On Ubuntu, finding a focused window while working is a little bit difficult. How can it be fixed?

I am working on Ubuntu 14.04 with two Full HD displays. The mistake I always make is typing to an unfocused window on the other display, believing the window has focus. I know its decoration is different from focused one, but by default it's too subtle to recognize at a glance.

How can I fix the problem? I installed CompizConfig and changed the weight of dropping shadow, but it wasn't enough.

1 Answer 1


There are two compiz plugins that you should try:

  • Dim Inactive

    • This can chage the colors of all windows that do not have the focus currently. The brightness, saturation and opacity can be reduced, down to fuly black, gray values only, and invisibility.
      A good use case is to just get everything out of the way, by making it almost black over a black background. Something like the zen mode of some editors, but for any application, or even dialog window!
  • Trail Focus

    • This doea about the same as Dim Inactive, but in multiple steps gradually. The steps are defined based on the order of how recent a wind had the focus.
      You can leave the thee windows you currently work on fully visible, make the fourth to eighth most recently focussed window get darker in four steps, and keep all other windows in very dark so they are barely recognizable.
  • Opacify is somewhat more complex and controls only opacity, but I expect it can be used in a similar way.

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