Archive for December, 2021

Scale: Scroll on desktop to zoom windows

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

As the name of this blog implies, I’m a fan of the desktop metaphor. I find the virtual desktop a great place to put everything that you know you’re going to be accessing frequently.

The only problem with the desktop is that it is often obscured by windows. While OS X offers a well-designed workaround, accessible via a multi-touch gesture, Windows has no great solution by default. You can press Win-D to show the desktop, but if you double-click a desktop icon, you’re going to lose your original window arrangement. The alternative is to use Win-M to minimize all windows and then Win-Shift-M to restore them, but that’s two separate key bindings that you need to keep track of – plus they’re fairly difficult to type.

Scale is my own solution. It is an AutoHotkey script that “zooms” (i.e. resizes) all windows whenever the mouse wheel is turned while the cursor is hovering over the desktop.

Demonstration of zooming windows in and out.

As you can see in the animation, I can easily reveal hidden desktop icons by scrolling the mouse over the desktop. To quickly restore the original window sizes, I can middle-click the desktop.

Permission to use, copy, modify and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted.