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Linux hints and tips

Mint/Ubuntu: Get more screen space with mutiple desktops

No matter how big the screen display is, it never seems big enough for all the applications you want to run. after opening three or four windows you always end up with some that are overlapping and this means that stuff is partially hidden. When you want to work in a window or read something you have to bring it to the top. The problem is even worse on small screens, such as those that are used in laptop, notbook and netbook computers.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Well, sort of. It's not perfect by any means, but it really does help to prevent desktop clutter on small screens. Linux supports multiple desktops. When you start linux it boots up to the desktop and you can open a window and view stuff or work on it. There are actually three other desktops that you can use and you can switch to another one and open a different window or program. Then you can switch to a third and open a third window. Each desktop is separate from the others and programs and other windows only appear on one desktop. It's great when you want to open a word processor and an image editing program. You can open each one on separate clutter-free desktops. Switching from one to the other is a simple mouse click.

Depending on the linux installation you might already have a utility in the (taskbar) Panel to switch from one desktop to another, but if you don't, then here's how to add one.

Right click an empty part of the Panel and select Add to Panel from the menu that is displayed. Select Workspace Switcher from the list of items you can add to the Panel and click the Add button. Close the Add to Panel window. You'll see the new Workspace Switcher in the Panel and you can select another desktop by clicking one of the squares - there are usually two or four by default. If the Workspace Switcher is added to an inconvenient place in the Panel, right click it and select Move. You can then drag to to a new position. Restarting linux might reorganise the panel items into a better order anyway.

Mint/Ubuntu: Move a windows from one desktop to another

Move a window from one workspace to another in linuxHaving multiple desktops, or workspaces as they are sometimes called, is great for keeping the screen free of clutter and each window or application can be placed on its own desktop.

What sometimes happens is that you start working and open several windows and then realise that the screen is becoming untidy and confusing and you would be better off if one or more windows was on its own desktop. That's not a problem and windows can be moved from one desktop workspace to another.

Right click the window or program entry in the Panel and then select Move to workspace right (it will say left if you're already as far right as you can go), or select Move to another workspace, then select the workspace you want - they are called Desk 1, Desk 2.. and so on.

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