In Windows, if I'm dragging a file or a piece of text and I want to want to drop it into a window that's currently not in the foreground I can simply hover over that window on the task bar and the appropriate window will come to the foreground. I just tried doing this on Ubuntu and it didn't work. Is there a way around this?
You can press and hold the file with mouse click and then press Ctrl+Tab to bring that windows to foreground. If you have Nautilus 3.4.2 or older, press F3 and then drag and drop file from one pane to other pane.