Hide window border for maximized windows

Work with Userbase is progressing nicely. I wrote some suggestions based on user feedback and my own opinions, and a few days ago there was a small discussion about the future of Userbase on IRC.

However, this post isn’t about Userbase – I hope I’ll find some time to summarize the plans for the wiki here in a few days. Today I want to share another tip that I’ve found and need to remember to add to Userbase: Borderless Maximized Windows.

This option is very useful for devices with small screens, such as netbooks, to give slightly more space to your applications. If enabled, the window border will hide automatically when you maximize a window (and vice versa when unmaximized).

If I remember correctly, this feature was introduced in KDE Software Compilation 4.5 for the Plasma Netbook workspace, where it’s enabled by default. Here’s a short screencast demonstration (what, not an animated GIF!?):

Note that I used double click to maximize the windows. This is configurable in System Settings → Window Behavior → Window Behavior → Titlebar Actions.

Previously I used some window-specific settings to get a similar setup, but it only did it according to some pre-defined rules –  the borders weren’t automatically hidden/shown when a window was maximized/restored.

So how do I enable this in Plasma Desktop?

  1. Use you favorite text editor to edit the file

    ~/.kde4/share/config/kwinrc

    In some distributions the .kde4 directory is called .kde (or something else like .kdemod4)

  2. Add the line

    BorderlessMaximizedWindows=true

    under the section [Windows]
    It should look something like this:

    [Windows]
    ActiveMouseScreen=true
    AltTabStyle=KDE
    AutoRaise=false
    AutoRaiseInterval=750
    BorderSnapZone=10
    BorderlessMaximizedWindows=true
    CenterSnapZone=0

  3. Launch KRunner (Alt+F2) and run the command

    kwin --replace

    to restart KWin

  4. Go crazy and maximize every window in sight! Remember that you can unmaximize them from the window menu (Alt+F3) or from the task manager in your panel. If quick tiling is enabled (System Settings → Desktop → Screen Edges → Window Management), you can also use Alt+Left mouse button to unmaximize windows by dragging them

Credits this time go to Christian who wrote about this feature in a comment in this blog post. The post also links to a neat widget that’s useful for a setup with borderless windows.

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11 Responses to “Hide window border for maximized windows”

  1. KenP Says:

    Nice :)

  2. JW Says:

    Hey. Now that’s pretty cool.

  3. TheBlackCat Says:

    Nice! Is this going to be configurable from systemsettings in 4.5?

  4. Hans Says:

    @TheBlackCat:
    Sorry, I don’t know. I do hope so though – System Settings was the first place where I looked for this option, and when I didn’t find it at first I assumed that it only worked with Plasma Netbook.

  5. vi3dr0 Says:

    Well, I like Kwin more and more. Thanks for the tip :)

  6. Jan Gundtofte-Bruun Says:

    Woohoo! This was a pet peeve of mine, that the vertical scroll bar didn’t extend to the very edge of the screen — but now (with KDE v4.4.2) it seems to be the standard. This is very nice.

  7. Konchunas Yulian (@konchunas) Says:

    thanks, that’s a really fine trick

  8. KDE: Maximierte Fenster ohne Deko » startafire Says:

    […] Ich nutze seit einiger Zeit ein KWin-Feature, welches meine maximierten Fenster ohne Dekorationen (Ränder, Titelleiste) anzeigt. Ich habe mich bisher immer einem Setting in meiner kwinrc bedient, wie hier beschrieben. […]

  9. Ritesh Raj Sarraf Says:

    Just awesome…. Thank you for writing this. I today had deleted my .kwinrc settings and had a hard time recollecting how to enable this. :-)

  10. Michael Says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been using this tip for years. Who needs borders with maximized windows anyway ?

  11. Bobby Says:

    Thank you for this post. I have disabled the option in config for KDE 4.11 in which there is no way to show borders…


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