I am using Linux Mint 19.1.

When I enter window tiling settings it is described as...

Enable Window Tiling and Snapping

In addition is has the settings....

Show snap on-screen display

Show tile heads-up-display

As well, when I hover the window near the edge is says...

Hold ctrl to enter snap mode

But I can not for the life of me figure out what is different between these two concepts. Holding ctrl to enter snap mode just turns the tiling boxes green.

Then only behaviour I see is windows being tiled to full, half and quarter sizes.

1 Answer 1


I was wondering the same thing and finally found the answer:

Visually, the two modes have nearly identical behavior, which is why it's confusing. As you noticed in both modes, the window you're dragging will take up the full, half, or quarter of the screen.

But when you use the modifier key (Ctrl by default) to switch to snapping mode, the window you snapped will be considered "part of the screen real estate." That means other windows you maximize will try to avoid the space occupied by the snapped window. If you tile rather than snap (i.e. the default if you don't use ctrl), maximized windows will simply cover it.

So the difference between the two modes is not really with the behavior of the current window you're snapping, but with the behavior of other windows that you maximize later on.

Source: http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2013/07/new-window-tiling-and-snapping-functionality/

You can hold a modifier key (defaults to Control) to toggle into “snap” mode – this is unique in that a snapped window will be considered part of the screen real estate, and maximized windows will avoid snapped windows. Tiled windows (unmodified) are treated just as before – they are ‘stuck’ to the screen edge, but don’t receive any special treatment.

Tested and confirmed on 19.1 Tessa

  • Finally a clear explanation about this feature! Thank you! But when I drag a window to the top (or side) a green bar appears (before the window snaps/tiles/maximizes) but nothing special happens when I drop a window there. Any idea about that? Is that a separate feature or just a (kind of useless) indicator that you are approaching the edge?
    – marcus
    Apr 14, 2020 at 17:10
  • To answer @marcus question: when you drag a window to an edge and the bar appears, that means the window is just at the edge and it's not being tiled (or snapped, if you hold the cntr button as well). however, if you then dragged the window further in the same direction, the bar changes into a rectangle which shape foreshadows the window's size as tiled/snapped.
    – GrzegDev
    Apr 26, 2022 at 12:13

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