How to Be More Productive in Ubuntu Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Backlit computer keyboard
diceareawesome1 / Shutterstock.com

We're always looking for new ways to speed up everyday tasks in Ubuntu. We'll show you keyboard shortcuts you may not be familiar with and show you how to create your own custom shortcuts.

When keyboards dominated the Earth

Unix – the spiritual predecessor of Linux – predates graphical user interfaces. The keyboard was the only game in town, so it was typing all the way. No surprise then, this feature was soon introduced for the benefit of computer operators of yesteryear.

Features such as the l & # 39; history order and alias started appearing in Unix shells. Their goal was to increase productivity by reducing repetitions and eliminating the need to remember obscure command sequences.

Keyboard shortcuts also increase efficiency. These are combinations of keystrokes that trigger a useful action for us. They do not type text, they cause something to happen.

We'll look at some of the most useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu, both for the terminal and for GNOME Shell Desktop Ubuntu. We will also show you how to create your own shortcuts by applying the keystrokes of your choice to the action you want to perform. We tested this keyboard shortcut on Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Goofy.

Great what?

the Great the key is the one between the Ctrl and Alt the keys to the lower left corner of the keyboard. On most keyboards, the Windows symbol is displayed. In other words, "Super" is an independent name of the operating system of the Windows key. We will make good use of the Super Key.

Keyboard shortcuts for the terminal

Terminal application on a Ubuntu desktop computer 19.04

The following keyboard shortcuts work in Terminal GNOME, the integrated terminal application for Ubuntu. If that does not seem to work, click menu> Preferences> Shortcuts in a terminal window and make sure that "Enable shortcuts" is checked.

Use these keyboard shortcuts to speed up your Linux command line experience:

Opening and closing the Windows terminal

  • Ctrl + Alt + T or shift+Ctrl+NOT: Open a terminal window.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Q: Close the current terminal window

Tabs in the terminal window

  • Shift + Ctrl + T: Open a new tab.
  • Shift + Ctrl + W Close the current tab.
  • Ctrl + Previous Page: Switch to the previous tab.
  • Ctrl + Next Page: Go to the next tab.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Previous Page: Move to the tab on the left.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Next Page: Move to the tab on the right.
  • Alt + 1: Switch to tab 1.
  • Alt + 2: Switch to tab 2.
  • Alt + 3: Go to tab 3, and so on until Alt + 9 go to tab 9
  • Alt + 0: Go to tab 10.

Editing command line

  • Shift + Ctrl + C: Copy the highlighted text. You must use the mouse to highlight the text.
  • Shift + Ctrl + V: Paste the copied text into a terminal window. If you paste into an application such as an editor, Ctrl + V will probably work.
  • Ctrl + A or Home: Go to the beginning of a command line.
  • Ctrl + E or End: Go to the end of a command line.
  • Alt + B or Ctrl + Left Arrow: Move the cursor one word back.
  • Ctrl + B or Left arrow: Move the cursor one character to the back.
  • Alt + F or Ctrl + Right Arrow: Move the cursor of a word.
  • Ctrl + F or Right arrow: Move the cursor one character to the front.
  • Ctrl + XX: Skips between the current cursor position and the beginning of the line. Keep Ctrl and press X twice, quickly.
  • Ctrl + D or Wipe off: Delete the character under the cursor.
  • Ctrl + U: Delete all characters before the cursor. Ctrl + E, Ctrl + U will delete the whole line.
  • Alt + D: Delete all characters after the cursor at the end of the line.
  • Ctrl + H or Going back: Delete the character before the cursor.

Control of the display of the terminal

  • Ctrl + L: Clears the terminal window. Same as typing clear.
  • Ctrl + S: Stop scrolling the output. Freezes the output of a program, but allows the program to continue running in the background.
  • Ctrl + Q: Restarts the scroll output if it was stopped with Ctrl + S.

Zoom on the terminal window

  • Shift + Ctrl ++ (C & # 39; s, shift, Ctrl and + "The plus sign"): zoom in.
  • Ctrl + – (C & # 39; s, shift, Ctrl and -, "the minus sign"): Zoom out.
  • F11: Full screen.
  • Ctrl + 0 (C & # 39; s, Ctrl and 0, "Zero"): Back to normal size.

Search in a terminal window

  • Shift + Ctrl + F: Find.
  • Shift + Ctrl + G: Find the next occurrence of the search term.
  • Shift + Ctrl + H: Find the previous occurrence of the search term.
  • Shift + Ctrl + J: Delete the highlighted text.

For more keyboard shortcuts, check out our list of Bash shortcutsIt works in any Linux terminal, even outside the office.

RELATED: The best keyboard shortcuts for Bash (aka Linux and macOS terminals)

Desktop keyboard shortcuts

GNOME Shell Desktop on Ubuntu 19.04

Ubuntu's GNOME desktop environment offers many keyboard shortcuts to navigate your desktop and use Windows. If you always do all these things in the longest possible way, stop!

  • Alt + F2: Execute a command. Opens the "Enter Order" dialog. You can use it to launch applications, execute commands and execute scripts.

Enter a command dialog

  • Super + D: Minimizes all windows and displays the desktop.
  • Super + Tab or Alt + Tab: Change application.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow: Move to the previous workspace.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow: Move to the next workspace.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow: Move an application in the previous workspace.
  • Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow: Move an application to the next workspace.
  • Super + Left Arrow: Capture the current application so that it occupies the left side of the screen.
  • Super + Right Arrow: Capture the current application so that it occupies the right side of the screen.
  • Super + up arrow: Maximize the current application.
  • Super + Down Arrow: Restore the current application (that is, reduce it, but do not minimize it).
  • Super + M or Super + V: Show notifications are and calendar.
  • Super + Space: Toggles between input sources. For example, if you have a laptop with an American keyboard and you are also using it with an external UK keyboard, you will find it useful.
  • Ctrl + Alt + L: Lock the screen and force you to reconnect. Lets leave your computer unattended.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Disconnects from the current session.

Common application keyboard shortcuts

Many applications follow certain conventions with keyboard shortcuts. These should work in most modern applications.

  • Ctrl + Q or Ctrl + W or Alt + F4: Close the application.
  • Ctrl + P: Opens the Print dialog box.
  • Ctrl + S: Save the current file.
  • Shift + Ctrl + S: Opens the Save File dialog box.
  • Ctrl + O: Opens the Open File dialog box.

How to create custom keyboard shortcuts

You can create your own keyboard shortcuts and associate them with an action you want to perform when this keyboard shortcut is used.

To create your own keyboard shortcut, open the "System Menu" and click on the "Settings" icon:

system menu with highlighted settings icon

In the "Settings" dialog box, click on the "Devices" menu entry. It's near the bottom of the sidebar.

device entry in the configuration dialog

Click on the "Keyboard" menu entry.

keyboard entry in the configuration dialog

Scroll through the list of existing keyboard shortcuts and click the "+" button at the bottom of the list.

More button at the bottom of the shortcut list

In the "Add Custom Shortcut" dialog box, enter a descriptive name for your new shortcut in the "Name" field.

In the "Order" field, specify the command you want to run when your shortcut is used.

In this example, we will launch Nautilus. We have to type the command that will launch Nautilus, which is "nautilus".

Add a custom shortcut

When you have filled in the "Name" and "Order" fields, click on the "Set Shortcut" button. When you see the "Enter new shortcut" prompt, press the keys that you want to use for the shortcut.

enter the new shortcut prompt

In our example, we will press Great+E.

custom shortcut dialog with all fields filled

When all the fields are filled, click on the green "Add" button. This will save your shortcut and add it to the list of existing shortcuts.

If you scroll through the list of existing shortcuts, you will see a new section called "Custom Shortcuts". Your new shortcut will be listed in this section.

New shortcut in the list of custom shortcuts

And now, by pressing Great+E will launch Nautilus. Close the window and test your shortcut! It will become second nature in no time.

When you are in the Keyboard Shortcuts window, make sure to scroll through the list and modify the shortcuts as you see fit! If, for example, your keyboard does not have any media keys, you can assign one of the F softkeys to the higher or lower volume.

Custom shortcuts are not just used to quickly open your favorite programs. You can write a short script to automate a common task and link that script to a typing! The possibilities are limitless.

Use your shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can leave you in a dilemma. When you start using them, they slow you down! Since they are unfamiliar and take a moment to look, they may feel more of a hindrance than an accelerator.

Do not be discouraged, persevere. There is no instant gratification here. But once you have locked them into your muscle memory, you are ready.

Pick a handle and start using them. When they become second nature, add a little more. So repeat. You will wonder how you succeeded without them. It's like learn the Linux terminal.

RELATED: 37 Important Linux commands to know

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