Re: Hotkey to move windows to predetermined location and geometry?

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Anne Wilson posted on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 19:41:35 +0000 as excerpted:

> On 12/03/12 18:30, Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> I have two applications that I often use in tandem, each with a
>> specific geometry and position on the screen. Is there a hotkey that
>> one could set up to move these windows to my preferred location and
>> sizes? One of them is a KDE app (Konsole), the other is a Qt app
>> (Anki).

> KWin rules will ensure that they go there whenever you open them.  You
> might like to read the tutorial starting at

As Anne says, kwin rules can be used to force a specific position, and I 
use exactly that functionality quite a lot (REALLY quite a lot!) myself, 
but they apply any time a window matches the rule.

There's at least two further solutions that allow sometimes-matching, one 
via hotkey, but it'll involve a bit of bash scripting or similar, and one 
that effectively lets you decide at launch time.

1) The launch-time one works with kde apps and should work with non-kde 
qt apps, but won't necessarily work with all X-based apps and windows.  
It depends on kde's --caption option or qt's --title option (also see qt's
--name option and kde's --geometry option), as seen in for example
konsole's  --help-all output when run /in/ konsole.

The idea is to set a unique window title that can be matched by a kwin 
window rule that ignores the application when run normally, that is, 
without the title setting option.

I use this here to set special rules for a konsole window when it's 
invoked to run my multi-key hotkey bash scripts.[1]  Just under that rule 
in kwin's window rules list, is another one for konsole in general, so 
the first rule catches the specific case, while the general case falls 
thru to the second rule.

As I mentioned above, for kde apps specifically, there's also the
--geometry option, that sets the X geometry.  However, depending on your 
kwin config (smart window placement, etc), you may still need a kwin 
window rule to ignore smart-placement or whatever the general policy is 
and obey the specified geometry, and the non-kde app likely doesn't have 
such an option anyway, so the above idea, setting the title specifically 
and using that as a kwin window rules match, then simply setting window 
size and placement in that window rule, probably makes more sense.

2) The scriptable solution makes use of a very handy little app called 
wmctrl.  You can call wmctrl with appropriate options to move and/or 
resize to specific coordinates, close or move to other desktops various 
already open windows, in a real-time manner.  After installation, read 
its manpage for instructions on how to invoke it to do what you want 
done.  From there, a hotkey invoked relocate/resize is a simple few lines 
of bash script and a hotkey set in kde settings, common..., shortcuts..., 
custom shortcuts, away. =:^)

Of course you could also use wmctrl as a launch-time solution, by simply 
using a wrapper script that launches the app, sleeps a few seconds if 
necessary to let the window show up, then runs wmctrl on it to locate and 
size it as desired.

Meanwhile, this is of course exactly the sort of thing that kde 
activities are eventually supposed to manage, but as the two solutions 
above demonstrate, power users have been doing this sort of thing for 
quite some time already, so all activities will do is put a bit nicer GUI 
on what they've already been doing and expose the same functionality to 
ordinary users, or at least those not quite so high up the power user 
scale as those using existing solutions.  But while I've not actually 
tested activities in 4.8, I doubt they're there yet, and even when they 
get there, it'll likely be a tradeoff between limited functionality 
exposed to a wider userbase, and the more powerful functionality that has 
been available to the power user, for some time to come.

[1] When kde4 broke multi-key hotkeys that worked just fine in kde3, I 
rolled my own solution.  I'm not a C/C++ or even python/perl coder, only 
a bash scriptor, so I coded the script in bash and run it in a special 
konsole window with its own kwin window rules.  It's not fancy, but it 
does a rather impressive job, considering it's all bash and kwin rules, 
picking up where all kde4 left me was broken pieces of a solution that 
USED to work!  A kde single-key hotkey still launches my script tho 
there's independent hotkey solutions out there too, if kde decides to 
break that as well.  My script in turn takes a category and then an 
action selection key, to launch anything I use often enough to have 
programmed a sequence for in a total of three individual key presses.  
For example, to open my browser of choice to bank's secure login site is 
launcher, n, b.  Launcher is an "extra" key available on my inet/media 
keyboard, n=net (category), b=bank (individual task in the selected 

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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