Secondshell: lightweight app lets you maximize windows horizontally or vertically, adds a range of useful tweaks


Secondshell tweaks Windows and provides easy and practical shortcuts for performing a handful of tasks, such as: Maximizing windows to the edges of the screen vertically or horizontally using keyboard shortcuts (see screenshots above) and resizing or moving windows by clicking anywhere on the window, then using Alt+left click drag to move or Alt+right click drag to resize (similar to KDE Window Resizer).

Other functions include substituting the Caps Lock key for the middle mousebutton (useful for laptops or netbooks that do not have it), minimizing windows by right clicking the title bar, closing a window by middle-mouse clicking the title bar, and setting up to 10 keyboard shortcuts to launch applications.

Most of what this program does we’ve seen before (for example KDE Window Resizer for Alt+resizing and FreeSnapfor maximizing to edges), but at 2 megs in memory and providing such a nice range of tweaks Secondshell is a breath of fresh air. More details below:


  • Lightweight: less than 2 megs in memory.
  • Portable: this app comes as a standalone, portable app; simply unzip and run.
  • Caps lock to send middle click: as a laptop user I thought this was a brilliant idea. Click caps lock and move the mouse up and down to simulate the middle mouse scroll wheel. It works well enough, except when you accidentally touch the title bar of a window while trying to simulate the mouse wheel and end up closing windows accidentally.
  • Changing the settings: can be done by manually editing the .INI file in the Secondshell folder. (You can, for example, change the keyboard shortcuts used for most functions). Note that there is no GUI or dialog for changing the settings.
  • Hotkeys to launch apps: gives you up to 10 user definable keyboard shortcuts to run apps; these also have to be set up by manually editing the .INI file.
  • Can be quickly enabled or disabled: via it’s system tray icon.
  • Works great on Windows 7 64bit: even the minimize by right clicking the title bar function, which the author’s website states was known not to work on Win7 64bit worked fine on my machine.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • The ability to activate or deactivate functions: badly needed, in my opinion. For example I do not particularly care for the minimize-window-by-right-clicking-the-title-bar function and would like to be able to switch it or other functions off and on at will (this function in particular interferes with other Windows tweaks, such as Sizer and RBTray, two of my favorites that I always use). Note: you can disable some functions, such as the caps lock as middle mouse functionality via editing the secondshell.ini file.
  • A GUI or dialog to edit the settings: this would be great, especially if it was a separate executable that wouldn’t increase the size of Secondshell in memory.
  • A suggestion: to disable closing a window via caps-lock as a substitute for the middle mouse column. This is likely to only occur by accident anyway, as it did with me many times while testing this app.

The verdict: an excellent app! aside from my comments in my wish list above I have nothing to say except a big “thank you” to the developer for a job very well done. Highly recommended.

Version Tested: 1.07

Compatibility: Window XP or higher; 32 or 64 bit.

The program page no longer exists, but you can download ver. 2.0.1 of the program here.