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Quicklist Window Switching Patch Proposed for Unity

User Brings Code For Wanted Feature To Ubuntu

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.


An additional way of switching between application windows in Ubuntu’s Unity desktop has been proposed.

Lukas Vacek‘s idea is to add application window entries to an app item’s quicklist.

This, he argues, will allow users to switch between windows ‘more rapidly’.

Unlike most idle ‘would like to have’s’ thrown out in to the ether Lukas has filed a fully-implemented patch of his suggestion against Unity.

He’s also created a video showing off his patch in action which you can see by pressing the button below.

View Video of Patched Switcher

Defaults Are Slicker but Slower

Unity currently provides two methods of switching between multiple windows of the same application.

  • The first uses the universal keyboard shortcut for switching: Alt+Tab.
  • The second is a keyboard-free solution: left-click on the App Launcher item itself to reveal windows as a ‘spread’.

These ‘visual’ approaches are slick. Very slick. And if you’re a keyboard user there is nothing faster than a quick slam-dunk of the Alt+Tab, or Alt+` keys.

But is the mouse-centric method the fastest? Perhaps not. The effect used to draw the spread, and animate the window back to normal size, is slower –  albeit marginally – than that of a simple ‘right click’.


Not Accepted – Yet

Before we all get too excited (or riled) about the idea it’s important to stress that it is only a patch.

This feature was not created by the Ubuntu Design Team, and it has not been accepted into Ubuntu 13.04.

Would you like to see an option for this behaviour added?