Friday 27 January 2012

KDE 4.8 Window Switcher

I've just upgraded to KDE 4.8 on my Arch setup. The upgrade went smoothly, though was from the Arch [testing] repository, and so far it seems everything's stable and some of the bugs that were haunting me were eliminated.

One thing I noticed is that they changed the Task Switcher (Alt-Tab) behaviour slightly, now the Thumbnail option displays thumbnails which are so large that 4 or 5 fit in my screen at most. Now this is hardly a nice thing since once there's more than that, they don't form a second row, but rather go beyond the screen while not showing the user in any way that they do. So you end up seeing only 4 or 5 thumbnails in your Alt-Tab switcher while in fact you might have many more apps open.

I decided to change the thumbnail size to about what it used to be. I was very fortunate since KDE 4.8 introduced QML scripts for the Task Switcher. So basically, all you need to do to change the options of any switcher bundled with KDE is to tweak a .qml text file - as easy as that.

Now, to reduce the size of thumbnails in Thumbnails mode you have to open /usr/share/apps/kwin/tabbox/thumbnails.qml and change the following line to your liking:

property int thumbnailWidth: 200

Then change a setting in System Settings so that KDE could reread the configuration - and that's it!

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