From the GConf key description:

The window focus mode indicates how windows are activated. It has three possible values; "click" means windows must be clicked in order to focus them, "sloppy" means windows are focused when the mouse enters the window, and "mouse" means windows are focused when the mouse enters the window and unfocused when the mouse leaves the window.

When I configure focus_mode using gconf-editor, /apps/metacity/general/focus_mode, I can't tell the difference between mouse and sloppy.

When I set this key as mouse, the focus is still on that window if I hover the cursor to the background.

  • if you fit the method in Windows, just set the value to be 'mouse'.Otherwise, I prefer the 'sloppy' plan. – user56180 Apr 23 '12 at 10:17
  • i would like to understand the answer to this question also, but the answer above is a bit vague and maybe opinionated. Can you elaborate? – stephenmyall Apr 23 '12 at 10:42
  • @freal, I don't quite understand you... perhaps you mean click? – Yishu Fang Apr 23 '12 at 13:52

The mouse mode will set focus on the desktop when the mouse hovers over a desktop area that has no open window, whereas the sloppy mode does not. The sloppy mode changes focus only if the mouse hovers over a window.

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May be you can learn from this question:Focus Follows Mouse or Sloppy Focus on Mac OS X

What is it? Simply put, the window where the mouse pointer is has focus, rather than having to click a window for it to gain focus.


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  • 1
    Perhaps, you don't understand what I am asking... just like the comment of @Stephen Myall – Yishu Fang Apr 25 '12 at 14:06
  • I know what you say that windows are unfocused when the mouse leaves the window is useless,I will test it on my computer @UniMouS – Myfreedom614 Apr 25 '12 at 14:53

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