If I have more than one window of the same application running then clicking its icon in the launcher displays a preview of that application's open windows,

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When this preview is activated I can't click on any of the icons in the Ubuntu menu-bar/panel/top bar (although hovering over them does highlight the icons). It seems odd that you can highlight the icons but pressing them has no effect. Is this behaviour normal, a bug, or a slight design flaw? I only noticed because I wanted to shut down when previewing the open windows and couldn't click on the panel power icon.

  • Seems like normal behavior. I tested it on both 11.10 and 12.04 and get the same.
    – yossile
    Mar 21, 2012 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


What you have noticed is by design and has not changed in recent ubuntu versions.

The preview is infact a Compiz overlay on the desktop - the purpose of which is simply to allow you to select the window that you want to bring to the foreground.

The icon highlighting is due to the underlying icons responding to a mouse-over event. The overlay itself is taking control of mouse-click events - specifically for the windows in the expo mode.

If you want to discuss this further, I would suggest an IRC chat on the #ubuntu-devel channel or a brainstorm suggestion.

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