Make window resizing easier out of the box

Resizing the windows at the edges/corners is really difficult in Ubuntu MATE, as the trigger area is only one pixel wide.

As a workaround I edited /usr/share/themes/Ambiant-MATE/metacity-1/metacity-theme-1.xml and increased bottom_width, left_width and right_width from 1 to 4, but this also visually enlarges the window borders, so that might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

It would be really useful to have either some invisible trigger area just outside the window borders (maybe over the shadows) or at least include a theme with the above changes.


About that!

An awesome trick someone mentioned in the IRC chatroom just a few days ago:

Hold ALT down, then right-click any of the NE/SE/SW/NW quadrants of the window, then drag your mouse.



LOL… Ninja’d by ouroumov :grin:


Nice, but I probably wouldn’t have found out if you hadn’t mentioned it.
So I really hope this gets improved in future versions.


I agree there’s no way one can guess this exist.
Maybe @lah7 can add it to the Welcome “Getting Started” tips.


Still, the mouse resizing way that basically everyone is familiar with should also be improved. People tend to forget those helpful shortcuts, unfortunately… :wink:

Thanks @ouroumov didn’t know that one! That makes life so much easier :smile:

I agree there could be a bit thicker line to enable dragging windows.

Also would be useful if we could get that into Welcome Shortcuts please @lah7.

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Sure, I’ll add that to the list of keyboard shortcuts.

I also agree with @maximuscore that the resizing is difficult with Marco, I’d like to see improvements too. Like how Compiz and Compton handle resizing much better.


Btw. for some reason the Alt+Middle and Alt+Left shortcuts are swapped here.
Alt+Middle click shows the menu, Alt+Right click resizes.

Add my vote for wider borders as well.

I really don’t like having to learn new ways to do old things. I have this arcane opinion that the computer is here to serve me, not the other way around.

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread but this problem remains.


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I agree, the sensitivity width needs to be wider than 1 pixel. One pixel is like no pixel, fortunately I don use a 4k display.
Anyone who has ever used a WIMP interface on any other platform will just give up on linux when confronted by this kind of quirkiness.

I did find behaviour improved when switching to the compiz window manager. The underlying problem seems to be related to the Marco window manager (both software and compton GPU mode).
Since marco is a part of mate, this seems to be the right place to complain though


Yes, there is indeed a difference. It appears that with Compiz the shadow around the window is included into the resize trigger area, whereas that is not the case with Marco.

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You’re right, the shadow makes the border wider (I didn’t see it at first due to the dark background of my desktop). But does that mean that the problem is more low-level? I mean: shouldn’t it be a fixed width (only user/window decorator definable?), whereas now it is also compositor dependent.
It won’t be long before a graphic designer invents windows without borders or shadows at all. What happens then?.
In other words: do you know at what level this is implemented? This determines where it could be repaired

Looks like it made the wish list.

Compiz fixes this because it uses the gtk-window-decorator, which in turn uses metacity theming. This was fixed in metacity.

I’ll add my voice to the “this is a really annoying thing about Marco”, but whenever it has been brought up before, the response has always been, “well I don’t have a problem with it”.

Two shortcuts I have memorized. All keyboard, no mouse needed.

Move window:

  1. Press Alt + F7
  2. Use arrow keys to move window about on the screen
  3. End with Enter (confirm) or Esc (cancel)

Resize window:

  1. Press Alt + F8
  2. Use arrow keys: one press to set the side you want to “stretch”, next presses to the same direction do the adjusting (can be short presses for “step-by-step” or one looooong press for speedy adjusting). You can change the side as many time as you want.
  3. End with Enter (confirm) or Esc (cancel)

All very useful, but when you have to memorise keyboard shortcuts to use a mouse driven window manager, surely there is something wrong with the window manager?

I honestly don’t know what the point of marco is anymore? It’s just a waste of resources to maintain and develop themes for. Surely it should be dropped and metacity used instead?

Hallo samuvuo

That’s exactly what I use. :slight_smile:

Switching to Metacity (+Compton) does not solve the problem for me, though. I still only get a 1 pixel wide area to trigger resizing - the shadow is not included.

Edit: The only combination that does work is Metacity with software compositing, but I’d rather use a GPU compositor.