Resizing borders too thin


I find it interesting how the addition of the [Alt] button makes things
impossible. As a laptop user I don’t find pressing the [Alt] button in
combination with a right click in any way difficult. It’s the addition
of ‘one button’.

Depending on the physical layout of your touchpad, that can get hairy

Some Thinkpads have buttons above the touchpad. Others below it.
Sometimes the buttons are integrated on the bottom part of the touchpad,
and pressing it down moves the mouse cursor slightly, so you miss the
window frame you were pointing at. At other times, holding the right
button with your thumb does not let you use the upper left part of the
touchpad, because your other fingers are not long enough.

When you drag a border, you have to keep a button down. On my touchpad,
I often use one hand to keep a button down, and another hand to move the
cursor. Adding the Alt key makes it hard, because it’s too far away for
the one hand holding the touchpad button.

I also find it interesting how it’s assumed it’s an ‘issue’ with the DM.
You honestly don’t think the developers of the MATE DM wouldn’t have
made sure windows resizing didn’t work exactly as they wanted it to?

I do not understand why you continue to dismiss this issue. It is very
simple and clear. Most users are used to other systems. It is rather
intuitive for many people to drag a window border. It is actually
implemented in MATE. But the default border width in Ubuntu MATE is too
thin. Surely you can see why that bugs lots of people, for it is a clear
usability issue. It has been discussed many times. You said you do not
like how Windows 10 is implemented, so you do not use it. The same will
happen to MATE if you keep bugging the rest of the world.

If you could not resize windows by dragging the border at all, you would
force people to learn the “new” way. With this approach, it would not be
so obvious that border resizing is half broken. But forcing people to
learn new ways is not a good strategy for success. Besides, CAD/CAM
users may want Alt+mouse dragging for other uses, like rotating 3D
models, so they may prefer to keep border resizing. I myself find it
convenient for virtual machines, because Alt+Dragging tends to get
intercepted by the host.


Personally, I like using [Alt] + [Right Click] to resize a window. It means I don’t have to find that one spot on the corner of the Window like under Windows that allows me to drag out on an angle, bottom right, for example. I just smash [alt], right click wherever in the window and drag in the direction I want to resize.

Furthermore, the point you seem to be missing, is that there’s a handy menu that allows you to do the same thing without using [alt].

The issue isn’t that most people are used to other systems, the issue is that people want a clone of proprietary operating systems as they assume that’s the correct way of doing things - The problem is, there is no correct way of doing things and everything is different. If you’d used the [alt] and [right click] method all your life, you’d have nothing to complain about.

If Windows users choose not to adopt MATE due to an inability to see past Windows, that’s not really my problem and I honestly believe such users are probably better off sticking to what they’re comfortable with as opposed to expecting everything to conform to what they expect. Especially when it’s been working fine for many years now.

But honestly, I highly doubt most people will really have an issue using [alt] and [right click]. As stated, it’s quite handy being able to resize from any point within the window just by using [alt] as a modifier to the usual right click to resize.


Please do not confuse the “correct” way of doing things with the “familiar” way of doing this, because that’s what this is for most people.

Besides, no one wants to take away the keyboard shortcut, if you prefer to use that one.

You can in fact have this particular cake and eat it, too… :wink:


Familiarity is something learnt over time. When it comes to adopting a new OS that isn’t Windows there will be some form of adaption and learning curve involved, the same sort of learning curve you would experience if you used the MATE DM all your life and only just switched to Windows.

As stated earlier, there is no correct way of doing things.


I think the issue and complaints would cease if this ALT “opposite click” drag feature were better publicized! I’ve been using Mate since 2015 and Ubuntu since 2006 and this is the first I’ve heard of it!

I stumbled on to this thread by dumb luck reviewing the Emailed digest.


Another trick:

To copy/paste under Linux, simply highlight the desired text, go to the application the text is to be pasted to and click the center mouse button (mouse wheel). No right clicking and selecting copy/paste necessary. :wink:


This has struck a nerve. The following rant isn’t addressed to any specific person - I’m just venting.

This has been an issue forever, and for some reason, there are still people defending it. I understand that it may be hard to fix, but defending the behavior is ridiculous. Asking the user to hold in a special key is NOT the answer. You can resize the windows on basically every other OS by dragging the corner, and this does in fact work on MATE too - it just sucks.

Issues like this are why Linux on the mainstream desktop will continue to struggle.

When a “regular” person goes to resize their window for the first time, they’re going to move the mouse cursor to the border and see that it temporarily changes to the resize handle, which will cause them to assume that the window can be resized. However, when they go to actually try to resize the window, they will realize that there’s only like a one pixel region that can be grabbed.

People expect to be able to resize windows by dragging them. It just makes sense.

It’s one thing to simply not support it. I could understand that (well, not really…). However, that’s not the case here. It IS supported, it’s just very hard to use.

Why are we worried about HiDPI, GTK3, etc., when basic usability issues like this have existed for so long?


If sheeple want Linux to be a clone of Windows than perhaps it’s better they stick with Windows. This is Ubuntu MATE, not Windows and what you perceive to be an inconvenience many probably prefer. Furthermore, it’s by design, it’s not an issue.

Trying to grab the edge of a Window to resize under Windows is still finicky no matter what the pixel region is, [Alt] and drag from anywhere within the window is far easier.

Another thing worth considering is that it’s really only boarderless Windows that exhibit this characteristic, which is basically limited to browsers. Most other windows, at least on my system, have the dimpled edge you can grab and resize similar to Windows.

Likewise, it strikes a nerve when transitioning Windows users dictate how they want the OS they’re transitioning to to be a Windows clone - It’s not Windows, leave all preconceived expectations at the door!


I like your points, and I agree with you.

The 1px resize border is a bug, regardless of what anyone else says. It just happens to be hard to fix in Marco, so I’ve punted on it many times. I should probably give it another go next week and see where it takes me, but the MATE team is tiny and we all have day jobs too :unamused:


It just happens to be hard to fix in Marco

Understood. That’s what I suspected. Also, sorry if I came off as harsh.

Is there a bounty for this bug? I’d like to contribute towards it.


@jakemoroni, there’s currently no bounty for this bug. A bounty is not necessary, but certainly appreciated :slight_smile: You could also instead donate to the Ubuntu MATE project directly.

Here’s the relevant issue:


@Bulletdust - I personally prefer the Alt+Click version rather than the Mouse resize. I also tend to run most windows either maximized or tiled, so it’s rare that I use the mouse to grab it, when I can easily hit Super+arrow to maximize/tile (these are not default key bindings).

Still, the feature to grab the border and resize is there. People use it, so we’re not going to remove it (we’re not GNOME after all :sweat_smile:) The fact that it’s only 1px wide is just bad usability, hence why I consider it a bug.


This is easily fixable. You make the default theme have a bigger border than 1 pixel.


That’s not a proper fix. Yes, that would address the issue, but really we’re talking more like 10px, that’s quite the visual change, not to mention the lost screen real estate.

The fix is to add invisible resize borders (which need compositing, so this wouldn’t work on Marco without compositing)


It’s what should of been done until you had your ‘proper’ fix.


Just added a $15 bounty.


The Menta/BlueMenta themes, which are part of MATE core seem to have larger borders


This always makes me sad… :disappointed:
I’m always trying my best to contribute as much as I can within my limit of capabilities by discussing in the forum or bug tracking through Launchpad, but we need more core contributors/coders.

I hope the team gets larger, and :tophat: off to your guys for what you’re doing and have done…:slight_smile:


Thanks! It would be nice if the team was larger, as it is, even with how “popular” we feel MATE is, it’s still a niche desktop environment compared with GNOME and Plasma, both of which have two orders of magnitude more developers and users (not to mention other necessary resources, and lots of industry backing)


I think you are doing a fantastic job. Those larger teams you mentioned are actually performing pretty badly in my opinion. :slight_smile:

I hope this Bulletdust does not belong to the MATE team. I only wish you had some sort of ranking in this forum, like in Slashdot or have, so that such users are scored accordingly. :grin: