Just a little tip that I think some of you’ll find helpful. As many of you may already be aware, I make extensive use of Open Source tools. For years, I’ve used Linux/BSD on my home workstations and quite a few times have gained success in convincing my bosses to make the switch but you know, that’s not always the case. No matter how you want to avoid Windows, you’ll often times come across situations that force you to use Windows, even for a day.

One of the things that I hate about Windows is that even though it is a pretty capable operating system, it hides many such capabilities that power users are going to like. One of such capabilities is Change Focus on Mouseover. Normally, you aren’t going to find any visible option to enable this feature. In Windows, the default configurations force you to click on the title bar of another window in order to bring it into focus. This is not the case with Linux. Just bring your mouse pointer to a different application window and it becomes focused!

I can’t explain how much I’ve missed this feature before I came to realize that this kind of stuff is possible even in Windows operating systems using the RegEdit (Registry Editor) utility. Since editing registry is something that you shouldn’t do unless you really know your stuff, I’ve found a tiny utility that allows you to do the same using point & click method.

Go to Microsoft PowerToys and download the TweakUI utility. Here is the direct link. Here is what TweakUI does:

TweakUI gives you access to system settings that are not exposed in the Windows XP default user interface, including mouse settings, Explorer settings, taskbar settings, and more.

After installing it on your system, launch TweakUI from START >> Program Files >> Powertoys for WindowsXP >> Tweak UI. Under Mouse >> X-Mouse, select Activation follows X-Mouse checkbox and click OK.


You’re done! Try opening a few applications and hovering your mouse over them. Check if windows change focus or not.

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