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Firstly, I very much like it when the launcher autohides when I really need all the screen space. The problem is, there are a lot of workflows when I want a large app screen, but the launcher should remain visible. I have found I spend a lot of time maximizing terminals and browser windows by hand, by resizing them to take almost all of the screen. This is annoying.

You can toggle the behavior of the launcher from the settings, but what I really want is to have two possible maximize actions: Maximize up to the launcher, and maximize to fill the screen. Is there any way to be able to have both available at the same time?

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I hope you are not using a notebook, as some of this may not be efficient without the full keyboard and a mouse.

There is a Compiz plugin called "grid" in the "Window Management" section of CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM). I believe it may be enabled by default, so you can try it to see if this helps.

My suggestion, using this plugin, is to press Alt-Ctrl-KP5 (that's the 5 on the numeric keypad). This combination will, on the first press, make the window fill all available space, but without being maximized. The advantage is that you can then resize from the left to quickly expose the launcher. You can do this even quicker than grabbing the left edge by using yet another Compiz plugin that may be enabled by default: press and hold the alt key, then using the middle mouse button to click on the left side of the window and drag to the right.

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