(I would welcome some comments on the correct terminology, I guess it's not that obvious what I'm actually asking)

On windows there's many applications (especially common on "pro" or "enterprise" software, it seems) that have many sub-windows that are tied to the mother application.

E.g. on ArcGIS/ArcMAP (I also remember autoCAD and ORCA AVA having this issue), I have a main window with my map and various toolbars and various (dockable) sub-windows. Those sub-windows don't have the standard window decorations and also don't show up in alt-tab or win-tab.

example img

However, they are fully floating and I can move them outside of the ArcMAP main window, or on my second display.

Problem is:

Whenever I bring my main window into the foreground, every single sub-window also gets brought into the foreground, which makes it impossible to work with my main map and, say, a spreadsheet open in parallel.

Is there any setting (on windows side, I suppose?) that I'm missing to force those windows to behave as normal windows, so that I can minimize them, or decouple them from their main window?

  • 1
    No, you cannot. – KonstantinL May 14 at 7:28
  • 2
    What you're looking at there is the Modal behavior of the parent and child windows. The compiled executable contains instructions on how those windows behavior, based on how they were programmed to behave. You cannot change the behavior without editing the source code/source project. – spikey_richie May 14 at 7:38
  • That's what I was already suspecting, but hope dies last... Why would anyone do that? Do you have some reading material on this topic that you could post as on answer? – JC_CL May 14 at 8:05

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