Say I have 5 different worksheets open in Calc, and I'm trying to switch between them. As far as I can tell, I have two options: use Alt-Tab to switch - by looking at zoomed out versions of the windows, or double click on the Calc icon in the Launcher to show all the windows, zoomed out.

In either case, it's very difficult for me to know which is the right window just by looking at the general shape of the document, and the title of the individual windows don't appear anywhere.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to switch between windows? Is there a way to make the titles of the windows appear under them, or inside the Alt-Tab window, like in Windows?


There is a bugreport on launchpad for that.


I guess you can keep your eye on that post to see what is going on.

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  • As of 16.04 this apparently has been fixed. When Super + W (and hover mouse over window) or Atl+backtick is pressed , the title of window appears – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Sep 14 '16 at 4:45

There is another bug report, but about the Scale part of your question (the double clicking on the icon in the launcher): https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/734253

And there is given a solution for better recognizing the different documents in the zoomed out view by adding the window titles:

  1. Enable the Text plugin in Compiz Config Settings Manager
  2. In the Scale addons plugin of CCSM: set Appearance -> Window title -> Window title display to All windows

Now, if you double click on the icon in the launcher, you also see the titles of all the windows and it is much easier to pick the right one.

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One solution that works for me is to have the currently selected window in the alt-tab switcher come to the front of the workspace each time I hit it. To enable this:

  1. In CompizConfig Settings Manager, click Static Application Switcher in the Window Management section
  2. Switch to the Appearance tab and twirl out the section Select Window Highlight at the bottom
  3. Change Highlight Mode to Bring Selected to Front
  4. Adjust the top three sliders on the Appearance page to taste for deemphasis of non-selected windows (I just do Brightness and Saturation at 70 each.)

Alt-tab to give it a test run! Sometimes the actual alt-tab menu gets in the way of things needed to identify the chosen window, but this still makes a world of difference for me when I'm switching between many open windows.

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  • The CompizXonfig Setting manager is not installed by default. So you should install it befor applying @Dorkus1218's solution with `sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager' – Frédéric Grosshans May 4 '11 at 9:43

There are a few useful options in Compiz Config Settings Manager for the Scale plugin (which presents the windows side by side when clicking twice on the launcher icon). First, install the app 'Advanced Desktop Effects Settings (CCSM)' from the Software Centre, then:

  1. try reducing the space between windows, so they appear larger (in ccsm, scale plugin > appearance > spacing)
  2. enable the 'scale addons' plugin, and in the options for that plugin, under appearance, you can set the option 'window title display' to 'all windows'. You also have to make sure that the compiz 'text' plugin is enabled. Enabling this will probably mess up Unity, but things should be working fine after a restart.
  3. another useful option in 'scale addons' (I think set by default) is to right click on a window whilst in 'scale' mode to zoom into that window. Left click to select, or right-click again to zoom out. You can even close one of the windows with middle-click
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