :)

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