Aug 25

Get rid of Unity's application grouping in application switcher

Category: Linux   — Published by goeszen on August 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

If you're a bit old school or if you tend to work with multiple editors (multiple windows) of one application open (vs. having applications that offer tabs inside, like Firefox) you will get a problem when you want to cycle through these windows by pressing ALT+TAB. Unity by default groups windows of one application into one group, tab groups, that have to be navigated by entering a sub-tab menu. Very annoying!

In order to get rid of tab grouping, or getting tab to switch between windows, ignoring to which "application group" they belong, you need to jump a few hoops:

  1. Open CompizConfig Settings Manager
  2. Go to the Unity Plugin settings and deactivate (uncheck "enabled") for the ALT+TAB and ALT+TAB+SHIFT shortcuts (or even all the other "switcher" related shortcuts.
  3. Then Go to the CompizConfig main menu and to the "Window Management" section, and enable one of the "Switchers", for example "Shift Switcher" or "Static Application Switcher".

All of these Switchers expose the old behaviour

The "old" behaviour, by the way, may be standard on Windows and Mac OS, but, dear Unity developers, at least Windows offers an option to disable "Application Grouping in the Task Bar / Task Switcher". Why is Ubunto so dogmatic here??
It's about time that Unity, after receiving so much bashing, at least offers users a way to "ungroup" windows in the Unity application switcher. That's far more important than asking if users want a "Show workspace" icon among the switcher options. That option is there...

One more note: The Unity dash also works like an "old" taskbar, clicking on an active icon brings that window to front. Double-clicking opens the multiple-window grid and you can select from open windows of one application.

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