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Windows Controller

CNET Editors' review

Windows Controller uses hot keys to control open windows on the desktop, but to describe it like that is sort of like calling Office an e-mail client or Photoshop a drawing tool. Like those other programs, Windows Controller does so much more than it seems at first blush. And, also like those other programs, Windows Controller is shareware, meaning you can try it for free (for 30 days) before buying it. Where Windows Controller breaks ranks with big-box (and big-bucks) programs like Photoshop or Office is in price; at $7.99 for the full version, Windows Controller costs about the same as a double-latte-whatever and rock-hard cookie in a trendy cafe, and with more-productive results (though you may need both).

Windows Controller's installer includes options for buying and entering a license, but we chose the 30-day trial. The program's user interface is simple but rather busy; while there's just a long list of Commands on the left and a window for displaying each selection's options on the right, the effect is rather text-heavy and crowded at first. But it's an efficient layout nonetheless; simply select a Command, set the hot-key combination that activates it, and configure any options such as window width or height. Most of Windows Controller's commands involve positioning the active window in some way, such Move down to next window edge, Extend right edge to next window edge, or Shrink top edge to next window edge, but some are simpler, such as Full Height half width or Move to topmost. You can also insert new commands as well as import and export commands from the Commands menu. We started with some basic commands, each of which executed flawlessly.

Windows Controller has few options, and the Help file is mostly online FAQs, but two things strike us about this versatile utility: it's easy to figure out and use, and its appeal will be greater for experienced users rather than novices. While the full range of commands available in Windows Controller is probably too much to memorize (not counting custom commands) it really speeds up those commands you use most often.

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Windows Controller