How To Preview an Ubuntu Workspace While Using Another

Not everyone has room (or the attention span) for a multiple monitor set-up, and even if you do there are times when you may want to keep an eye on a workspace while working in another.

You want, in effect, a preview window for a workspace — “…a floating window (with live updates) in the top right corner of whichever workspace happens to be current.”

See the screenshot below:

workspace-preview-window-on-ubuntu

The Ubuntu Enthusiast, Jacob Vlijm, writes: “To my own (big) surprise, it can be effectively done, be it with trickery and deceit; have an updated representation of a window on another workspace. Not fit to watch a movie, definitely good enough to keep an eye on a window elsewhere (example: my tv-card screen)”.

To pull this trick off, head over to the workspace having the app window you wish to monitor and, while it is in focus, press a keyboard shortcut. The app window will minimize and you will be back on your primary workspace. Pressing the keyboard shortcut again will present you with a preview window.

When you’re done, trigger the keyboard shortcut you’ve assigned and the preview window will close, you’ll be taken to its workspace, and the app you tracked will appear again, unminimized.

You can change the preview window size from 300px wide if you want by default (this can be changed) and updates every 4 seconds (regular enough to be useful, but not so regular that your CPU starts spiking).

Remember that this script is new and still in its development stage so a few bugs here and there shouldn’t throw you off.

About The Author
Okoi Martins Jr.
I'm a Computer Scientist with a passion for learning new things in fields ranging from theoretical implications of computer science and mathematical modeling to web development and music. In my spare time, I listen to music, read like a compiler, and learn like an A.I algorithm.

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