Ubuntu 13.04

I work with two monitors, usually with lots of different windows open.

I don't like to use the mouse, so swap between applications using alt-tab usually.

The problem comes when I want to type something into an application. I need the active application to immediately obvious, usually so that I can tell which monitor to look at next.

With default ubuntu (with appearance = ambiance), the only real visual indication of a window being active is that the header bar of the application is in a lighter font color.

This is too subtle for me, so I find myself alt-tabbing and moving my mouse too much when switching applications, then clicking around with the mouse to give a particular window the focus.

I want my switching to be more accurate, and for that I think I need better feedback on what window has the focus. This needs to be more obvious than it is now.

I looked at the high contrast appearance, and it helps somewhat, but the inconsistency in the icon sets is far too distracting.

I think what I need is a something like a bright border right around the window, or something like that, to make the active window really stand out. Or, maybe to have the non-active windows fade to the background a bit.

I would appreciate tips on how others overcome this problem, to make the active window stand out visually from the other windows.

Thank you!


Inactive windows can be dimmed using the pluggin 'add helper' in compiz config setting manager'. You may need to install ccsm from software center.

If you are using many windows at a time, use workspace. Ctrl+alt+right or left arrow keys to switch it.

  • Thank you for your response. I can't find 'dim inactive' in ccsm. I forgot to mention that I'm on 13.04, probably that makes a difference. – mcaleaa Jun 26 '13 at 6:55
  • sorry. it my bug. Name is 'add helper' – Prinz Jun 27 '13 at 10:00
  • Does it available – Prinz Jan 22 '14 at 5:03

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