Hiding other windows than the active one


I know the keyboard-shortcut for hiding the active window. Is there also a keyboard-shortcut for hiding the inactive windows (only on the current desktop) while the active window is still there?

If not, there should be such a shortcut.



GNOME Shell’s workflow primarily involves switching workspaces instead of minimizing / reopening windows. The equivalent of what you’re looking for would be Super + Shift + PgUp or PgDn, which moves the currently active window to the next/previous workspace and switches to that workspace at the same time.

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Unfortunately this is no alternative option because of 2 reasons:

  1. The suggested shortcut moves the active window to another workspace, but this could have other windows again, so you have the same problem and you are moving the window from workspace to workspace, searching for a workspace, where this window in the only one.

  2. This is no option, if you want to look at only this one window (for avoiding the clutter) for a certain amount of time, but later you still want to use it with the other windows on that same workspace.

E.g. you have 4 windows on one workspace, that are all related to one single project / worktask. For a short time you wand to focus only one of them, to not be distracted. But later you still want to use all 4 windows for that project / task without first moving a window to other workspaces and then moving it back again.

See what I mean? This is no solution for this problem.

By the way:
as long as it doen’t break the paradigm of the software, the software should adapt to the user, not the opposite way.

And an additional keyboard-shortcut for hiding the background-windows of the current screen doesn’t break anything for any user. It only gives some users an additional shortcut, but who doesn’t need it, has exactly the same user-experience as today.

And the concept of hiding windows is already part of Gnome, but only for the active window (super+H). So an additional shortcut for hiding the inactive windows on the current screen (e.g. Super+shift+H) is the next logical step.

Just maximize that window

That’s a workaround as long as this feature is missing. But it is not the perfect solution, but in many windows you don’t want to use it fullscreen, e.g. because that means you have way too much whitespace.

By the way: there is another workaround too. Hide all windows (Super+D) and then use alt-tab for the last active window (that is the one you want to keep).

Then you have the active window alone on the current desktop. But: of course this is only a workaround too and for everyday use too complicated.

So, a shortcut Super+Shift+H that hides the other windows but keeps the active one would still be better and the perfect complement to the Super+H that hides the active window.

The function to hide the active window is very handy in some situations. To have the corresponding function to hide the other windows could also be very handy and would help de-clutter the current workspace temporarily when you don’t want to move a window to another workspace and back again, because you need it in the current workspace.

That would be the best shortcut for this purpose.

Because it uses the “h” for hide and is a modification of the shortcut to hide the active window, it’s easy to remember. And it’s also better than super+ctrl or super+alt, because in such shortcuts it’s always hard to remember, if it was the ctrl or the alt. A modificator for shortcuts with super, ctrl or alt should be the shift.

It can certainly be discussed, if hiding windows is a good solution from the usability-view. Logically it’s the same like minimizing windows, only that the “minimized” windows are not visible. Because Gnome has no good solution for minimizing windows, hiding windows is the only possibility to de-clutter the current workspace without moving windows to other workspaces.

And moving windows to other workspaces is great for working on different things. But what if your work on one single thing needs multiple windows in one workspace and you want more clarity on that workspace by hiding windows only temporarily, but needing them on that workspace again? Moving them to other workspaces and back again to the current workspace is no serious option.

So, hiding windows is the only option for this usecase if there is no minimizing wanted. It gives the most flexibility and who doesn’t need it / want it just doesn’t use it and nothing will change for these people. But the others that have usecases like the described one, need not only the possibility to hide the current window, but also to hide the other windows in the current workspace.

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