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How Traders Can Use Windows 11 Snap Layouts

Snap Layouts

Snap layouts are a recently introduced feature in Windows 11 that assists users with a convenient tool for window snapping. These layouts can be accessed conveniently by hovering the mouse cursor over a window’s maximize button or by pressing “Windows Key + Z”. Once the menu that displays the available layouts appears, users can select a particular zone within a layout by clicking on it to snap a window to that zone. After that, you can use Snap Assist to create a complete layout of windows. Snap layouts are designed to be responsive to the current screen size (resolution) and orientation.

How can snapping help traders?

We all know traders require a lot of information at their disposal to make important trading decisions. Having useful ways to organize all your windows is critical for maximizing your productivity.

Give it a try. Move your mouse over to the maximize button on an app window. You should see the available layouts for that window. The snap feature allows you to choose from predefined layouts to snap all open windows according to your preferences. For this example, we are using a 27″ monitor set to 1600×900 resolution. The resolution and monitors settings don’t matter other than there will be different layout options. On a 4k screen with more screen real estate there will be an option to snap to a 3 grid horizontal layout versus only a 2 grid shown in the image below.

Windows 11 snap layouts.

Next, simply move your mouse over the layout option that you’d like to use. Then click on it. Like magic you’ll see that window snap to the exact position and size.

Windows 11 Snap feature, selecting layout.

Most applications will display snap layouts automatically, but certain desktop apps may not have this feature.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Snapping

Before we get into what happens after you’ve snapped an open app window, let’s try snapping without using the mouse at all. As mentioned earlier, press “Windows Key + Z”. The current active app window will show the snap layout selection as show below.

Snap layout with keyboard.

Now you’ll choose one of the four layouts and press the corresponding key on the keyboard (1, 2 3 or 4). In this example we are going to choose #1, so press the “1” key on your keyboard.

Using snap layouts with keyboard shortcuts.

You can probably see where we’re going with this. Now you’ve narrowed it down to either a half screen on the left or on the right as shown. Press “1” or “2” on the keyboard and the window will snap to the position! Alternatively, instead of pressing a number key you could just press “Windows Key + Z” then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight the selection you want, then hit enter.

Other ways to snap

There are even more ways to use the snap feature. You can also just click and hold the Windows Key and then as you’re holding the key use your arrow keys to move your current app window around to different positions. The final and simplest way to snap is to simply click and drag any open window around until you find the position you want it to snap to. You’ll see a transparent outline of the app window as you drag it around, release the left click on your mouse when you’ve found the spot you want, and the window will snap to position.

Snap Assist

Congratulations, you’ve snapped your first app window! Now the Snap Assist tool will appear automatically. This tool presents all other open windows as thumbnails, enabling you to select which windows you would like to include in the chosen layout.

There isn’t too much to explain with this, it’s very intuitive. Just click on one of the open app thumbnails and it’ll snap to that spot. In the images below we’ll show you a 2×2 grid of snapped app windows. We just opened up some browser windows to show you how it works for this example.

Snap assist layout.

As you can see, after you snapped the first browser window, the screen shows the thumbnails of the remaining open apps. Clicking on one of them will snap it to that highlighted grid section.

Snap assist windows.

Snap Groups

After choosing a layout and arranging all the windows according to your preference, the system creates a Snap Group automatically. This feature is useful while working with multiple applications for a particular task. If you get distracted and open another app, you can easily return to the snap group by hovering over any open app within the group.

Snap groups.

Snap Settings

If you go into System -> Multitasking there are a bunch of snap settings that can be changed to customize everything to your liking.

Change snap settings in systems, multitasking.


FancyZones is a PowerToys tool that provides window management capabilities on Windows 11. Even more powerful than Snap Layouts, it offers the flexibility to create custom layouts and access more customization options to snap windows precisely. FancyZones is particularly useful for multi-monitor configurations for traders, where you can create specific layouts for each display.


In this article, we explained how the Windows Snap Layout feature works. The benefits for our trading computer customers is obvious. With a large array of screens it’s beneficial to learn how to use Window’s built in tools to organize your workspace. In addition to Snap Layouts, Windows 11 also has Virtual Desktops that can be very useful for traders. Thanks for reading!