Minimal Metacity themes

Working on my 13-inch laptop display I can divide my applications into two categories - those that are nearly always maximized and those that are almost never maximized. I generally want to give the always-maximized one as much screen space as possible because of the types of apps they are - the browser, the terminal, graphics programs…

Title bars really don’t serve much purpose for these types of maximized apps except to waste space, so I got rid of them. Doing this in a Metacity theme is pretty easy - you basically just add has_title="false" to the maximized frame geometry and zero out all the dimensions. Here’s what doing that to the default Gnome theme, Adwaita, looks like:

The cool thing about doing this in Gnome Shell is that it can still round off the corners of the maximized applications.

Screenshot of Chrome running in GNOME
You might notice that my Shell theme is slightly customized.. more on that soon.

Apart from saving space, working in a maximized terminal with fewer distracting interface elements but still retaining the main desktop indicators and controls is a nice experience:

The only downside to hiding the titlebar is now you have to know the keyboard shortcut to toggle maximization for the rare occasions when you need it. In Gnome this is Alt-F10 by default, but that’s kind of awkward to type on an Apple keyboard so I remapped it to Command-M.

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