Linux Mint: How to configure how Windows gets focus
While you may often want to have multiple windows open because it can help with multitasking, you generally only want to work directly with one window at a time. For example, if you’re writing in a Word document and have your browser open for search, you don’t want search terms to be entered into the document as well.
The process of controlling one window at a time is called focus, in which the focused window takes precedence over most interactions. For example, if you’re typing, only the focused window will receive input. By default, you can generally use the mouse wheel on any window you hover over without changing the window in focus. This is designed to make it easier to navigate through one document without having to manually switch focus back to the other document.
To manage focus settings in Linux Mint, you need to go to window settings. To do this, press the Super key, type “Windows” and press Enter.
Tip: The “Super” key is the name many Linux distributions use to refer to the Windows key or the Apple “Command” key, avoiding any risk of trademark issues.
Press the Super key, type “Windows” and press Enter.
Once you’re in the window options, switch to the “Behavior” tab. The first item in the “Window Focus Mode” menu allows you to specify how windows gain focus. There are three options to choose from: Click, Sloppy and Strict. “Click” requires you to click on the window to focus. “Sloppy” causes windows to snap into focus when you hover over them. “Strict” causes windows to focus when the mouse enters and lose focus when the mouse leaves.
Tip: “Strict” and “Sloppy” differ only in whether the window can lose focus when the mouse moves from the window to the desktop. If you enable either option, you also get an additional setting that allows you to “Automatically increase focus windows”, which is disabled by default.
“Move windows that require attention to current workspace” lets you decide whether windows waiting for user input on another workspace are automatically moved to your current workspace to receive them. “Prevent windows that require attention from stealing focus” prevents windows that require user intervention from automatically being placed on top, simply leaving them in the background so you can prioritize them when you’re ready.
“Focus mode for new windows” has two options, “Smart” and “Strict”. “Smart” applies your normal window focus rules to each new window, while “Strict” does not explicitly grant focus to windows opened through the terminal.
The last option “Attach Dialogs to Parent Window” will fix all popup dialogs to the center of the window that opened them and gray out the parent window in the background when enabled. If this setting is off, as is the default, you can clearly see the parent window and can drag and drop the dialog box.
Configure the window focus settings according to your preferences in the “Behavior” tab.