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More hidden Gnome configurability

Posted 07-04-2010 at 10:36 AM by trevorparsons
Updated 07-04-2010 at 11:34 AM by trevorparsons (Minor edit for clarity)

Today a friend asked me how to change keyboard shortcuts in Nautilus, Gnome's file browser. He had looked at System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts and found no way to tweak them there.

I dug around and discovered that Nautilus's shortcut configuration is stored in the text file ~/.gnome2/accels/nautilus

A comment in the header of that file describes it as "an automated accelerator map dump". Does that mean I can edit it and have the changes stick? Not sure.

Then I remembered a long-standing and lovely feature of GTK (the toolkit on which Gnome is built) that lets you customise your shortcuts easily within the graphical interface.

In current releases of Gnome (such as Ubuntu), this feature is disabled by default. To enable it, press Alt-F2, run gconf-editor, navigate to desktop > gnome > interface and tick the box next to 'can_change_accels'.

With that switched on, you can now move your mouse pointer over any action in a menu and type the keyboard shortcut you want to assign to that action. The shortcut is set immediately, and appears next to the action in the menu, as a reminder.

The shortcut can be either a combination (such as Control+R for reload) or, dangerously, a single key.

I guess the Gnome developers decided to disable this feature by default because too many users were setting keyboard shortcuts accidentally, and then wondering why the text editor was closing every they typed the letter 'e', for example
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  1. Old Comment
    Yet more thanks go to the great and good tp

    I was truly bamboozled everytime I hit the letter "i" in Nautilus a new Tab appeared!! Perplexed and bamboozled when I wanted to edit any file name to something containing the letter "i" ... yet another Tab!!

    Off I went ferretting (aka scroogl-ing, (sadly no more as of 01 July, 2010) and ixquick-ing) about the interweb and bumped into gconf-editor but the 'can_change_accels' didn't "hit me in th eye".

    I have since added "gconf-editor" to my Gnome Preferences Menu for easier access. I did this by right-click in the Gnome menu, selected "Edit Menus" and scrolled to and selected the "Preferences" and then clicked "New Item" and completed the dialogue box as follows:

    Type: Application
    Name: Gnome Configurator
    Command: gconf-editor
    Comment: Edit Gnome configuration parameters

    Then I clicked close and voila!
    Posted 07-04-2010 at 10:58 AM by dom3lmr dom3lmr is offline
    Updated 07-04-2010 at 11:29 AM by dom3lmr (More detail)
 

  



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