0xG
Contributor
Contributor

Quick Switch Mode in Workstation 8

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"You don't need it".

*sigh*

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37 Replies
franky13
Contributor
Contributor

Just to add a +1 to the counter - I'm desparately missing the Quick Switch Mode, too.

In several test-scenarios I'm running 8 VMs concurrently on the same machine and having the 8 tabs on top of the screen, allowed me to go to each VM with a single mouse-click, which was very convenient. Today...

  • Cycling through the VMs (with all 8 running) is not an option
  • Pinning the full screen bar hides the title bar of my applications running in full screen mode inside the VMs (and is therefore also not an option)
  • Autohiding the full screen bar removes the overview in which VM I'm currently working (up to 4 XP VMs in the example - and yes I know, I could use things like BGInfo, but I'm not looking for workarounds)
  • Not full-screening takes too much space of the display area

So, to sum things up: Quick Switch Mode was perfect for me and I would highly appreciate it reappearing... Smiley Happy

Thanks

Frank

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j_mosk
Contributor
Contributor

I regularly teach a Windows class to 20+ people.

This is the first time I've used VMware Workstation 8 instead of 7.1.4.

I simply wont be using Workstation 8 next time..and reverting back to 7.1.4 for the sole use of being able to use Quickswitch mode.

With Full Screen -off- I lose like 15% of my screen to the menus and the tabs and my own start menu at the bottom.

With Full screen -on- .. It's simply too jarring to use the arrows and jump from Machine 1, to machine 2 and then demonstrate on machine 3.

Students have asked me... "Why are you not just jumping to Mahcine 3 to show us"?

Ugh.

I'm embarassed, and just say "Well, that's just how VMware Workstaion 8 works... sorry."

They're not happy. I'm not happy.

I know you're thinking about restoring quickswitch mode, and wanted to give you my precise scenario about why I need it back.

I also suggested in an earlier post my suggested remediation, which would be to "hover" over the active VM guest name, show thumbnails of existing VMs and select the one you want by name or by picture.

Thanks for listening and please work quickly. I love VMware 8 for the "private cloud" stuff.. it's totally changed my life for development purposes.

But for Demonstration purposes, it's VMware 7.1.4 with Quickswitch mode for now.

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texsteven
Contributor
Contributor

Add another +1 to bring back quickswitch.

IMHO mult-monitor fullscreen is cool, but I have yet to find a use for it in my day-to-day use of Workstation. I liked quickswitch because I could dedicate a single monitor to just VMware and directly access the VM I wanted at that time. Now I have to fumble through the full screen or more realistically I just use Workstation in a window. 

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Bill_Silvester
Contributor
Contributor

Just another +1 to bring back some kind of one-click access to all running VMs.

Will be sticking at 7.14 on my laptop until this is resolved.

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Barney
Contributor
Contributor

@smfrad: Thanks for posting your views and reasons, however a few comments:

> Each mode had different strengths and different weaknesses.

Yep, which lets users pick the one that works best for them. I'd say that was a good thing.

> Not only was this confusing to some people...

Really? A quick search through the forums for "quick switch" doesn't appear to return many people asking how to use it, but I guess you have more visibilty of this than we do.

> ... meant more development time, more testing time ...

Ok, fair point, more features require more development / testing.

> The main reason that the Quick Switch on-screen tabs had to go,
> was that in order to have Multiple Monitor support, we could *not*
> have any "tiled" areas on the screen. The VM must occupy the whole
> monitor (or monitors) - for technical reasons.

Now this one I don't get at all. I assume I'm missing something here, but isn't quick switch just "maximise the window and hide all the toolbars / window decorations except the tabs and status bar"? I mean, I can get pretty close by doing exactly that. All I'm missing is a way to hide the menu bar and window decorations.

> So, we're down to overlaying the UI over Full Screen

Why? Sure, that's one option, but not the only one.

Or is it the drop down menu bar that is the problem? If that's all it is, then there's plenty of room in the tab bar to add a Menu icon that shows the menu bar instead of using the screen edge, a-la settings menu in Google. Or any number of other ways of doing this. Personally, I'd actually prefer something visible that didn't use the screen edges, but that's just me.

I'm not even saying that providing the previous quick switch method is necessarily the best way to provide a one-click vm access, although it's worked well for a lot of users for a long time, but I just don't buy the vague "technical reasons" argument.

Also, I'd suggest that the whole removing options in the name of simplicity approach is not necessarily the way to go for this product. Sure, it makes your development and support easier, but I would think (no evidence, just guessing here) that many people who use Workstation are quite technically aware, and perfectly capable of navigating the various menu options. Shouldn't Player be the target for a simplified, reduced functionality approach?

Cheers,

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jrg2
Contributor
Contributor

I'd like to add my voice to the "bring back the quick switch mode" campaign.

I just upgraded from 6.5 to 8 and I'm delighted with all the new features and performance improvements.

BUT, I frankly can't live without the fullscreen tabbed mode - I run 6-8 VM's on one monitor and 4-5 VM's on a second monitor.  Being able to just click on a tab to switch instantly to that VM is priceless.

With 8, now I have to position the mouse near the top of the screen, wait for the bar to slide down, click on tabs, then find the name of the VM I want in the list, then click on the name and hope it was the right one.  In the old tabbed mode I just got subconsciously used to the physical location of the tab and wouldn't need to think about it, it just came naturally that when customer X called in, I clicked on a certain physical area and was instantly transported to their environment.

I agree with a previous poster that technically tabbed mode should be identical to the windowed mode but just drop the menu bar, drop the title bar, drop the window decoration and overlay the results over top of the host machine's task bar.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring back this mode in the next update.

PS: Alternatively what are my options now that I've updated all my VM's to the latest VMTools -- can I go back to 6.5?  Is there a version of 7 that has the tabbed mode?  Help.

J.R.

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srnhpp
Enthusiast
Enthusiast
I have try this...
The new Full Screen mode = the v7 Full Screen mode + a full menu system + full toolbar system. (But minus the on-screen tabs as another user, j_mosk, noticed)
Virtual Power
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danparsonson
Contributor
Contributor

+1 from me too; I would be buying an upgrade now if quick switch mode hadn't been removed. I regularly use 3+ VMs and switch between them often - losing quick switch would, for me, be like going back to internet browsing without tabs (i.e. unthinkable 🙂 )

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vmQuint
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I upgraded from Workstation 7 to 8 today.  It took all day because of Comodo Defense+ blocking the install.  That wasn't Vmware's fault at all, but I'm still ragged from it.

So, I finally get Workstation 8 running and I just want to make sure my VMs boot fine.  I start two VMs and look for the Quickswitch button.  I look around in the menus ... nothing. ... "It can't be gone!" ... I try vmware forums.  One guy says it's gone.  ...  I get boiling mad.  "I just paid you more money!" ... I check a few other threads to make sure. ... Yep, it's gone. ... I see your thoughtful and polite replies and I go back to being mystified.  Dudes, you took away my ability to switch between VMs.  You can't do that.  Well, you *can*, but ... look what happened to Ubuntu with the whole Unity fiasco.

You talk about technical issues and that Quickswitch was not fully full screen.  Okay, fine, I don't need the tabs at the top, but I do need some way to bounce around from machine to machine quickly.  I regret the upgrade from 7 to 8 just because my workflow is upset without Quickswitch.

Prevously, with Quickswitch, I knew the location of the tab and just moused up to it, no thinking, no reading, no waiting -- I'd check if pings in vm1 still going, pings in vm2 still going, cpu in vm3 still high, vm 4 still capturing, ... all good.  And that took 3 seconds.

I could live with the tabs being a slide down, or even a hot corner of the screen or something, but the whole "mouse up", "wait", "find button", "go to it", "click left or right", "repeat", "repeat"  is just not cutting it.  So now "full screen" is not really not usable anymore.

Is "full screen with the tabs", which is not quite full screen, really that big of a deal for the code base?  Or is it part of this collective UI designers' insanity of the last couple years of stripping every thing off the UI?  We users of Vmware are not children, we are techies and super-techies that use this product every day, all day long.  We can handle some menu choices and buttons on the UI.  We need to efficiently get our work done.  Sleek interfaces and pretty colors are nice, but we need to get our jobs done.

Could you just put the tabs for the different VMs in the slide down?  .... make it an option.  You could just add a second row to the slide down if the option were selected.  This would not be as easy to use as Quickswitch, but it would reclaim those 20 pixels used up by the Quickswitch tabs.  Actually, this seems to be a great solution.  It's slightly harder to use, but we get the *full* screen.  Nice trade-off.

Make sure to keep the symbol that indicates if the VMs are booted or not.

If the option is not selected, you have what Workstation 8 is now with one row for the slide down.

If it is selected, the slide down is two rows, with the top one being the vm tabs.

And we could still use the general location to aim the mouse to get to a VM's tab.

Yeah, in some ways this is actually better.

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I have been following this thread with interest mainly because I also used quick switch heavily in v7. In v8 I have been making do with windowed mode so I can keep the tabs. In its default configuration this is quite a loss of real estate since you have the Workstation title bar, menu bar, toolbar, tabs, and finally the status bar and if you have it displayed the host taskbar. Despite that you can, even in 8.0.0 do some things to reclaim real estate such as hiding the status bar, combining the toolbar and menubar into a single row ("Combine toolbar with menubar in windowed mode") or hiding the toolbar (not much point if you combine it).

I have been working like this for some time now, all the while wishing there was a better way of switching between VMs in full screen mode.

Anyway, I am now using 8.0.1 (I didn't see a reason to move to 8.0.2 yet) and for some reason completely missed the fact that Hide Controls is now available from the system menu (i.e, if you left click on the WMware Workstation icon). (Was it there in 8.0.0? - I don't think so right?). When you use this command you are left with the VMware Workstation title bar, tabs, and host taskbar (again, if visible). So in this mode, you really can get down to very close to the full screen real estate (especially if you are prepared to auto-hide the task bar on the host), since you are left just with the title bar and tabs. Since a lot of people are asking for the tabs back in true full screen (which makes it not true full-screen) I am wondering how many people's use case is covered by Hide Controls, just that its somewhat hidden at least for newer users such as myself (been using VMware for about 2 years).

Certainly now that I found where Hide Controls has been hiding, and with my host taskbar set to auto-hide, it really is quick-switch mode, just with a title bar (so I can restore controls if needed). To that end I'm no longer so worried about better tabbing between VMs in full-screen mode, since for my single monitor use case all we are really talking about now is a title bar, and for full screen switch to be one-click you'd need to keep the full screen "menu-bar' pinned anyway.

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Barney
Contributor
Contributor
Hide Controls is now available from the system menu (i.e, if you left click on the WMware Workstation icon).

I believe this is provided by your window manager / operating system, not the application. I can achieve the same in KDE/KWin with "System Menu > Advanced > No Border". That's what I'm currently using: maximised window mode with all customisable toolbars hidden except the tabs, and the window borders hidden by the O/S. The only thing left I can't hide is the main menu bar.

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Right, the existence of the menu itself is an operating system specific thing, but the "Show Controls", "Hide Controls" choices in that menu are provided/injected by VMware workstation. It's not a usual thing to see application specific entries in that menu which is why I had missed it until now.

Sorry, I'm obviously only considering life under a Windows host; I didn't mean to snub non Windows host users in my response. I have no experience running VMware on a non windows host and so I cannot say anything about it one way or another.

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Barney
Contributor
Contributor

Hi - all I can tell you is that for KDE the "No Border" option is provided by  the window manager and not VMware; it is available for every window in  the system, and I can't see any VM Ware specific options added to its system menu.

I have no experience running VMware on a non windows host and so I cannot say anything about it one way or another.

I have no experience running VMware on a Windows host, so probably shouldn't have assumed it was the same 🙂

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vmQuint
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm running Vista 64, and vmWrkstn 8.02 with 4 monitors.

I don't see 'hide controls'.  Are you saying to click on the blue and orange squares at the top-left of the vmWorkstation window?   I see just

Restore

Move

Size

Minimize

Maximize

Close

Move to Monitor

Maximize to Desktop

or am I clicking the wrong place?  or do you need Win7?

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

quint wrote:

Are you saying to click on the blue and orange squares at the top-left of the vmWorkstation window?   I see just

Restore

Move

Size

Minimize

Maximize

Close

Move to Monitor

Maximize to Desktop

or am I clicking the wrong place?  or do you need Win7?

I don't see those last two choices (probably related to your 4 monitor setup). I wouldn't expect this to be unique to Win 7 though, but you never know.

I also have this in my preferences.ini (I can't recall if I added that manually at one point or not; I may have).

pref.allowHideControls = "TRUE"

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

without the line
pref.allowHideControls = "TRUE"

the Hide-Controls options is not available


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Note that pref.allowHideControls = "TRUE" is only available on Windows hosts.

Thanks.

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louyo
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@sfmrad: Maybe I don't understand the problem with "hide controls"... on my Linux hosted system, if I click on the little pushpin thingie, it will hide the controls, well "almost hide".

BUT. I would rather have quick switch back. Smiley Happy

Lou

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