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openSUSE 11.1 KDE Quick Start Guide
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Using the File Manager

With KDE 4, Dolphin has replaced Konqueror as the default file manager, while Konqueror remains the default Web browser (refer to Browsing the Internet). To start Dolphin, click the card box icon in the panel or press Alt+F2 and enter dolphin.

Dolphin Main Window

The Dolphin main window consists of the following elements:

Menu Bar: The menu bar holds menu items for actions like copying, moving, or deleting files, changing views, starting additional tools, defining your settings, and getting help.

Toolbar: The toolbar provides quick access to frequently used functions that can also be accessed via the menu. If you hover the mouse pointer over an icon, a short description is displayed.

Location Bar: The location bar displays the path to the current directory. It is available in two versions: one shows the path to the current directory with icons for every parent folder in a bread crumb view. Click any icon in the bread crumb view to change to that directory. The second version of the location bar shows the path to the current directory as a string of text you can edit.

Panels: By default, Dolphin shows only the Places panel on the right. It allows quick access to some often used places like your home directory, the /root directory of the file system, the trash bin, or removable media. There are several other panels you can add to the main window.

Display Field (Working Space): The display field shows the contents of the selected directory or file. By default, Dolphin displays the contents of your home directory on start-up. Clicking a folder or file in Dolphin directly starts an action: Dolphin loads the file into an application for further processing or opens the folder.

Status Bar: Shows the file type and size of the currently selected object and the available disk space .

Managing Files and Folders with Dolphin

To perform actions like copying, moving, creating or deleting files, you need appropriate permissions to the folders and files involved in your action.

To copy, move, or delete a file or folder, proceed as follows:

  1. In order to select one or multiple files and folders in Dolphin, move your mouse over the icon but do not click. A green cross appears on the upper-left edge. If you click on it, the icon is selected. Alternatively, press Ctrl and click the file or files.

  2. Right-click and select Copy or Cut from the context menu.

  3. Navigate to the destination folder in which to insert the object.

  4. To create a new folder at the current location, select File > Create New > Folder or press F10. Enter a folder name in the new window and press Enter.

  5. To insert the object you copied or cut in Step 2, right-click the destination folder in the main display field and select Paste. The object is copied or moved there.

  6. To delete a file or folder, right-click the object in the main display field and select Move to Trash from the context menu. The object is moved to the trash bin. From there, you can restore it if necessary or delete the object irretrievably.

To quickly filter for certain filenames in the current directory, press Ctrl+I to add the Filter input field to the bottom of the Dolphin main window. Type any part of the filename you are searching for to see all files in the current directory containing the search string. For more detailed and advanced searches, press Ctrl+F to use KFind. For more information, refer to Using KFind.

Configuring Dolphin

Dolphin offers many options to adjust the view and the overall settings according to your needs and wishes.

Changing the View

  1. To switch from the bread crumb view to the editable version of the location bar, press F6. Enter a path to a directory by typing it in. After typing an address, press Enter or click on the background of the breadcrumbs view.

    To delete the contents of the location bar click the black X symbol on the left. To switch back to the bread crumb view, press Ctrl+L.

  2. To change the view of the currently displayed folder, either click Icons, Details, or Columns in the toolbar. Dolphin remembers the selected view for each folder. Click Split or press F3 to view the contents of the current folder in two separate columns. Now you can navigate to a different directory in each column and easily drag or drop objects or compare the contents of directories.

  3. To make Dolphin also show hidden files, select View > Show Hidden Files or press Alt++.

  4. To view more details about the files (like access permissions or ownership), select View > Additional Information and enable the respective options.

  5. To add further directories to the Places panel, drag a folder from the working space to the Places panel and drop it there. Right-click and use the context menu to hide, edit or remove entries from Places.

  6. If you want to add more panels to the main window, select View > Panels and select additional panels such as Information, Folders, or Terminal.

    • The Information panel shows the properties and a preview of the currently selected file. It also lets you add comments to the file.

    • The Folder panel shows a tree view of the whole file system and lets you navigate trough all subdirectories of /root.

    • The Terminal panel attaches a command line to the bottom of the main Dolphin window. Whenever you click a directory in the display field, the Terminal panel also changes to the according directory, so you can easily switch to the command line for certain tasks you prefer to execute in a shell.

You can even detach the panels from the main Dolphin window by clicking the left icon at the top of each panel. Click the panel's title bar and drag it to another place on the desktop. To reintegrate the panel into the Dolphin window again, click the left symbol at the top of the panel again.

If you want to change Dolphin's overall behavior or view, select Settings > Configure Dolphin and explore the options offered in the Dolphin configuration dialog.

  1. To use the same view mode for all folders, click View Modes in the left sidebar. Activate Use Common View Properties for All Folders on the General tab. Adjust the options for the individual view modes on the other tabs according to your wishes and click Apply to save the changes.

  2. If you want Dolphin to show a different default directory on start-up, or if you want to permanently use the editable location bar instead of the bread crumb view, change the according options on the General tab.

  3. Click OK to save the changes and to close the Dolphin configuration dialog.

openSUSE 11.1 KDE Quick Start Guide
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  Published under the terms fo the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire