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Is there a way to prevent Matlab windows from being autoraised in focus-follows-mouse mode?

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James Van Zandt
James Van Zandt on 6 Feb 2015
Commented: Walter Roberson on 10 Nov 2015
I prefer the "focus follows mouse" mode (so I can more easily consult one window while typing into a different one), and just upgraded to Matlab 2014a. With this version, moving my cursor over the screen raises each Matlab window crossed, even if only an edge was originally visible. This often totally covers up both the window I was trying to reach and the window I want to copy information from. Please tell us how to defeat this raise-on-focus behavior.
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Answers (2)

Mark Smith
Mark Smith on 31 Mar 2015
I second your irritation. I am using R2013a and R2013b. R2013a does not autoraise windows but R2013b does. There should be a preference setting to control this behavior.

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James Van Zandt
James Van Zandt on 31 Mar 2015
Thanks for the support! However, I suggest you submit a "vote" and/or "comment" rather than an "answer". It doesn't matter much to readers, but the Mathworks trouble report tracking software may give less emphasis to questions that have already been "answered" :-)
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 10 Nov 2015
Mathworks does not use the Answers facility for trouble report tracking purposes. Some of the volunteers might be less likely to visit a Question if it appears that someone else is handling it (too many questions, too little time.)

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Mark Smith
Mark Smith on 2 Apr 2015
Yes, I am not familiar with the Matlab Central interface. But perhaps this counts as an answer. I submitted a Technical Support Request to Mathworks regarding this issue. I don't have the text of my original request, but below are the exchanges that I have had with them.
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First reply from Mathworks --
Hello Mark,
I am writing in reference to your Technical Support Case #01303244 regarding 'GUI Window Raising'.
Thank you for your mail. I understand you are trying to prevent MATLAB from bringing windows that receive focus to the front, while using the 'Focus Follows Mouse' mode.I was wondering if you might be able to provide some additional information:
How is the behavior you have described different from other Desktop Applications that follow the 'Focus Follows Mouse' mode ? When I select the option to 'Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse', any desktop application that I mouse over receives focus and is brought to the front. This appears to be expected behavior with the 'Focus Follows Mouse' mode.
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My reply --
Vivek,
Thank you for your response.
It is very common on Linux machines to set the desktop behavior to allow windows to be focused without being raised. On Windows XP and Vista it is possible to achieve this behavior with a Microsoft tool called TweakUI. On Windows 7 a registry edit is required. The link below points to one of many web sites that describe the required registry edit.
https://sinewalker.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/ms-windows-focus-follows-mouse-registry-hacks/
I am currently working on Windows 7 machines.
I have been using focus follows mouse without raising the focused window for many years and find it to be a big productivity boost. However, there are some applications that do not work well with it.
Matlab (and Simulink) R2013b (required for my current project) always raises the active window. Any open Matlab window (main GUI, editor, figure, ...) will be raised if the mouse pointer passes over it. This can be a problem, for example, if you want to keep a figure on top while running a Simulink model.
R2010 on the computer in question does not raise the active window. R2013a on another computer does not raise the active window.
Thanks for your help on this. If I can be of assistance determining why Matlab wants to raise the focused window, let me know.
Thanks,
Mark Smith
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Second reply from Mathworks --
Hello Mark,
I am writing in reference to your Technical Support Case #01303244 regarding 'GUI Window Raising'.
Thank you for that information. I spoke to a colleague of mine that works on Desktop Frameworks and he mentioned that unfortunately there isn't a setting within MATLAB to prevent auto raising when a window has focus. I will go ahead and create an enhancement request for the Development team to consider implementing this feature.
Thank you for your valuable feedback and please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any other questions.
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So, the answer is that maybe it will be corrected in a future release. You may want to place a similar support request. If we squeak loudly enough we are more likely to get grease.

  2 Comments

James Van Zandt
James Van Zandt on 2 Apr 2015
A site-wide search finds no record of your Technical Support Case (aside from this comment), so apparently they have dropped it and we have to start over. I have submitted a bug report (Case Number 01307521).
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 10 Nov 2015
A lot of bug reports are not made public at first; not being able to find someone else's report is common.

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