Windows 10 (boo, hiss, etc) has a ‘cascade windows’ option that neatly arranges all of your visible windows into a fanned pile.
It’s not a ground-breaking feature, nor is it the most useful. But it is a quick way to make your desktop look neat and organised — and that’s handy when you’re a blogger who takes a lot of desktop screenshots!
Initially I assumed that, somewhere, the GNOME desktop would have an option to arrange windows automatically. But after 15 minutes of dallying about in dconf, plus some fruitless fumbling through outdated forum threads, I still don’t know if it does or doesn’t.
But thankfully (and somewhat obviously) there is GNOME extension that does it.
Cascade Windows in GNOME Shell
If you ever want to quickly cascade windows in Ubuntu with GNOME Shell you can install the following free GNOME extension.
Once installed and enable the Cascade Windows extension will add a small icon to the top bar. When you click this icon all of your open, visible windows will cascade neatly, from front-right to back-left, resized to fit the available space.
The more/fewer app windows in the cascade the smaller/bigger their overall resizing will be, as you can see if you compare the screenshot at the top of this post with the one below.
Sadly this extension doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut — that would really sweeten the deal for me. It also lacks any sort of configuration options, though it’s hard to think of ones it could or should add.
It turns out that there is a keyboard shortcut to cascade windows with this extension:
As for the principle benefit of seeing your open windows arranged in an ordered stack, well that remains lost on me. I can reason that it may help make it easier to see window titles, which may help you find or switch to a specific app a little quicker.
I just like being able to cascade windows in GNOME because it makes my screenshots look a little neater!