Windows manipulation on your terminal is similar to Microsoft Windows,
so these instructions are abbreviated.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Anatomy of a terminal window
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
In summary, the copy-and-paste mouse action is ``drag left'' to
select, ``click-left'' to redirect focus, and ``click middle'' to