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System Keyboard Shortcuts in Gnome

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 21 Sep 2005

Applies to:

  • Platforms using Gnome

One thing that is important to many IT professionals is efficiency. We like to have our machines set up to work the way we like them to. This is especially true with the main desktop machine on which we do the main bulk of our job. A nice way to customize a system to our preferences is through the use of keyboard shortcuts. I would like to demonstrate how this is done on a system running Novell Linux Desktop 9.

As a side note, it's nice to know that each user can set up their own keyboard shortcuts the way they like. Each user's settings are completely independent of each other user's settings. Linux rules. Alright, let's take a look at our keyboard shortcut settings.

First of all, let's find where in the system we set these preferences. Click on the SYSTEMS menu, and then PERSONAL SETTINGS:

The SETTINGS window appears. Click on the SHORTCUTS option:

You now see the KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS window appear:

This is where we will set our shortcuts. If you scroll down the list, you will see that there is quite a number of keyboard bindings that you can set within Gnome. Let's pick one to work with for demonstration purposes. I like to lock my screen when I leave my workstation, so let's set that. We'll want to pick a key combination that isn't used anywhere else. That said, however, we'll want to use something that's also easy to remember.

Since we're dealing with "L"ocking the workstation, let's use "L" with a modifier key or two. Since some applications may already use CTRL + L, we'll use CTRL + ALT + L.

So, let's click on the LOCK SCREEN option in the list. In the SHORTCUT column, you see "<New accelerator...>" appear:

When this appears, it's ready for you to press the keyboard shortcut keys that you want to use to lock the workstation. Now, press CTRL + ALT + L. You will then see this key combination appear in the SHORTCUT column:

If you accidentally press the wrong key combination, it is possible to clear it. Just click the option in the list, so that you see "<New accelerator...>" appear. Then, just press BACKSPACE. You see the option again says DISABLED.

Now, with the window still open, let's test. Press CTRL + ALT + L. If it locked your workstation, you have successfully set this shortcut.

Keyboard shortcuts are really nice to customize your workstation. You can set a wide variety of these keybindings to increase your productivity. Isn't it great to have such configurability in a platform?

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