Acer GridVista: snap your windows to pre-defined sections of your screen(s)


This free app allows you to use your monitors more effectively by dividing your screen into custom sections.

It mimics the Windows 7 snap feature but goes further by allowing you to place your windows into any of two, three, or four sections on the screen through drag and drop. It also works with all versions of Windows and even works well alongside the Windows 7 snap feature (you can have both working together simultaneously).

Acer GridVista supports a custom configuration for each monitor, and provides a great user experience. It also offers a handful of other functions, such as transparency and stay-on-top options.

The ability to snap your windows to sections of the screen has become very fashionable after it was introduced with windows 7, and once you get accustomed to having this feature it becomes integral to the way you use your computer. Acer GridVista is one of a handful of free programs that provide this and has a few points to recommend it:

  1. Acer GridVista Screenshot extensionsIt is activated on drag and drop, or by using the special buttons it adds to the top right of your open windows next to the default minimize, maximize, and close buttons (see image to the right).
  2. It works with multiple monitors, each with its own custom configuration. It also allows for extending the desktop into external monitors (a feature which I did not test because I do not have one).
  3. Acer GridVista Screenshot system trayIt sticks to a range of 4 possible configurations, giving users an excellent range of options while not going overboard with too many screen configurations that may be too complex or esoteric (see images to the bottom, to the right). Acer GridVista Combos
  4. It adds a couple of other functions: namely transparency and pin on top of other windows.
  5. Can easily be disabled: on any individual window: using the aforementioned button extensions on the top right of your window.
  6. Plays well with Windows’ 7 snap function. This is because the Windows 7 snap behavior kicks in once you drag a window to the edge, while GridVista can kick in the moment you hold down the mousebutton.

Wish list: I am not sure if this program is still in development, but all the same here are some suggestions that can make this program can be even better.

  • The ability to set it to be inactive by default. With GridVista any window you move will be poised for snapping to a pre-defined area, even if you are simply interested in moving it. You can disable GridVista easily using the buttons on the top right, but it would be nice if you could set it to be inactive by default and only activate it when you need it.

The verdict: if you do not have Windows 7 and would like the snap functionality this program is an excellent option and one of the best programs of the sort around (I’ve reviewed a few which I will mention below). Acer GridVista is free, useful and delivers exactly what it promises.

If you would like a more powerful program, however, that offers more options (although admittedly at the cost of more complexity) you might want to look at WinSplit Revolution, which is one of my favorites.

Thanks to user usersp001 for letting me know about this program (he/she mentioned it in the comments for my MaxTo posting, which is another similar program).

Version Tested: 2.72.317

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to this page on Softpedia to download or go here for more information (approx 1.8 megs).