Multiple Desktops

Instead of crowding your work on to one screen, you can use virtual desktops, which extend your workspace to multiple desktop areas. For example, you may have your browser open on one desktop. If you want to use a word processor and email program without having them all be on top of each other, you can have each application run on its own desktop.

Figure 2-6. Moving an Application to Another Desktop

By default, four desktops are available to you. However, using the configuration utility for your window manager, you can modify that number. To run sawfish's configuration program, middle-click on your desktop (or click your right and left mouse buttons simultaneously), and select Customize. Go to the entry called Workspaces to increase or decrease the number of available desktops. You can also go to Main Menu => Programs => Settings => Sawfish window manager => Workspaces.

In the Workspaces field, use the arrows or enter a number manually to determine the number of workspaces. You can name the Workspaces by clicking on Insert and typing a name in the pop-up box that appears. Likewise, you can edit and delete workspace names by clicking on the appropriate buttons.

The numbers in the Columns and Rows fields are multiplied by the number in the Workspaces field, increasing your number of workspaces. Enter different numbers in these fields and click on Try. Watch the display on the workspaces tab change as you do this.

In this same window, click on the Edge Flipping tab. If you choose Select the next desktop when the pointer hits the screen edge, you will be moved to the next desktop when you point the cursor at any edge of your current desktop. Activate the Only flip when interactively moving a window option and you will only be moved to the next screen automatically if you are dragging an open window with the cursor. Leave both of these options unchecked and you can click on the desktop you want in the Desk Pager to move to another desktop. To manually move an open window from one desktop to another, right-click on the top border and select Send window to for window moving options.

Figure 2-7. The GNOME Pager

The Pager (see Figure 2-7) is a GNOME utility which allows you to switch desktops (or workspaces) by clicking on the corresponding desktop, as well as see which applications are currently running.

TipAdditional Tasklists and Desk Guides

You can add new Pagers and Desk Guides to the panel by right-clicking on the panel and moving your cursor to Panel => Add to panel => Applet => Utility and selecting either Desk Guide or Tasklist from the menu.