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Keep documents organized with Compiz tabs

Sometimes you just gotta have several documents open at once. Whether you’re referring to an earlier draft, a page of notes, or even somewhere else in the same document, you’ll run into this situation eventually. Luckily I’ve got a fairly large (1920×1080) external monitor at my disposal, so side-by-side comparisons aren’t a problem. But for those of you who aren’t packin’ extra monitor space, I’ve got another solution for you.

Compiz Fusion, the window management software that comes with Mint 10, has a plugin that allows you to group and tab windows together. To get the plugin, you need only install the package compiz-fusion-plugins-extra.

I should warn you that by installing this package you will be installing a crazy number of compiz plugins. So if you’ve been known to play with the compiz options you have already, you should set aside an hour or so to meddle with these and get it out of your system.

sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra

Once you’ve installed the package, head on over to your Compiz Settings Manager and activate the plugin (titled, quite accurately, “Group and Tab Windows Together”).

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say I’m writing a series of short stories (I am). I like to reference previous stories while I’m writing the next one. As a result, I have three windows open, one for each story, and it’s obviously taking up quite a bit of screen space:

But with the grouping plugin installed, I can select all three at once (by selecting each one and pressing Super+S) and tab them together with Shift+T.

Now I can switch between all three windows. (Note: The glowing effect is optional; you can turn it on or off in Settings Manager. I find it kinda distracting, myself.)

Tabbing windows together isn’t limited to windows of the same size or even the same program. Let’s say you were writing something in OpenOffice Writer, but you keep your notes in a different program (mousepad in this example). These can be tabbed together too:


There you have it – a nice way to conserve screen space without doing all that desktop-switching stuff.


One Comment on “Keep documents organized with Compiz tabs”

  1. I absolutely could use this. I only need to start using my computer more to make it work. Google docs has become my primary work place for document creation.

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