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How to maximize Safari windows to full-screen on the Mac? * updated *

One of the most annoying and frustrating thing especially for the so-called Windows-converts (i.e. people who “switch to the Mac” from Windows) on Mac OS X is that the maximize button (the small round green button with a ‘+’ sign on the upper-left corner of every window) acts differently on Mac than Windows in most cases. In fact, the maximize button behavior varies from application to application on the Mac, and unlike on Windows, it does not necesseraly maximize the window, but just change its dimensions. (See below and the rest of the article for details and for a couple work-around solutions to making windows full-screen on web browsers such as Safari).

On windows , the maximize button – where the term “maximize” is inherent from Windows operating system anyway – simply enlarges a window to almost full screen except that the window’s title bar, menu bar and the task bar remains visible and the remaining space is allocated to the window and its contents. On the Mac, however, this may not exactly be the case – especially when using Safari.

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/flvids/SafariDefaultMaximize.flv /]

The maximize button on Safari on the Mac, when clicked, causes the browser’s window to change size usually to the web page’s defined width horizontally and the height of the window to anything from a random size to the vertical space between the menu bar and the dock, and not full-screen (unless the screen-resolution is 1024×768 or smaller). For more info about how the Mac works and how different it works than Windows PCs, you may want to refer to the Mac Basics Page.

Work-around: How to maximize Safari Window to full-screen?

Soluıtion 1 – new!

glims-screenshotGet Glims add-on for Safari (Mac-only) which does the following:

  • Adds a “Max Window Size” menu item to resize the Safari window
  • Adds full-screen browsing capability
    while these are the functionalities which concern us, Glims offers the following features also:
  • Adds thumbnails to Google.com search results
  • Adds thumbnails to Yahoo.com search results
  • Adds search engines to the default Google search tab
  • Adds full-screen browsing capability
  • Adds Favicons to tab labels (in order to close tabs, you click on the favicon which replaces the ‘x’ , by the way)
  • Adds keyword search from address bar
  • Undo “Close Tab” (cmd-z)
  • Re-opens last session when Safari starts
  • Auto-Closes download window
  • Adds new tab position option (right/left/leftmost/rightmost)
  • Adds tab closing using middle mouse button
  • Focus last selected tab
  • Always open links in a new tab
  • Type-ahead support (auto cmd-f)
  • Sets the focus on the search field when opening a new window
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Google.com search results
  • Adds Amazon’s information banner on Yahoo.com search results
  • Forms autocomplete always on
  • Autocomplete search phrase
  • Adds bookmark separator
  • Adds bookmark actions
  • Dated download folders
  • Localized to Japanese, French, Polish, German, Spanish, Italian, and Korean

Download : Glims for Safari add-on (372 downloads)

Soluıtion 2 – not fool-proof

J. Y. Design has a dedicated Safari resources page on his blog where you can add shortcuts to your bookmarks bar which are useful to resizing your browser (not just limited to Safari, but seems to work virtually on any browser – though the max. button on a browser like Firefox causes the window to be resized to the maximum possible dimensions). See the demo video clip below to see how to install them on your browser (as simple as drag-and-drop) and then see them in action:

[flashvideo file=/wp-content/flvids/jyDesign.flv /]
On some web pages heavily loaded with other Javascript code, these buttons do not work – maybe the existing code is blocking the windows resizing via scripting. This is why, I added the Glims solution above.

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