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When I press Super + W in Unity I get a nice expose type display of the currently open applications. I can then use the cursor/arrow keys to choose a window and hit enter to select it.

The problem is that it is difficult to tell just what you have selected. There is no highlighting of the current window thumbnail. When pressing the Alt + Tab there is a border that appears to clearly show the active one.

Is it possible to some how have a highlight of some kind on the spread mode screen?

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This effect is implemented using Compiz's Scale functionality. There is plugin that is not enabled by default in Ubuntu called Scale Addons, which has the highlight behaviour in it.

To enable it you will need CompizConfig Settings Manager installed. In the Filter search box of the config manager enter Scale Addons and tick enable.

Then click the Scale Addons button and in the setting choose the Appearance tab.

Enable the Draw Window Highlight and choose a colour for the highlight.

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Alternatively, without needing the Scale Addons, you could set the opacity slider in ccsm-Scale-Appearance to <100. This has the effect of highlighting the selected window (at least on my dark background, ymmv) –  Christoph May 9 '11 at 9:17
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