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Topic: «Fixed Z-Order , don't change z-order if a window is clicked » on forum: Feature Requests   Views: 4677
 
David Peters
Advanced user
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 16.04.2012
Posted: 15.05.2012 04:07:48
 
 
Hi Actual Tools Team,

first of all, thank you for your superior program "Actual Multiple Monitors".

I have been using three monitors for almost a decade now for my paperless office, and only recently switched to Windows 7, and AMM.

Actual Multiple Monitors has proven to be a fantastic productivity tool for me, however there is one feature which I still do miss very much.

I'm giving the below description of this feature to your company because I think your multiple monitor software is simply the best (thus deserving to become even better).

Usually I have some programs that span two monitors (e.g. e-mail), as well as programs that span all three monitors (e.g. a multi-pane file manager).

This is great for overview and for working with those "wide" programs. However the problem is that as soon as you click into any part of the window of one of the programs that span multiple monitors, that window jumps to the front, covering up ALL other programs or windows on multiple or even on all monitors.

See for example below:
User added an image

It is therefore not possible to look up something in the file manager (that spans all monitors) without the file manager jumping to the front and covering up everything else on all three monitors (here especially the Word document that you are working with at the moment).

It would be much better and a simply awesome, unique feature if AMM simply would prevent ANY change in the z-order of programs and windows (e.g. after clicking into windows).

It could be still very easy to actively/deliberately bring a certain window to the front: just by clicking not INTO the window but instead on its titlebar.

In other words, AMM would have to watch when window titlebars are clicked, and then (only then) bring the respective window to the front. Otherwise, the z-order of all windows would just be kept fixed and unaltered.

Thus it would be a snap working in one window   (that overlaps another, like the text editor in above screenshot), and at the same time look something up or even work in another window in the background (like the file manager in above screenshot) -- without loosing your "main" docoment (here: the text editor) out of view.

I swear that this awesome feature would be a KILLER for almost anyone working with multiple monitors, and with many windows at the same time.

Actually there is a tool that (partially) does exactly this: TXmouse by Andy Polyakov.

That tool however is rather old and obviously discontinued. What's more, it doesn't work with all types of windows, and it comes (compulsorily) with some other functions (x-mouse window activation, auto-copy selection) that some people probably would not want to be forced to use.

Anyway, I'd be very happy if you guys could look into this and find out if such a feature is feasible (possibly by contacting Andy Polyakov, or by reverse-engineering TXMouse).

Thank you already,
Regards David.P
 
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Pim Joosten
Resident
 
Posts: 542
Joined: 11.11.2010
Posted: 19.05.2012 03:21:32
 
 
Yes, this would be a nice one indeed!
 
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Bogdan Polishchuk
Administrator
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 04.04.2012
Posted: 23.05.2012 04:50:17
 
 
Hello gentlemen.

Our other product, Actual Window Manager, has the "Pin to desktop" feature. It makes the window lie beneath all other windows and makes it unable to be minimized. Does it suit your needs?

Best regards.
 
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David P
Advanced user
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 16.04.2012
Posted: 23.05.2012 08:14:45
 
 
Quote
Our other product, Actual Window Manager, has the "Pin to desktop" feature. It makes the window lie beneath all other windows and makes it unable to be minimized.

Wow! I didn't know that AWM has this feature. You guys are amazing.

However, although this feature of AWM does enable to work in background windows (like explained in the first post of this thread), this way, OTOH, it is a little hard to actually get that background-pinned window "to the front" -- just in case you'd want to work in this window in full view from time to time.

If it is pinned to the desktop, the only way to get it "on top" is if you minimize all other windows, which is awkward, and undesirably changes the arrangement of your windows.

Therefore, it would be even better if there was a feature for AWM that could be called, for example,

    "Make windows z-order persistent"
This could either be per-window, or system-wide for all windows (or both).

The use case is for example like this. You have a number of open programs and windows, some of them overlap, some are more or less in the background (like the wide green file manager in the screenshot), and you are working in all of these windows, alternately.

User added an image

It would be great then, if every program would keep its own z-position relative to all other windows -- meaning that it doesn't jump in front of everything else when you click in the window, when you enter text in the window, etc.

If you'd actually want to bring a window to the top (for example the green file manager) , you could still do that, for example by clicking in its titlebar, or in its taskbar button (provided Actual Window Manager could recognize this and act accordingly).

This way, you could choose between the best of both worlds (keep z-order, and normal Windows behavior, aka "jump to front").

It would be great if you guys of the Actual Tools Team would consider this feature (which I think is rather revolutionary, and long-missed by power users)

Regards David.P
 
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Bogdan Polishchuk
Administrator
 
Posts: 2936
Joined: 04.04.2012
Posted: 24.05.2012 02:18:44
 
 
Thank you for this great feature request, David. We'll consider it.

But how do you expect recovering the order of the windows (as illustrated on the above picture) after bringing the green file manager window on front? Isn't the order will be corrupted?

Best regards.
 
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David P
Advanced user
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 16.04.2012
Posted: 24.05.2012 02:34:22
 
 
Thank you Bogdan for your friendly reply.

Quote
But how do you expect recovering the order of the windows (as illustrated on the above picture) after bringing the green file manager window on front? Isn't the order will be corrupted?
In this case (when I need the green file manager window at the front at times) it does not matter all that much if the window order is changed in this case.

The more important thing is that there actually IS a possibility to bring the file manager to the front, even when otherwise it is pinned down (or fixed in its z-order).

However, if you could add a button that sends any window one step down in the z-order, why not? This would be similar to a drawing program, where it can be useful as well to send "things" (drawing objects) to the background step by step instead of sending them to the very bottom of the z-order.

Anyway, the fixed z-order feature would be an amazing progress regarding user interface behaviour in general! This is not available on ANY Operating System to date, so you guys would be the innovation leaders once again.

And I have like one or two more "little revolutional" features in mind for improving the Windows User Interface, that I could give to you (hmmm maybe I should obtain a patent on them first :D)

Best regards
and keep up the great work,
eagerly awaiting the fixed z-order feature,
David.P
 
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