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[Review] Mosaico

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

Mosaico [1]

Version reviewed:


Software description as per the developer:

Mosaico is a virtual desktop manager that can help you save time and optimize your work at PC.

Mosaico saves the position of the windows on your desktop so that you can restore them anytime later.

Mosaico can also arrange windows so that they fill the whole screen surface, giving you more information at a time.

Download size:

6.6 MB

Supported OS:

Windows XP/Vista/Win7


$29.95 (USD)

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{for=”Ease of Use” value=”7″}Mosaico is easy to use. There are, however, three caveats: 1) Mosaico cannot work out of the system tray, which means its floating widget must be running at all times while Mosaico is running 2) Users are only allowed to drag + drop windows to tile them (when manually tiling) – there are no alternative methods 3) Users are not allowed to select how windows are tiled/positioned when using the automatic tiling feature.
{for=”Performance” value=”8″}Mosaico performs well, and only uses about 10 MB of RAM. There are two problems, though: 1) After restoring a snapshot of windows/programs that are closed, Mosaico temporarily freezes 2) There is a weird bug that doesn’t allow users to place windows in all possible positions sometimes.
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}I can see a lot of people finding this program useful.
{for=”Price” value=”6″}In my opinion, $29.95 is asking $9.95 too much for this program.
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Mosaico is a program that allows users to do two main things:

In regards to tiling/arranging windows, Mosaico has two modes, manual and automatic. In manual mode users manually tile/arrange windows by clicking + dragging them into position. In automatic mode Mosaico automatically tiles/arranges all open windows.

In regards to snapshots, Mosaico allows users to save up to eight snapshots. Each snapshot can be restored whenever a user wants; if the windows/programs in the snapshot being restored are not open when a user restores the snapshot, Mosaico will open the closed windows/programs and position their windows like stored in the snapshot.

This is what Mosaico’s “main program window” looks like:


I put “main program window” in quotes because it is really more a floating widget than a window, per se. What I mean is Mosaico acts like a floating widget. It stays above all windows and is slightly transparent when idle:


When you mouse over the widget, the previously shown “window” pops open.

The camera button in the main program window stores snapshots, the box with a green check restores snapshots, the hand puts Mosaico in “manual mode” allowing users to manually arrange windows, and the window-with-lines icon puts Mosaico in “automatic mode” in which Mosaico automatically arranges windows:


Take note that in regards to manually arranging windows, manual mode must be turned on otherwise Mosiaco will not allow you to manually arranging windows. In other words, running Mosiaco is not enough to activate manual mode – you must click on the hand button.

As shown in the above guide – which was created by the developer, by the way, not me – snapshots are represented as fullscreen screenshots that appear in Mosaico’s floating widget:


You can scroll through the snapshots using your mouse wheel or the < and > buttons; the snapshot shown in the center is the one that will be restored when you hit the restore button. You can delete snapshots using the X button.

One thing that annoys me about the fullscreen screenshot-representing-snapshot method is the fact that Mosaico includes itself in the screenshot. This is annoying because 1) There is no need to show Mosaico, obviously it is there since you are using the program 2) Mosaico could potentially be covering up a window that is behind it. I do hope the developer wises up on this issue and makes it so the screenshots don’t include Mosaico.

Now Mosaico is a type of program that needs to be seen in action rather than talked about. So, I created a video demonstrating Mosaico’s features. Watch how I create¬† a snapshot, restore the snapshot, manually position/tile windows, and automatically position/tile windows:

Notice how the first thing I did was create a snapshot, then later on I restored that snapshot twice: Once when all the windows were still open, but arranged/sized differently than in the snapshot, and once when all the windows were closed. (Ignore the fact that during the second restore there is no Internet connection – I had turned off my WiFi.) Note how during that second restore – when the windows were closed and Mosaico had to open them – initially the windows were not properly sized and how for about 10 seconds the mouse cursor over Mosaico had the blue “work in progress” circle; after those 10-ish seconds, the windows were restored to their snapshot-state and Mosaico went back to its minimized state. This is because of a bug in Mosaico.

What should be happening in the video is the windows should be restored to their snapshot state as soon as they all have been opened, and there should be no 10-ish second delay where Mosaico is unresponsive; but as you can see, that is not what happens. It may just be my computer, but whenever I restore a snapshot that includes closed windows, Mosiaco opens the windows, freezes for about 10 seconds, and then restores the windows to their snapshot state and starts working like normal again. This same problem does not occur if the windows are already open when restoring a snapshot.

Four other things to note that were demonstrated in the video:

That said, aside from the issues that I have already mentioned, there are three areas where I feel Mosaico can be improved:


Last but not the least, I would like to mention Mosaico has multi-monitor support but I don’t have a multi-monitor setup so I am unable to test that functionality.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.


WinSplit Revolution [6]

WinSplit Revolution does not have the snapshotting capabilities of Mosaico but it has excellent features in regards to tiling/arranging windows.

I am sure there are more free alternatives out there; in fact I know there are more free alternatives out there. I just don’t know what they are. So if you know any, please share in the comments below.

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{rw_verdict2}Mosaico is a good program; in fact I dare say it is a very good program. I give it a thumbs up. However, like all programs, it has its fair share of issues. I stop short of recommending Mosaico – leaving it up to you to decide if you should get Mosaico or not – primarily because of two reasons: 1) I feel it is overpriced and 2) Not being able to run out of the system tray is a deal-breaker, in my opinion. That said, I am a long-time fan and user of WinSplit Revoluation; it is a terrific windows tiling/arranging program – I highly recommend it to anyone that wants or needs tiling/arranging capabilities.
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