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Basically, I want to take what's displayed on the desktop when I hit super+s, shrink it down to icon size, and replace the default Workspace Switcher icon with it in Ubuntu 12.04's launcher and still be fully functional. Any ideas?

I've done some poking around but I don't know much about code. There are quite a few workspace.js files. If anybody needs too see those to help me let me know. I saw lines in the code that were obviously telling the switcher where and how to display. Such as:

class Workspace(TweakModule):
__title__ = _('Workspace')
__desc__ = _('Workspace size and screen edge action settings')
__icon__ = 'workspace-switcher'
__category__ = 'desktop'
__desktop__ = ['ubuntu']

utext_edge_delay = _('Edge trigger delay (ms):')
utext_hsize = _('Horizontal workspace:')
utext_vsize = _('Vertical workspace:')
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Dinamically (i.e., that it shows always current workspaces) or manually, just once? The first, I don't think you can. –  carnendil Apr 24 '13 at 19:04
    
As if "expo" or "spread workspaces" was always on - but in icon form on the launcher with the same functions. Basically, taking the display output from expo and putting it into an icon that will replace the default workspace switcher. –  jwdinkc Apr 24 '13 at 19:16
    
New developments with 13.04 seem to be one step forward and another backwards: now the workspace launcher item is not in Unity by default but, when enabled, shows which workspace you are on. That's closer to what you want. Source: omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/04/new-ubuntu-13-04-features –  carnendil Apr 25 '13 at 20:47
    
Neat. Well, if anybody around here is smarter than me and has the free time to figure this out I think it would be a neat feature that could be shared throughout the community. But, I understand that there are more important issues to be addressed by the people in the know. Thanks for the responses so far. –  jwdinkc Apr 27 '13 at 14:19

2 Answers 2

  1. Open gimp. You can hide the toolbars with the Tab key.

  2. Press the Alt key and start typing "create" and, with the arrow buttons, locate the following line and hit Enter:

    File > Create > Screenshot...

  3. Alternatively, go to the menu File | Create | Screenshot...

  4. In the Screenshot dialog box, select "Capture full screen" and set a delay of 3 to 5 seconds.

    gimp create from screenshot dialog box

  5. Now click on the button "Change" and minimize Gimp if you like. Press and hold Super + S until you see the screenshot appear in the Gimp workspace.

    select workspaces
     

  6. Resize the image (48x48), and follow the instructions given in a previous question in order to change the "workspace launcher item" as this icon is called.

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1  
Thanks for your time and effort canendil. That's a good walk-through. Unfortunately that's capturing a static image of the expo/spread workspaces display. I want to literally take the expo function from a full screen output to instead display in an icon on my launcher so that, other than size, it's indistinguishable from the full scale switcher. So, I want to see if there's a way, maybe in the code, to tell the switcher to display in an icon instead of the full screen display it has now. –  jwdinkc Apr 24 '13 at 19:54
    
Oh, I get it now: you don't want to show the worskpaces fullscreen with Super+S, but to have it "icon-size" permanently on the launcher. I think you'll have to submit a feature request. And you should edit your question to reflect more clearly what you want to do. –  carnendil Apr 24 '13 at 20:05

Try out cairo-dock/glx-dock its's highly customizable. to get an idea of what kind of switcher you'll have take a look at the website. It even allows you to switch workspace instantly depending on which quarter of the icon you click. the switcher is live but isn't exactly what you requested as it represents the windows with their icon their border, not their content(but unless you want to watch movies in your switcher you should be fine with it).

trying out is simple: sudo apt-get install cairo-dock but for the full experience you will want to get rid of the unity launcher(there are different ways to do so, depending on your commitment.)

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