Doing Windows

Windows manipulation on your terminal is similar to Microsoft Windows, so these instructions are abbreviated.

Window Menu Bar

Notice that the bar at the bottom of the screen has one box for each window on the desktop. The box has a label that should help a bit in identifying its window.

Shifting the Keyboard Focus to a Window

When you type, you want the information to be passed to one of your windows. Before you can do that you have to get the window's attention. That process is called ``shifting the keyboard focus''. Click on the title bar at the top of the window or on the window's box in the window menu bar.

Anatomy of the Terminal Window

In Fig. 1 you see a diagram of a terminal window. There are other styles, depending on your window manager, but this is our standard. The window works in conjunction with the mouse and pointer symbol. Notice the various segments of the window, such as the title bar, window title, title buttons, frame, etc. Every window on you desk top should have them, no matter what the application. When you operate on them, you are interacting with the window manager. When you operate on the interior space you are interacting with the application.
Figure: Anatomy of a terminal window
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Sizing and Moving Windows

Put the cursor on the window frame or corner and drag to resize. Put it on the title bar and drag to move. Try moving and sizing the window so that it covers the left half of the screen.

Minimizing and Expanding the Window

The minimize button is the one labeled with a dash at the top right of a window. Clicking that button makes the window disappear from view, but its box remains in the window menu bar at the bottom of the screen. You restore it by clicking on the window's box in the window menu ba. You may also alternately minimize and restore the window by clicking repeatedly on the window's button in the window manager bar.

Killing Windows

Each window comes with a kill button (the one with the X at the top right.) Some applications respond gracefully when you use it, but some don't, so we recommend that you don't use it. Instead, use the application's own methods to quit. For example, with your browser, use the pull-down File->Quit button; with the terminal window, type exit<Enter> in the window. With emacs, select File->Exit Emacs. Try this. Create more windows as described above.

Title menu

At the top left of each window title bar you should see a little button that activates a pull-down menu. The window operations described above can also be initiated by selecting from that menu. Try it.

Moving Windows Up and Down

When you have more than one window on the screen, you may find that they overlap. In this case one of the windows will appear on top and the other may be completely or partially hidden by it. If you want to look at the partially hidden window, click in the title bar of that window to both bring it to the top and to shift the keyboard focus to it. Another way to bring a hidden window on top is to click its box in the window menu bar.

Virtual Desktop

In the lower right of your desktop you should see a box called the virtual desktop manager. It has a miniature reproduction of the window layout on your screen. It also has several other window panels or workspaces. If you click on them, you get a fresh desk top, so you really have several desks! You can move from one desktop to another by clicking the window panel. You can also move a window to another desktop by dragging them in this box. And you can make a window appear on all of the desktops by selecting ``Put on all workspaces'' in the title menu.

Copying Between Windows

One of the most convenient features of the window manager is the ability to copy text from one window and paste it in the next. Although not all applications make use of this feature, the terminal window, and emacs do. This procedure involves first using the mouse to make a selection in one window, and then clicking in the other window to paste it in.

To see how it is done, let's try an example that copies some stuff from one terminal window to another. Open two terminal windows. Then to get some stuff to copy, type man cat<Enter> in the first window to display some information about the command cat<Enter>. Then drag with the left mouse button starting at the beginning of the line with the word ``SYNOPSIS''. and ending before the line with the word ``DESCRIPTION''. Release the left mouse button there. Notice that the selected region is highlighted in black. Next move the mouse to the second window and click with the left mouse button to shift the keyboard focus to it. Type cat > junk<Enter> to begin creating a file called ``junk''. Then click with the middle mouse button, and notice that the lines from the first window are displayed just as if you had typed them into the second window. Type C-d to end the ``junk'' file. You may then use cat junk<Enter> to relist the ``junk'' file. Use rm junk<Enter> to erase your experiment. Click in the first window and use q to quit the ``man'' command.

In summary, the copy-and-paste mouse action is ``drag left'' to select, ``click-left'' to redirect focus, and ``click middle'' to paste.