Shortcut Keys You Might Not Know About

By | 2007/02/20

Today’s tutorial might be a bit quick, but that fits along with the tips included. Speed up your work by using keyboard shortcut keys. Below I’ve listed some of the shortcut keys I use within during my day-to-day. If you have any more to offer please drop in a comment or blog about them yourself and ping back here.

nautilus / gnome:

ctrl-h : show hidden files

ctrl-t : move to trash

f9 : toggle side-pane

alt-home : jump to home folder

alt-enter : file / folder properties

alt-f1 : launch applications menu

alt-f2 : launch "run application" dialogue

ctrl-alt - right/left arrow : move to the next virtual desktop

ctrl-alt-shift - right/left arrow : take current window to the next virtual desktop


ctrl-k : firefox search field

ctrl-l : firefox address bar

ctrl-pgup : next tab (left to right)

ctrl-pgdn : previous tab (right to left)

ctrl-t : new tab

ctrl-r / f5: reload page

ctrl-u : view page source

If you see any that I’ve missed share them below. These are the main ones that I use on a fairly regular basis and I’m sure the list isn’t complete.  I know it isn’t an all-encompassing list of shortcut keys, just those that I have found the most helpful.  Anything you can add?

57 thoughts on “Shortcut Keys You Might Not Know About

  1. a7p

    You forgot to mention ctrl-w to close views (tabs or windows) in Firefox.

  2. Floris

    “ctrl-t: move to trash”

    What’s the difference with the delete key? It does just that here, move files to trash. If I want to bypass the trash and really delete a file in one go, I can press shift+delete.

  3. D10

    In firefox F6 also functions the same as ctrl+l

    ctrl+b opens the bookmark side pane
    ctrl+h opens history side pane, and
    ctrl+y (ctrl+j in windows) will open the download window

  4. aleska

    I know this is probably too obvious to make the list, but since you mention ctrl-alt-(left or right arrow) might as well add the very commonly used alt-tab to cycle through active programs.

  5. Paul Kishimoto

    In Firefox:

    F6 is also useful to rotate between the search/address bar and the current website.

    Ctrl-Tab and Ctrl-Shift-Tab also cycle through tabs, one-handed (take a sip of coffee!)

    Esc stops the current page load.

    In the search field, Ctrl-Up and Ctrl-Dn cycle through the different search engines.

  6. Michaël

    ctrl+t in nautilus sounds dangerous indeed… people might try to create a new tab, and loose a file

    Ctrl-L is definitely the most useful shortcut. I get very nervous when I see people who don’t know about this, try to point their mouse pointer at the end of the current URL, hit backspace 20 times, and start writing: http://www.etc… Then they take their mouse, go to the “Go” key, and then they wait…

    1. Xacur

      F6 works much better because is just one key, so that's the most useful XD.

  7. Robert Devi


    I’m not at my Linux computer, but the comment that “you may not know” means that they are not easily discoverable in Nautilus. If that’s the case, perhaps some suggestions should be forwarded to the Nautilus team so that they could be discovered.

    Personally, I think that’s a weakness of Nautilus. Thankfully, the location button now exists, but I don’t remember any Nautilus feature that makes Ctrl-L an obvious shortcut. My own suggestion is to have a time-delayed mouse-over that says “View Full Location Path (Ctrl-L).

    Could someone forward this comment to the right people?

  8. Marius Scurtescu

    Robert, have a look at Go / Location…, Ctrl+L is documented there. But you are right, it should also be added to the tooltip.

    Other Nautilus shortcuts:
    – ctrl+a – select all
    – ctrl+n – new window
    – ctrl+shift+n – new folder
    – f2 – rename

    and Firefox:
    – ctrl+f – find
    – ctrl+g – find again
    – alt+left – back
    – ctrl+i – page info
    – f11 – full screen

  9. ivoencarnacao

    How about when youre on a hurry and you need to Lock Screen?

    On Windows i used a lot the Win Key + L, but in Gnome i have to mouse press Menu, Quit, Lock Screen, and it takes a lot of time…

    Does anyone know this one?

  10. Anders


    F9 – show sidebars
    F12 – show hidden files
    CTRL + Home – go to home directory
    ALT + Up – go up a level, both in a file system and on web pages
    CTRL + SHIFT + F – toggle full screen
    CTRL + M toggle menu visibility

    Apart from that, a lot of the shortcuts mentioned for other apps works in konqueror as well.

  11. Chris T.R.

    To go back and forth in navigated directories in Nautilus use Alt+Left and Alt+Right respectively. Use Alt+Up to go to the parent directory.
    Ctrl+S selects files with a given patter. Very useful.

    While using the Open File dialog in Gnome, type Ctrl+L and you get a location bar that supports auto completion. Very useful for navigating .hidden directories, since the Ctrl+H shortcut for showing hidden files is not available in this dialog.

    For ivoencarnacao (see comment above): I think there’s no default key binding for locking the screen, but you can go to the Keyboard Shortcuts configuration dialog. There you’ll find an entry for Lock Screen, configure it at will [:

  12. Juan

    CTRL+ALT+TAB: cycles focus through desktop and each panel.

    About the lock screen key shortcut: my Ubuntu installation has “CTRL+ALT+L” for default.

  13. ivoencarnacao

    About the lock screen key shortcut: my Ubuntu installation has “CTRL+ALT+L” for default.

    Very nice on that one!
    Ubuntu FTW!

  14. thejinx0r

    Ctrl+pgup/down is a pain in the ass since it’s a 2 handed process.

    Ctrl-Tab / Ctrl-Shift-Tab does exactly the same thing.

  15. ak

    I always use Alt+D to reach Firefox’s Address Bar instead of Ctrl+L. Must be one of the old shortcuts I remembered from my IE days.

    Ctrl+K is nice, I didn’t know about that. I usually use Alt+D Tab.

  16. ivoencarnacao

    Is there any shortcut by default to launch the gnome-terminal/terminal?


  17. Marupa

    @ivoencarnacao Yes, there is, but you have to install a new program called yakuake, then the shortcut is F12!

  18. Lexikos

    Marupa, that isn’t a default shortcut. 😉

    On my Ubuntu installation, I configured a shortcut key to open a terminal window, via System->Preferences->Keyboard Shortcuts.

    For anyone else that has a Keyboard Shortcuts applet hidden away, I recommend you go through all the shortcuts. It has log out, lock screen, home folder, e-mail, web browser, calculator, run application, media/volume controls, toggle fullscreen, desktop-switching keys, and plenty more. Those are just the ones I use, LOL.

  19. Ernz

    @ivoencarnacao + Marupa

    Marupa – Good suggestion, but you stand corrected. ivoencarnacao – To make a shortcut in Gnome, run gnome-keybinding-properties or goto System > Properties > Keyboard Shortcuts.

    At the bottom of the Desktop section there is an option to “Run a Terminal”. This launches gnome-terminal. I find a good hotkey for this to be the Pause/Break key on my kb, because it’s easy access and doesn’t require combos. Good luck!

  20. Roland-Lopez

    Ctrl+Shift+T should be your default terminal shortcut. Another quick thing that may help is to Go to “Applications –>Accessories–>” right click on Terminal icon and click on “Add this launcher to panel” This will create a shortcut icon at the top panel.

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  23. Linuxer

    mention “ctrl + d” and you switch between your desktop and the currently opened applications.

  24. JCM

    A Firefox (konqueror, safari and even IE) shortcut that a lot of people don’t know about is ‘space bar’ for page down and ‘shift + space bar’ for page up.

  25. darth prince

    @JCM: You’d be surprised how many people use that one…

  26. Nicolas Marchildon

    I was looking for a keyboard shortcut that opens the folder in list mode, kind of showing tree branches, without actually going into them.

    shift-right opens the folder
    shift-left closes the folder

    Is there an authoritative list of Nautilus shortcuts?

  27. adred

    how about sc-key for search file in nautilus? anyone?

  28. kon

    Are there any mouse shortcuts? I know if make a selection and press the second mouse button, the selection will be pasted. Is there a way of replacing some certain text?

    Thanks in advance!

  29. Bernhard Kraft

    Alt+Enter switches every (?) window to “fullscreen” …

    You can configure many keys of Ubuntu in: System > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts

  30. kiran

    i want all shortcuts by using terminal(command prompt) in ubuntu linux

    plz send terminal commands in my mail id [email protected]

  31. caner

    thanks for the tips but there is one more thing i want to ask. do you know any good way to make ea key binding for gnome-terminal. you recommended yakuake but i am not much into kde and want to use plain gnome-terminal bu there is ther problem. when i bind a key to launch g.terminal it opens new sessions for every button press unlike yakuake. is there any wasy to use the same session, maybe a button like hide/show . ??

  32. Gerhard

    Run Terminal. On the menu select Edit/Keyboard Shorcuts.

  33. Max Nanasy

    I believe you have the firefox tab switchers reversed. It should be:

    ctrl-pgdn : next tab (left to right)
    ctrl-pgup : previous tab (right to left)

  34. Tony

    The super key (Windows Logo on most keyboards nowadays) and M, inverts all the colours of GNOME.

    Try it 😉 Windows + M ( Super + M)

  35. uncreative

    Thank you so much! Shift-left/right for tree views collapse and expand tree views in other programs as well. Yippeee!!

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  37. Bobby

    Typing a ‘/’ in Firefox starts a search of the current page.
    Follow this with Ctrl+F to turn your quick-search into a full-search.

  38. Andrew

    Also super key+N works like super key+M but only for the current window!
    superkey+A or W presents windows in a nice panelly way
    superley+E views in columns your workspaces/virtual desktops

  39. samontab

    Instead of creating a new keyboard shortcut for the terminal, just use the default one: Ctrl + Alt + t

    It works under Ubuntu 10.04, not sure about older versions…

  40. DDD

    I had to remap the logout (ctrl-alt-delete)
    Also had to map a function key to (space)


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