Hummingbird – Move and resize windows anywhere within window bounds on macOS

The unix world has many different window managers – applications which deal with window arrangement and manipulation – and I am not sure which one first introduced me to the feature of moving and resizing windows without having to hunt and peck for title bars or small chrome at the window edges.

It’s a feature that is really hard to describe in one sentence - but imagine you could transform your mouse pointer into “move window” mode anywhere within the window bounds. Or likewise into “resize window” mode.

The following video demonstrates the feature. Notice how the mouse pointer is just within the window and the key modifiers act as the commands to move or resize the window. They effectively make the mouse pointer grab the title bar (for move) or the lower right window corner (for resize).

For a long time I used Better Touch Tool to provide this functionality. It allows to assign key modifier to mouse move events and override standard window behaviour such that you can hold certain keys to achieve “move window” or “resize window” modes from within anywhere in the window.

When Better Touch Tool broke for me with the early macOS Mojave beta I started looking for alternatives and some came across “Easy Move + Resize” by Daniel Marcotte.

“Easy Move + Resize” did almost what I wanted. It mapped move to a left mouse click + a modifier and resize to a right click + modifier. I believe that’s even what many unix window managers do but it’s not a great gesture to perform on a trackpad. Click tracking is awkward, even if you enable tap to click.

I’ve subsequently extended “Easy Move + Resize” with a mode that does not require mouse clicks. However, it was too difficult to maintain both the ”click” and the “hover” modes in a single app. Following Daniel’s suggestion I’ve renamed “Easy Move + Resize” to “Hummingbird” and the two apps are now complementary versions of “easy move & resizing”, the original supporting left and right clicks, and Hummingbird different key combinations.

You can download Hummingbird from the release page. See the Readme for installation and usage instructions.

One additional advantage I feel Hummingbird has is that because it does not require clicks, it does not bring windows to the foreground. This proves very useful when you have a certain window arrangement on screen but want to nudge a background window. With the move or resize key combinations you can reposition or resize it without chaning window layers.