Looking for a quick way to switch workspaces in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS using your mouse?

You’ll already known you can click on the Activities button in the top bar. That opens the overview screen which shows all active workspaces. You click on a workspace to go straight to it. Not a hardship, granted, but a bit more effort than just switching instantly.

So can hold the super key and scroll on your mouse scroll wheel to cycle between workspaces too.

But that assumes you’re using a mouse with a scroll wheel (and still involves keyboard shortcuts; you can press super + alt + left/right arrows to move workspace).

If you’re still reading and thinking “yes, this is exactly my use case”, check out the new Workspace Switch Buttons GNOME Shell extension

There are some great GNOME Shell extensions out there, ranging from add-ons that dramatically alter the way your desktop works, through to smaller, thoughtful tweaks that improve a specific interaction point.

Workspace Switch Buttons is very much the latter type.

All it does it hide the “Activities” button, and replace it with left and right arrows to switch workspaces:

This is all it does – but all it needs to

To those at the back, dying to sound off in the comments, please note: I’m not suggesting this is an “everyone should install this” extension. Anyone reading the first half of this post and thinking “Don’t see an issue here, tbh” doesn’t need this.

But if you are someone who finds the Activities button a little lacking (no surprise; it’s why GNOME devs revamped it in GNOME 45), and wants a simple pointer-led way to page between workspaces, this is as good an implementation as I’ve come across.

It’s not a million miles way from the Space Bar GNOME Shell extension that I featured on OMG! Linux earlier this year, but rather than giving you i3-style workspace numbers (and a lot of advanced options) you get fixed left/right arrows, and nowt else.

So if you think this could buff your workflow, do check it out.

You can install it from GNOME extensions, and it supports GNOME 42, 43 & 44 (yup, it doesn’t support GNOME 45).

GNOME Extensions