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Keyboard Skills

For almost every task that you can perform with the mouse, you can use the keyboard to perform the same task. Shortcut keys are keys that provide you with a quick way to perform a task.

You can use shortcut keys to perform general GNOME Desktop tasks and to work with interface items such as panels and windows. You can also use shortcut keys in applications. To customize your shortcut keys, use the Keyboard Shortcuts preference tool. See the section called “Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences” for more information about configuring keyboard shortcuts.

Note

Many PC keyboards come with two special keys for the Windows operating system: a key with a Microsoft Windows™ logo and a key for accessing context menus.

In GNOME, the Windows key is often configured to act as an additional modifier key, called the Super key. The context menu key can be used to access the context menu of the selected item, just as the Shift+F10 keyboard shortcut can.

You can also modify the GNOME Desktop preferences to use keyboard accessibility features. See the section called “Keyboard Accessibility Preferences” for more information about the keyboard accessibility features.

The following sections describe the shortcut keys that you can use throughout the desktop and applications.

Global Shortcut Keys

Global shortcut keys enable you to use the keyboard to perform tasks related to your desktop, rather than tasks on the currently selected window or application. The following table lists some global shortcut keys:

Shortcut Key

Function

Alt+F1

Open the Applications Menu.

Alt+F2

Display the Run Application dialog. See the section called “Running Applications” for more information.

Print Screen

Take a screenshot of the entire desktop. See the section called “Taking Screenshots” for more information.

Alt+Print Screen

Take a screenshot of the currently focused window.

Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys

Switch to the workspace to the specified direction of the current workspace. See the section called “Workspaces” for more information on working with multiple workspaces.

Ctrl+Alt+D

Minimize all windows and give focus to the desktop.

Alt+Tab

Switch between windows. A list of windows that you can select is displayed. Release the keys to select a window. You can press the Shift key to cycle through the windows in reverse order.

Ctrl+Alt+Tab

Switch the focus between the panels and the desktop. A list of items that you can select is displayed. Release the keys to select an item. You can press the Shift key to cycle through the items in reverse order.

Window Shortcut Keys

Window shortcut keys allow you to use the keyboard to perform tasks on the currently focused window. The following table lists some window shortcut keys:

Shortcut Key

Function

Alt+Tab

Switch between windows. A list of windows that you can select is displayed. Release the keys to select a window. You can press the Shift key to cycle through the windows in reverse order.

Alt+F4

Close the currently focused window.

Alt+F5

Unmaximize the current window, if it is maximized.

Alt+F7

Move the currently focused window. After pressing this shortcut, you can move the window using either the mouse or the arrow keys. To finish the move, click the mouse or press any key on the keyboard.

Alt+F8

Resize the currently focused window. After pressing this shortcut, you can resize the window using either the mouse or the arrow keys. To finish the resize, click the mouse or press any key on the keyboard.

Alt+F9

Minimize the current window.

Alt+F10

Maximize the current window.

Alt+spacebar

Open the window menu for the currently selected window. The window menu allows you to perform actions on the window, such as minimizing, moving between workspaces, and closing.

Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys

Move the current window to another workspace in the specified direction. See the section called “Workspaces” for more information on working with multiple workspaces.

Application Keys

Application shortcut keys enable you to perform application tasks. You can use shortcut keys to perform application tasks more quickly than if you use a mouse. The following table lists some common application shortcut keys:

Shortcut Key

Command

Ctrl+N

Create a new document or window.

Ctrl+X

Cut the selected text or region and place it on the clipboard.

Ctrl+C

Copy the selected text or region onto the clipboard.

Ctrl+V

Paste the contents of the clipboard.

Ctrl+Z

Undo the last action.

Ctrl+S

Save the current document to disk.

F1

Load the online help document for the application.

In addition to these shortcut keys, all applications support a set of keys to navigate and work with the user interface. These keys allow you to perform operations that you might normally perform with a mouse. The following table describes some interface control keys:

Keys

Command

Arrow keys or Tab

Move between controls in the interface or items in a list.

Enter or spacebar

Activate or choose the selected item.

F10

Activate the left-most menu of the application window.

Shift+F10

Activate the context menu for the selected item.

Esc

Close a menu without selecting a menu item, or cancel a drag operation.

Access Keys

A menubar is a bar at the top of a window that contains the menus for the application. An access key is an underlined letter in a menubar, menu, or dialog that you can use to perform an action. On a menubar, the access key for each menu is underlined.

To open a menu, hold the Alt key, then press the access key. In the menu, the access key for each menu item is underlined. To choose a menu item when a menu is displayed, you can simply press the access key for the menu item.

For example, to open a new window in the Help application, press Alt+F to open the File menu, then press N to activate the New Window menu item.

You can also use access keys to access elements in a dialog. In a dialog, one letter in most dialog elements is underlined. To access a particular dialog element, hold Alt, then press the access key.


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Mouse Skills
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Desktop Overview

 
 
  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire