Is there any software or window manager that allows me to peek at a virtual desktop more easily?

The scenario is fairly simple, I am running a program that i need to be bale to keep na eye on, but I don’t always want it occupying my entire screen (e.g. I want to be able to do something else, like browse, while still keeping a good eye on whatever is going on in this software)

Is there any convenient way to do this like maybe displaying the software or the virtual desktop it’s on as an overlay when i’m looking elsewhere?

Or maybe a way to hold down a key to peek at the desktop wfast and then switch back on release?

There’s gotta be some clever solution to this problem right?

Simplest one: select ‘Keep above others’ for whichever window you want on top.

With i3, switching between tabbed/stacked and tiling modes allows to show all windows on one workspace (tiling), then flick to showing just one (tabbed or stacked mode). Alternatively, sending a window to and from the scratchpad might work equally well. You can also set specific rules for certain windows and/or workspaces.

I use i3, and haven’t really delved in to other tiling window managers but they all have their own features as well as similarities. They are generally fairly easy to customise as well. I can’t comment on the others so much; might be worth giving one or more a try to see if they fit your workflow.

it’s a fullscreen window, taht’s the problem. If it’s always on top I couldn’t really do anything else.

If it’s a fullscreen application, isn’t just flicking between workspaces sufficient?

Yeah it’d do, I just don’t have a way of doing it quickly enough. I’d need a way to switch to the virtual desktop i have the software on by holding down a button, then going back to whichever one i was on when i release it

I would again suggest taking a look at some of the tiling window managers then. With i3, I can switch between e.g. workspace 2 and workspace 4 by pressing my mod key + the workspace number which is really quick to do. You can set up key combinations however you want, and can have multiple combinations for the same function if needed; as previously mentioned, you can also set a specific program window to open on a specific workspace and/or open with certain rules (e.g. floating and size).

Most tiling window managers have similar features to those I mentioned, so having a look at the feature sets and user guides for a handful would likely be a worthwhile endeavour. I assume you are on KDE from your profile, and I certainly found lightweight window managers (openbox and i3) with picom to feel much snappier in comparison to KDE.

1 Like

If using KDE Plasma, just open the other program you want to use and make that program partly transparent (I use my mouse wheel on the titlebar to change opacity, which can be set up via System Settings => Window Management => Window Behavior). You can then browse on that semi-transparent window while still being able to see what is going on in the fullscreen program sitting behind it, & you can quickly switch between the apps using Alt-Tab.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.