New Features in Origin 2022b: Arrange and Snap Windows

Introduction

Origin 2022b introduces the Arrange and Snap features to streamline the workspace organization of Origin projects with many windows. In 2022b, you will be able to:

  • Select new Arrange window dialog options
  • Snap windows to preset locations
  • Drag windows to empty areas to snap
  • Snap windows with same border together for resizing
  • Swap two window locations
  • Divide a window space between two windows

Arrange Windows Options

Previous versions of Origin offer basic window arrangement settings. These can be found under the Window menu and are the Cascade, Tile Vertically, and Tile Horizontally options. They allow you to tile your windows in a single cascade or mxn tile arrangement.
Origin 2022b introduces a new Arrange Windows dialog that allows for finer customization.

Let’s take a look at the Arrange Windows dialog options:


The Sorting Order dropdown menu has four options:

Sorting OrderDescription
Window Activated Order Sorting the Windows by the activated order
The first window clicked will be sorted last, the last window clicked will be sorted first
Project Explorer Order Sorting the Windows by the order listed in the Project Explorer
Window Name Ascending Sorting the Windows by the name ascending
Window Name Descending Sorting the Windows by the name descending

You can minimize the dialog to manually activate windows to change the activated order, change window order in PE or rename windows and then restore the dialog.

When choosing the ascending and descending options, two new options will appear: Window Name and First by Window Type.

When sorting by Window Name, designate either short or long names to be used for sorting. They will sort either alphabetically or numerically depending on the format of the names. First by Window Type sets the window type (graph, workbook, etc.) as the highest sorting priority.

Direction by Horizontal or Vertical First simply sets the sorting order to arrange by rows or columns first respectively.
Overlap Each Column specifies if the windows should be overlapping. By default, it is unchecked which will tile your windows. Offset specifies the overlap offset value.

The Restore button resets the window arrangement to the state prior to opening the dialog.

As with many of Origin’s dialog options, you can save the arrange window settings in this dialog as a dialog theme file set to another folder. This is useful if there is a preferred window arrangement. The Columns option, by default, is automatically determined by the number of windows you have open. Simply uncheck the Auto to type in the desired number of columns.

Snapping Windows

Origin’s new snapping features allow you to quickly drag individual windows and snap them to predefined locations in the workspace and to empty space. The snap feature also allow you to snap the borders of windows together so they can be resized in unison. See the images below to see how it works:

To snap to the upper left quarter of the workspace, drag the window to the top-left edge. Snap to the other three quarters by moving the windows to their respective locations. To snap to the left half, move to the left-middle edge. For the top half, move to the top-middle edge. Vice versa for the bottom and right edges.

To snap windows to an empty workspace, hold [Shift] while there is a window on the cursor. The window will automatically snap to all available horizontal space. Then, it will snap the vertical space contextually, basing the snap around the relative “grid” of the other windows in the project and the location the cursor drags to.

A green border indicates when two or more windows have snapped together and can be resized in unison. Click and hold the green border to see blue boxes that indicate which window have edges link to the current edge selection. Hold [Shift] to temporarily disengage the green border when trying to resize only one window.
The complete suite of window snapping features can be toggled on or off using [Ctrl + F12] or from the Window menu.

Swapping and Dividing Windows

Additional window snapping features include the ability to swap the locations of two windows and dividing a window space between two windows. See the images below for a demonstration of these features:

The window swap feature is engaged by holding [Alt] while there is a window on the cursor. The pink box indicates the initial window location that belong to the window on the cursor. The blue box is the window location that your window is swapping to. Beyond easily changing window placement, it is useful to have a number of smaller windows which act like “thumbnails” and then swapping them with a large window to enlarge it and bring it into focus.

The window divide feature is engaged by holding [Shift] while there is a window on the cursor. The blue box indicates the location the window on the cursor will set to. The pink indicates where the window being divided will be set to. This feature is useful if there are similar datasets and graphs that are best viewed side-by-side and want to reduce the window footprint.

Conclusion

These powerful new features will help to quickly organize your Origin projects. I hope you try them out. Thanks for reading!

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