Switching Windows Of Same App On Unity

The window switching for same apps on Unity – starting with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal – is confusing. It is easier to determine windows of different applications with the use of Alt+Tab combo where there is an overlay icon shown by default. When switching between windows of the same application it’s hard to determine which one is which.

This is what I have observed. When switching between windows strictly of the same application through the Unity launcher, this is what appears to happen.

  1. The position of the previously selected window is at the top left as indicated by A.
  2. The position of the current window is the top right as indicated by B.
  3. C is the other window that has not been selected recently.

What this means is that, suppose I have Book1.ods, Book2.ods and Book3.ods spreadsheets opened. These files are opened by the same application LibreOffice Calc.

  • I am currently editing Book2.ods and previously edited Book1.ods. I decide to switch to Book1.ods. The window I should click to get to Book1.ods is A.
  • I am currently editing Book2.ods and previously edited Book1.ods. I decide to switch to Book1.ods but changed my mind not to proceed. The window I should click to go back to Book2.ods is B.
  • Now I want to go to Book3.ods. That window is  C.

If you want to switch between the 2 recent windows without using the Alt+Tab trick, always select the window position of A. This is the equivalent of Alt+tab. The same is true when there are only 2 windows or more than 3 windows open.

It would be nice if the name of the file is placed on top of each window while switching. It is easier to pick out the desired file to switch to.

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