Focus/activate window which is to the right/left/up/down?

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at
Sun Sep 25 12:01:42 CEST 2016

On Sun, 25 Sep 2016 10:17:40 +0200, killermoehre wrote:
>Am 25.09.2016 um 08:02 schrieb Сергей Процеров (Sergey Protserov):
>> Hello everybody! I am using Xfce4 4.12.3 and I would like to be able
>> to activate a window, which is to the right/left/up/down side of
>> current window, using keybindings (like it is in tiling window
>> managers or in Openbox). Could you please tell me, how can I
>> implement it? Thank you in advance.  
>if you want Openbox features, than use Openbox

Or stay with xfwm4 and write a script using wmctrl. Sometimes xdotool
might be helpful, too.

An example, the terminal is active and I activated the Claws window:

[rocketmouse at archlinux ~]$ wmctrl -lx
0x00c00003 -1 panel.fbpanel         archlinux panel
0x0080001d -1 panel.lxpanel         archlinux panel
0x01600003  0 claws-mail.Claws-mail  archlinux Rocketmouse - Claws Mail 3.14.0
0x01000012  0 evolution.Evolution   archlinux Inbox (55388 unread) - Evolution
0x01c00003  0 main_window.Sylpheed  archlinux Unknown Crewman - Sylpheed 3.5.1
0x0173153e  0 claws-mail.Claws-mail  archlinux Re: Focus/activate window which is to the right/left/up/down? - Compose message [Edited]
0x01e00007  0 roxterm.Roxterm       archlinux rocketmouse at archlinux:~
0x0220007f  0 Navigator.Icecat      archlinux linux - How to use wmctrl to activate window of a given class? - Super User - GNU IceCat
[rocketmouse at archlinux ~]$ wmctrl -x -a claws-mail.Claws-mail

You could assign a script to a shortcut. Pushing the shortcut a script
could activate one window after the other, e.g. using a
"for"-loop getting the windows from a list. The list likely could be
provided by $(wmctrl -lx | cut -d" " -f4 | grep -v '^$') , but you
should test, if this always works. If you want it more advanced, the
script needs to check the position of the active window and those of
the windows surrounding the active window. This is what you want and
it's possible to do this, too.


An example how I use wmctrl:

If I push Ctrl+7 my WM (openbox without a desktop environment) runs
win75   and if I push Ctrl+Alt+7 it runs   win75 -   , win75 is the
following script, that resize the active window:

[rocketmouse at archlinux ~]$ cat /usr/local/bin/win75 
eval $(xdotool getwindowgeometry --shell $(xdotool getactivewindow))
X_FIX=$(grep X_FIX ~/.rocketmouse/win75/config | cut -d"=" -f2)
Y_FIX=$(grep Y_FIX ~/.rocketmouse/win75/config | cut -d"=" -f2)
WIDTH=$(calc "int($WIDTH*0.75)")
case $1 in
  "") HEIGHT=$(calc "int($HEIGHT*0.75)");;
echo "x:$X-$X_FIX=$XX/y:$Y-$Y_FIX=$YY"
wmctrl -i -r $WINDOW -b remove,maximized_vert,maximized_horz
wmctrl -i -r $WINDOW -e "0,$XX,$YY,$WIDTH,$HEIGHT"
eval $(xdotool getwindowgeometry --shell $(xdotool getactivewindow))
echo "x:$X-$X_FIX=$XX/y:$Y-$Y_FIX=$YY"

To avoid that the resized windows are moving, a config is required,
providing an offset that can be found by trial and error:

[rocketmouse at archlinux ~]$ cat ~/.rocketmouse/win75/config


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