Windows at any level of the hierarchy can be packed by selecting from the menu. Windows packed appear in the same location, but with only their title shown as a bar appropriately placed in the layout. This avoids the spatial disorientation which is typically the case in the iconify operation in most of the windowing system. In Figure 6, the group window used to view incoming mail messages is packed vertically, whereas the Administrative Window under UMD window is packed horizontally. The placement of the packed windows in the same position of the layout keeps the same spatial cues formed by the user when these windows are all open. This helps users to locate these windows easily.
Figure 6: The Group window used to view incoming e-mails and the Administrative Window under UMD window are packed.
The Pack/Unpack operations are primarily used to abandon a task for a while and open up space for other tasks. Packed windows can be restored to their previous sizes with a single Unpack operation. It is invoked by double-clicking on the packed window. Hence, Pack/Unpack operations allow fast task-switching and resumption.