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I'm following an Excel video-course on my PC, so I need to have both excel and the video-course program opened in two different windows to switch from one to another. I was wondering if there is a way to automatically pause the application running the video-course when I have to minimize its window to work on Excel sheet.

In general, can ubuntu 12.10 allow to automatically suspend/pause/freeze an application when clicking on the 'minimize window' button?

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For videos specifically there is SMPlayer that supports the functionality you're searching for. Install it via the software center or by typing in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install smplayer

Then set SMPlayer to pause when minimized by heading to Options -> Preferences -> General -> Pause when minimized:

enter image description here

I am using UMPlayer in that example, but the same procedure works with SMPlayer as well.

Here’s a screenshot from the SMPlayer Preferences dialog:

SMPlayer preferences

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