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Navigate with arrows in task switcher


Description Geobert QUACH 2008-12-29 15:28:16 CET
Is it possible to add arrows navigation once alt-tab is hit once and alt is still down?

Alt-Tab : task switcher appears, keep Alt down
while Alt is down use arrows to move around the tasks
release Alt : the selected task is choosed
Comment 1 Geobert QUACH 2010-04-27 21:27:30 CEST
I think we can change the target milestone :(
Comment 2 Kees van Veen 2012-01-26 19:32:25 CET
Created attachment 4137 
Allow arrow keys while cycling
Comment 3 Kees van Veen 2012-01-26 19:33:35 CET
Created attachment 4138 
Allow arrow keys while cycling - with wm tweak
Comment 4 Kees van Veen 2012-01-26 19:33:58 CET
I've added two patches that work for me on Ubuntu 11.10 xfwm4-4.8.2:
- one with arrow keys always on while cycling
- one with a wm tweak setting
Comment 5 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2012-01-26 19:36:38 CET
(In reply to comment #3)
> Created attachment 4138 
> Allow arrow keys while cycling - with wm tweak

Interesting, can you make that patch against git master instead? (xfce-4.8 is table and no feature are added to stable, ever)

Not sure this is what the original poster had in mind but that sounds simple enough. I don't think we need to make that optional so the the simplest patch would suffice.
Comment 6 Kees van Veen 2012-01-26 19:50:41 CET
Created attachment 4139 
cycle with arrow keys against git master

roughly the same as 4137
Comment 7 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2012-01-27 10:42:38 CET
Now thinking about it we could go a bit further with that.

Using arrow keys in place of Alt-tab/Alt-Shift-Tab (or whatever combination one may choose) does not make the operations any faster when one has a lot of windows, as [s]he's got to get thru all of the windows to get to the one [s]he wants.

What would be a real improvement would be to use up and down as well to navigate multi-rows entries when there are a lot of windows.

Not too hard either, a couple of additional entries in the window selection widget to select next/previous row (the selection widgets knows how many entry per row which is what is required to navigate between rows) and a trival patch in the selection routine to add up/down to move between rows.

Do you think you could do that?
Comment 8 Kees van Veen 2012-01-27 10:59:53 CET
I'll give it a shot, it may be a couple of days before I have time.

I actually never have (had) that many windows on the screen (per workspace), but I tried to fill it up, and noticed that the taskswitcher uses the screen width to determine the length of a 'row'.

I normally at work have an extra big screen, and the task switcher displays differently on each screen, which is great I think, no changes needed. But one the big screen there are less rows than on the small screen.

When I implement the up/down, I guess the left/right would wrap around a 'row' instead of the complete list (which it does now). I mean, when you're on the first task, and hit left, it switches to the 'last' entry'. I would like it to go to the last one of the current row. Same for pressing right at the end of a row.

Agree ?
Comment 9 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2012-01-27 12:07:31 CET
(In reply to comment #8)
> Agree ?

Yeap. absolutely, oterhwise left/right would be just like Alt-Tab/Alt-Shift-Tab which would be redundant.
Comment 10 Kees van Veen 2012-01-28 13:52:30 CET
Created attachment 4147 
cycle with arrow keys up/down

The up/down/left/right arrows looked really odd with multiple monitors displaying different rows of icons, so I now look for the smallest width monitor and use that width for all monitors.
Comment 11 Kees van Veen 2012-02-07 21:47:00 CET
Here's another thought: on my screen one is composed of 16 icons, and so is the next one. So to get to the 8th icon I would have to either hit the left arrow key or right arrow key at least 6 or times.

Wouldn't it be better to construct rows/columns that would minimize the (average?) number of steps from one place to another, like 4 icons as 2x2, 6 icons as 3x2, 8 as 4x2 or rather 9 as 3x3, etc.

What do you think ?
Comment 12 b292260 2012-05-11 12:39:36 CEST
I use only the task switcher to switch tasks and having an easier way to do that would greatly increase my productiveness with XFCE. 

Would it be possible to implement simple mouse click interaction? It's what works fastest for me.

- Hit ALT-Tab
- Select the task you want

If mouse interaction would be implemented, I'd at last fully replaced my Mac.
Comment 13 Simon Steinbeiss editbugs 2020-05-29 10:52:01 CEST
This is all implemented (both keyboard and mouse navigation is now possible in alt-tab).

Bug #4752

Reported by:
Geobert QUACH
Reported on: 2008-12-29
Last modified on: 2020-05-29


Olivier Fourdan
CC List:
4 users



Allow arrow keys while cycling (1.56 KB, patch)
2012-01-26 19:32 CET , Kees van Veen
no flags
Allow arrow keys while cycling - with wm tweak (78.79 KB, patch)
2012-01-26 19:33 CET , Kees van Veen
no flags
cycle with arrow keys against git master (1.69 KB, patch)
2012-01-26 19:50 CET , Kees van Veen
no flags
cycle with arrow keys up/down (8.64 KB, patch)
2012-01-28 13:52 CET , Kees van Veen
no flags

Additional information