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Is it possible to get windows 7 style live previews of what a window is doing, when it is hovered over?

for instance, when i hover over a video player on windows 7, i can see the video playing in the preview.

Something that works on the gnome panel would be good, but even better would be a docky or awn implementation?

Thanks for any help.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

have you tried dockbarx? here are some instructions. alt text

alt text

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window 7 themes are available with the extra pack i believe the theme is called tonky bar. – jnut Oct 25 '10 at 12:25
not so much after the appearance, just the functionality – richzilla Oct 25 '10 at 12:35
I think that Dockbarx doesn't show live preview on minimized windows, just like Compiz plugin. – skalka Oct 25 '10 at 13:25
Maybe this is interesting to you. – skalka Oct 26 '10 at 17:37

Compiz (the default effects engine that can be turned on) has had a Window Previews plugin since well-before Windows 7 was around. It just provides a preview for a window. It doesn't stack them and it only works for windows that aren't minimised (although I think there are some hacks to get around that).

To enable it, turn on compiz:

  1. Right click the desktop
  2. Click Change Desktop Background
  3. Select the Visual Effects tab
  4. Use Normal or Extra

Extra may turn this on by default (I don't want to test it as I like my current compiz settings). Test it by hovering over a running program.

If it doesn't you want the CompizConfig Settings Manager (sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager). Once installed, load it from the System -> Preferences menu.

Use the filter box to search for "preview" and turn the option on by checking the checkbox. You'll end up with something like this:

Window Previews

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It doesn't show live previews when a Window is minimized though. Upstream problem I know but nevertheless still a problem. – LFC_fan Oct 25 '10 at 12:30
not working with minimized windows could be a show stopper, thanks for the suggestion though. – richzilla Oct 25 '10 at 12:36
This doesn't appear to be an issue in the latest Compiz as it can continue to render things offscreen when they're minimised. That could have a performance hit but it does mean previews should continue to work. – Oli Oct 27 '10 at 15:49
kudos, thank you – kernel_panic Dec 15 '11 at 9:13

The KDE desktop environment has this effect. If you like KDE, you can still install and use most Gnome applications without any ill effect. (I personally prefer Gnome though).

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Unfortunately im a gnome man through and through, i never seemed to get on with kde, thanks for the suggest though. – richzilla Oct 25 '10 at 12:34

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