Toolbox Layering Behavior?

I used GIMP 2.10.6 until a few days ago, when I upgraded to 2.10.38 (most recent at time of posting). Previously, when I maximized the window, my dialog boxes (I usually have the Toolbox and Layers/Channels/Paths open) would remain on top of all image canvases, but would disappear if I switched to a different program. This is no longer the case: whenever I maximize the window, or click on the canvas, the dialogs now fall behind the active canvas window. I have tried using the options in Edit > Preferences > Interface > Window Management: “Utility window” makes them disappear from my task bar but doesn’t change their actual behavior, and “Keep above” puts these dialogs in front of all windows, GIMP or non-GIMP. I don’t particularly like single-window mode, but can use it if necessary to make this behave roughly as expected. Am I missing something? Is there a way to have the older dialog behavior again? If it makes a difference, my OS is Windows 10.

You might be one of the remaining dinosaurs not using single window mode, thus not much input from users about it.

In case it can help: In a single-window mode you can use the Tab key on your keyboard, to remove all dialogs, hit again the Tab key and they will appear, it’s a toggle switch to get the full “drawing” / canvas area, you might like it…

You might be one of the remaining dinosaurs not using single window mode, thus not much input from users about it.

Multi-window mode is the only way to take advantage of multiple screens, and my 2nd screen has not yet been shattered by the Chicxulub impactor.


I believe the “utility windows” in Gimp are actually X11 utility windows:

_NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_UTILITY indicates a small persistent utility window, such as a palette or toolbox. It is distinct from type TOOLBAR because it does not correspond to a toolbar torn off from the main application. It’s distinct from type DIALOG because it isn’t a transient dialog, the user will probably keep it open while they’re working. Windows of this type may set the WM_TRANSIENT_FOR hint indicating the main application window.

The main difference with “Normal” (when I use them under Linux) is that they haven’t got a task bar entry of their own, the task bar only has icons for image windows. Hitting the Tab key to make they appear has become a baked-in neural connection at that point…

Wow nice easter egg :+1: