The Powerful World of Keyboard Shortcuts in Ubuntu

Ubuntu comes with a powerful set of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to improve productivity with minimal effort. When you are good at shortcuts, you can avoid using the mouse; which saves a lot of time. You can also focus more on your work instead of following your mouse pointer. Keyboard shortcuts are especially useful if you do a lot of text editing; arm muscles will really thank you for avoiding the mouse. In this article, we will mention some useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu and also show you how to create your own shortcut for a task that you frequently perform.

Before moving on to the article, pay attention to the following points:

  • The keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this article have been tried and tested on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).
  • The superkey mentioned in this article refers to the Windows button on your keyboard.

You can use the following shortcuts to get the most out of your Ubuntu desktop environment:

LabelUtility
Ctrl + Alt + DeleteUse this shortcut to exit Ubuntu.
Alt + TabUse this shortcut to switch between open programs.
Ctrl + Alt + TabUse this shortcut to switch between system controls such as Windows, Top Bar and Desktop.
Ctrl + Alt + EscUse this shortcut to switch directly between system controls.
Super + LUse this shortcut to lock your screen.
Super + AUse this shortcut to view all applications.
Super + VUse this shortcut to view notifications, if any.
Super + SUse this shortcut to get an overview of open activities.
Alt + F1Use this shortcut to get an overview of open windows.
Alt + F2Use this shortcut to open the Run Command dialog box.
Alt + F4Use this shortcut to close the current window.
Alt + F5Use this shortcut to maximize the current window.
Alt + F7Use this shortcut to select the current window to move.
Alt + F8Use this shortcut to resize the current window.
Alt + F10Use this shortcut to minimize or maximize the current window.
Alt + SpaceUse this shortcut to view the window menu used to maximize, minimize, move, close, etc. the current window.
Ctrl + Super + DUse this shortcut to view your desktop.
Super + PageupUse this shortcut to go to the above workspace.
super + PagedownUse this shortcut to go to the work area below.
Super + HouseUse this shortcut to go to the first work area.
Super + EndUse this shortcut to go to the last work area.
Shift + Super + HomeUse this shortcut to move the window to the first work area.
Shift + Super + EndUse this shortcut to move the window to the last work area.
Shift + Super + Up / Shift +

Super + Down

Use this shortcut to move the window up / down.
Shift + Super + Left / Shift + Super + RightUse this shortcut to move the window left / right.

You can use the following shortcuts to get the most out of your Ubuntu applications:

LabelUtility
Ctrl + 0Use this shortcut to open a new file.
Ctrl + SUse this shortcut to save the current file.
Ctrl + PUse this shortcut to print the current document.
Ctrl + WUse this shortcut to close the current file.
Ctrl + QUse this shortcut to close an open application.
Ctrl + AUse this shortcut to select all items / text.
Ctrl + CUse this shortcut to copy the selected items / text to the clipboard.
Ctrl + VUse this shortcut to paste copied items / text.
Ctrl + NUse this shortcut to create a new file in the currently open application.

You can use the following shortcuts to quickly use the screen printing feature in Ubuntu:

LabelUtility
ScreenshotUse this shortcut to take a screenshot and save it in your Pictures folder.
Alt + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to take a screenshot of the current window and save it in the Pictures folder.
Shift + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to select an area to be saved as a screenshot in the Pictures folder.
Ctrl + Alt +

Screenshot

Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of a window to your clipboard.
Shift + Ctrl +

Screenshot

Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of the selected area to the clipboard.
Ctrl + PrintScreenUse this shortcut to copy a screenshot of the entire screen to your clipboard.

You can use the following shortcuts to quickly launch terminal commands in the most optimal way:

LabelUtility
Ctrl + AUse this shortcut to move the cursor to the beginning of the line.
Ctrl + EUse this shortcut to move the cursor to the end of the line.
Ctrl + CUse this shortcut to kill the current process.
Ctrl + RUse this shortcut to search history for keywords entered.
Ctrl + UUse this shortcut to delete the current line.
Ctrl + KUse this shortcut to delete text to the right of the cursor.
Ctrl + WUse this shortcut to delete the text in front of the cursor.
Ctrl + LUse this shortcut to clear the output of a terminal command (s).
Alt + FUse this shortcut to move the cursor forward one word.
Alt + BUse this shortcut to move the cursor back one word.
[letter]Enter a letter and double-tab tab to list all commands that start with that letter.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to perform a task over and over again, Ubuntu allows you to create your own shortcut for it. Let’s present an example of how to create a custom shortcut to launch the gedit graphical text editor in Ubuntu.

  1. Open Settings from the Ubuntu dash or the down arrow button located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Click the icon Devices tab in the left menu of the settings window.
  3. Click the icon KeyBoard tab in the Devices menu. The following keyboard will appear in the right pane:

Create keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu

Scroll down the right pane and click + button. The Add Custom Shortcut dialog box appears.

Add the following information to Add custom dialog menu:

  • Name: Run gedit
  • Command: gedit
  • Label: Install the shortcut by pressing the “Set Shortcut” button, and then install the shortcut by pressing both keys at the same time. This shortcut should not be used yet.

Set your own shortcut

This custom shortcut is now set up and you should be able to run gedit anytime you click on the new custom shortcut.

You can now work more efficiently by completely avoiding the use of the mouse, and focus more on your work by simply ignoring the cursor. You can use the shortcuts mentioned in this article to control your desktop, terminal, applications and screenshots and save a lot of time.

The Powerful World of Keyboard Shortcuts in Ubuntu

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