You can think of expanding and contracting as the keyboard equivalent of window snapping. But it is actually a bit more than that.

There is a new feature in town. The expand and contract window shortcuts are there to quickly resize a window until it reaches another edge. It will snap to window edges, regions and monitor edges by default

Sometimes it is useful if a window would span multiple regions, because you are focusing on something for a bit. These keyboard shortcuts allow you to do that, in a faster way than changing your regions and then resizing your windows.

There are 8 keyboard shortcuts to learn:

Expand Contract
Ctrl NumPad4

Expand the window leftwards.

Alt NumPad4

Contract the window leftwards.

Ctrl NumPad8

Expand the window upwards.

Alt NumPad8

Contract the window upwards.

Ctrl NumPad6

Expand the window rightwards.

Alt NumPad6

Contract the window rightwards.

Ctrl NumPad2

Expand the window downwards.

Alt NumPad2

Contract the window downwards.

There is a thing to note here. The keyboard shortcuts starting with

Alt
are not the opposites of
Ctrl
. If you keep using expand and contract leftwards, the window will continously move leftwards. You are essentialy picking a direction and an operation (expand or contract).

Contracting a window means that it will shrink on the opposite side. This means that the "opposite" of Expand left is Contract right.

Customizing the behavior

This feature is implemented as 8 separate recipes. This means that you can customize how it works — e.g. by changing it to snap just to region edges and monitor edges — once you've read the next chapter of the tutorial.

What's next