Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Elementary OS - FREYA Workspace Switching with mouse wheel (by Ross Devitt)

Elementary OS Freya on Twin Monitors with Workspace Switcher selected on DOCKY
Wallpaper - Sunset at Islaverde Tropical Friendly Resort - Batangas, Philippines
I'm well into my Elementary OS usage now, and while I like it better every day there are some things about it that are simply annoying.  The main one is being able to switch the workspace using my mousewheel.

So because I always have two Linux operating systems installed I've been installing others where I'd had my XFCE installation to compare and see just how much this really means to me.

I tried KDE with Plasma 4.x again, and the newest KDE with Plasma 5, which happens to be so cumbersome it is horrible despite all the things I like about KDE.  I tried the new Chalet OS, which is kind of cutesy but has its own set of problems.  I tried Mint Mate and Cinnamon and remembered why I never use them.  Until it began breaking things Mint KDE was my favourite.

So I'm back now to TWO installations of Elementary OS Freya.  One with everything tweaked, and one to experiment on.

So, about the workplace switching, and the topic of this post.  In an earlier post I pointed out that the Elementary dock, called Plank, is based on Docky.  So it was not a big deal to install Docky and write some .desktop files to drag to docy so I had my own icons to launch whatever I want.

This morning I remembered a Workspace Switching 'docklet' in Docky.  Because I've always been able to switch workspaces in the past by scrolling the mousewheel I never found it useful.

When you click the Workspace Icon in Docky you are presented with a list of available workspaces and you simply click the one you want.  And Elementary being what it is, dynamically adds workspaces as you want, and deletes each space when all programs on that space have been closed.

 But, as well as being able to show a list of Workspaces to choose with a click, this clever little Docky Docklet allows you to simply scroll the mousewheel over it and it will scroll through the workspaces.

And it has one big advantage over scrolling the mousewheel on the desktop.  You don;t have to change out of full screen mode to get a clear spot to scroll!

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