A No-install Solution to Enabling/Disabling the Titlebar in Xfce

Tested OS: Xubuntu 14.04–15.04; Xfce version: 4.12; xfwm4 version: 4.12.1-1ubuntu1; theme: Zukitwo; icon theme: Evolvere Blue Folders Dark fallback. Download as pdf here or here.

Update, 2015-05-20: As of Xfce 4.12, this solution works without the need for plugins. It also works out of the box in Xubuntu 15.04, but may not in older versions unless you’ve updated to Xfce 4.12.

I found a little quirk when I upgraded to Xubuntu 14.04: the titlebar no longer appeared when I maximised a window. Because I habitually exploit the titlebar, this was a cumbersome change (or bug). Fortunately, I found out how to reverse it quickly enough.

Initially, I thought the solution was obvious enough to go without a mention. A recent article by Andrew on WebUpd81, though, introduced the intriguing xfce4-windowck-plugin2 by Alessio Piccoli and Cédric Leporcq. It's a set of two plugins enabling you to place a maximised window's title in the panel, along with the window's buttons. If you install xfce4-windowck-plugin, you likely want to disable the titlebar to avoid redundancy. Andrew and xfce4-windowck-plugin's developers suggest installing the external program Maximus or a patch for xfwm43.

My solution is simpler and doesn't require you to download or install anything.

Comparison of maximised windows with and without the titlebar


For reference, Figure 1 shows a maximised window with the titlebar, while Figure 2 shows it without.

Figure 1: Maximised window in Xfce with the titlebar.
Figure 2: Maximised window in Xfce without the titlebar.

Solution


You can skip Steps 1 and 2 by typing "xfce4-settings-editor" in the Terminal and jumping straight to Step 3. Otherwise, start from Step 1.

Step 1:


Open the Settings Manager (Figure 3). In Xubuntu 14.04 onward, you can do this using Whisker Menu, or the applications menu in earlier versions. Alternatively, you can also open it through the Terminal, using the command "xfce4-settings-manager".

Figure 3: Location of Settings Editor in Settings Manager.

Step 2:


Scroll to the bottom of Settings Manager and open Settings Editor (Figure 3). You can also open it using the Terminal with the command "xfce4-settings-editor".

Step 3:


On the left tab, scroll to the bottom and look for "xfwm4" (Figure 4). Click it and now on the right side scroll down to find "titleless_maximize" (Figure 5).

Figure 4: Location of "xfwm4" in Settings Editor.
Figure 5: Location of "titleless_maximize" in Settings Editor. The ticked value in the right-most column shows that the titlebar is currently hidden when maximised.


Step 4:


Now the part that actually fixes it. In the Value column, "titleless_maximize" will either be blank or ticked. If it is blank, then Xfce will display the titlebar when windows are maximised; if it is ticked, it will not. (Yes, it's a bit counter-intuitive.) Simply tick or untick this value to choose your preference.

That's it!

Bonus solution


Settings Editor has a surprising amount of power if you're willing to experiment. Related to hiding the titlebar is hiding window borders, as well. Follow the same steps as above, but look for "borderless_maximize" instead.

As Figure 6 shows, borderless_maximize is currently enabled. This means that when the window is maximised, it takes up the entire screen (save for the panel), instead creating a larger version of the window that merely goes to the edges.

Note: If titleless_maximize is enabled and you disable borderless_maximize, the latter will override the former; i.e. both the borders and the titlebar will be displayed. This is because the titlebar is considered to be part of the window border.

Figure 6: Location of "borderless_maximize" in Settings Editor.


TL;DR version


1) Open Settings Editor.
2) Under "xfwm4", look for "titleless_maximize".
3) Tick to remove titlebar; untick to return titlebar.

End.

References


1. Andrew, "Xubuntu: How To Put Maximized Windows Buttons And Title On The Panel," WebUpd8, July 14, 2014, http://www.webupd8.org/2014/07/xubuntu-how-to-put-maximized-windows.html.
2. Alessio Piccoli and Cédric Leporcq, Xfce, accessed July 16, 2014, http://goodies.xfce.org/projects/panel-plugins/xfce4-windowck-plugin.
3. cedl38, xfwm4-titleless, accessed July 17, 2014, https://github.com/cedl38/xfwm4-titleless.

4 comments:

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  2. You can also use the Hide Titlebar Firefox extension.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/En-us/firefox/addon/hide-caption-titlebar-plus-sma/?src=search

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    Replies
    1. That's a great extension, which I've used before. Right now, I'm using a lighter alternative, called HTitle. It's made for Gnome 3, but works fine in Xfce.

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  3. Your solution with titleless-maximization works for me (xfce 4.12). In my case i had to also uncheck the panel property "dont reserve space on border", i.e. preventing the panel to overlap the window title. I am not sure it was already unchecked by default.

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