How to Organize the Windows in SUSE on a GNOME Desktop


By organizing the open windows, your work will be done faster and more efficient. Generally from the time we start the system until shutdown, we have opened many windows on the Desktop. The excellent tab feature (ex:- Firefox, Nautilus (new version gedit, etc.) makes it so users are able to browse in the same window without opening multiple windows.

Some other applications, instead of being on the taskbar, reside on the system tray panel. (ex:- Banshee, Amarok, Pidgin etc). After opening many applications, users will find the entire task bar filled up with the application window icons. And to switch between them can be very tedious and confusing to the user.

This article talks about how to organize the open windows; how to switch between them; and how to make the working environment easier, clear and convenient.

When the user login is using the GNOME Desktop, all of the opened applications will be on the same taskbar panel. To organize the desktop, the user will use the following panels:

Workspace Switcher and Window List.

Workspace Switcher: The Workspace Switcher shows you a small version of your workspaces that lets you manage your windows. By default this panel won’t be added to the desktop.

Window List: The Window List shows a list of all windows in a set of buttons and lets you browse them. By default this panel will be added to the taskbar panel

Add the Workspace Switcher Panel.

How to add the Workspace Switcher panel: Right click on the GNOME panel (taskbar panel) and select “Add to the Panel” and in the search text type “work” you will find the Workspace Switcher panel. Select the panel and add it.

If the Window List panel is not available by default, then add that panel also.

See screen shot 1 below.

Configuring the Workspace Switcher: After adding the panel Workspace Switcher, it will appear on the right hand side of the taskbar panel or GNOME panel. The screen shot will show the positions of Windows List panel and the Workspace Switcher panel.

Right click on the Workspace Switcher and select Preferences. A configuration dialog will be displayed. Now select the number of workspaces you require. (by default 1 will be shown)

Increase the Number of Workspaces: Configure the options of the panel in the required way.

Tip: Select “show only the current workspace” this will look good on your desktop.

We can change the names of the workspaces with our own defined names like “Workspace 1” to “Net Browse” etc. To edit the names select the name and double-click on it and type your name.

If the option “Show workspace names in switcher” is enabled then the names of the workspace will be shown in the boxes, else the icons of the opened /Active windows will be shown.

Configuring the Window List panel: Right click on the Window List panel and select Preferences. A configuration dialog will be displayed.

Important: Select the option “Show window from current workspace”. This option will hide the windows from one workspace to the other. If workspace 1 has 5 applications opened, then when the user switches to the next workspace, those 5 applications won’t be visible to the user. This will make the user desktop space to be very well organized. Remaining options on the panel are self explanatory.

How to work faster in switching to workspaces and organizing the windows:

  1. Open the run dialog Alt + F2 and type the command gnome-keybinding-properties. It will open the shortcuts of the desktop. In the Window Management section, configure the shortcut keys for switching to the workspaces and for moving the windows to the workspaces.
  2. Now if you quickly want to switch to another workspace use the shortcut key.
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