How to Easily Resize Window In Gnome [Quick Tips]

How do you usually resize a window? Move your mouse pointer to the corner of the window and click to resize it, simple, right? Well, if you are using Gnome (Linux), resizing an application window can be a hit or miss affair. In some applications (such as Nautilus), the corners width are huge and you can easily click and drag to resize them. However, in other applications, the sidebar and corner width is only a pixel wide and moving your mouse cursor to that exact point (where the cursor become the resize arrowhead) can be a tedious task.

Here are some ways you can use to make resizing the window an easier, and enjoyable task.

1. Alt + Middle click

At anywhere in the window, press “ALT” key and the middle button of the mouse and the cursor instantly become an arrowhead. You can then move in the direction that you want to resize.

2. Press At + F8

The “Alt + F8” hotkey is a quick keyboard shortcut to activate the resize mode. Once in the resize mode (with a translucent overlay), you can use the arrow key to resize the window horizontally or vertically. Once you are done, hit Enter to return to the window mode.

3. Configure own hotkey via Compiz

If you are using Compiz, it comes with several more options that you can configure.

Open your CompizConfig Settings Manager (System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager).

Scroll down the list to find “Resize Window”.


Click on it to enter its configuration page. From here, you can enable and assign the hotkey for different resize mode. In this example, I have enabled the “Initiate Outline Window Resize” mode and assign the hotkey “Alt + Super + W” to activate it.


That’s it. This should solve your window resizing woes.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. I’d like to see an add-on utility for Gnome similar to the free “Sizer” utility by Brian Apps ( for Microsoft Windows that allows one to resize a window to one of several user-configurable preset sizes.  This feature is useful for programmers and Web designers who frequently need to see how a Web page or program window would look at various screen sizes, from the smallest hand-held devices to the largest desktop screens. Sizer is so useful that I feel its functionality should be an integral part of Gnome.

    1. I will keep a lookout if there is such app for Gnome. I used such features for browser too, so I understand the usefulness of it. The best alternative that I can think of is to use Compiz to resize the window to a certain size and map it to a shortcut key.

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