Part I. A Tour of the GNOME Desktop

Chapter 6. Working With Windows

The information in this chapter describes how to use windows in the GNOME Desktop. You can use several types of window manager with the GNOME Desktop, for example, Metacity and Sawfish. Many of the functions in Metacity are also available in Sawfish. This chapter describes the functions that are associated with the Metacity window manager.

Windows and Workspaces

You can display many windows at the same time in the GNOME Desktop. Your windows are displayed in subdivisions of the GNOME Desktop that are called workspaces. A workspace is a discrete area in which you can work. Every workspace contains the same desktop, the same panels, and the same menus. However, you can run different applications, and open different windows in each workspace. You can display only one workspace at a time, but you can have windows open in other workspaces.

The Workspace Switcher applet displays a visual representation of your windows and workspaces, as show in Figure 6.1, “Workspace Switcher Applet”.

Figure 6.1. Workspace Switcher Applet

Workspace Switcher applet. The context describes the graphic.

You can add workspaces at any time. To add workspaces to the GNOME Desktop, right-click on the Workspace Switcher applet, then choose Preferences. The Workspace Switcher Preferences dialog is displayed. Use the Number of workspaces spin box to specify the number of workspaces you require.

Window Manager Behavior

A window manager controls how windows appear and behave. The window manager manages where your windows are located, and which window has focus. The window frame contains buttons that enable you to perform standard actions such as moving, closing, and resizing windows.

You can set some window manager preferences in the Windows preference tool. This manual describes the functions that are associated with the default configuration of the Metacity window manager. The default configuration is specified in the Windows preference tool.