Tuesday, August 26, 2008

iMark's KDE Keyboard Settings

Now that I am finally starting to use my new laptop, I am missing many things such as settings and programs from the old one.
To make me feel at home, I at least need some keyboard shortcuts & functions that I use every day. Many of these include the familiar "Windows" key (or Tux key if you're lucky and have a Linux keyboard). Also I want to enable the Euro sign key.

KDE Control Panel
I am a KDE user, so to create these settings I open the KDE Control Panel (called "Personal Settings" in openSUSE's menu). Keyboard settings can be changed in "Regional & Accessibility" / "Keyboard Shortcuts". To modify key settings, select an entry and click on the key in the "Shortcut for Selected Action" area. Usually I choose the "Alternate shortcut" option so as to leave the defaults in place.

I have noticed that nowadays, the PrintScreen button automatically starts KSnapshot, the screen capture tool in KDE. Just so you know ;)

Global Shortcuts
Go to:
Regional & Accessibility / Keyboard Shortcuts / Shortcut Schemes / Global Shortcuts
* Desktop / Run Command: Win+R
* Desktop / Lock Session: Win+L
* Panel / Toggle Showing Desktop: Win+M

This enables familiar Windows shortcuts to show the run command dialog, lock your desktop and minimize all windows.

Command Shortcuts
Go to:
Regional & Accessibility / Keyboard Shortcuts / Command Shortcuts
* Home: Win+E
* System / Terminal / Konsole: Win+D

This enables some more Windows shortcuts to easily open konqueror and konsole.

Compose Key and EuroSign
Go to:
Regional & Accessibility / Keyboard Layout / Xkb Options
* Check: "Enable xkb options" and "Reset old options"
* Check: Compose Key Position
* Uncheck all except: "Menu is Compose"
* Check: Third level choosers
* Uncheck all except: "Press Right Alt key to choose 3rd level"
* Check: "Adding the EuroSign to certain keys"
* Uncheck all except: "Add the EuroSign to the 5 key"

This is perhaps the most useful stuff. After these settings, you can use the Menu key to compose characters. For example, pressing Menu, then pressing apostrophe and then pressing the e results in the é character. Works in all applications! So handy for us Europeans.
Also, the Third level choosers option enables the Euro sign that is present on most keyboards on the 5 key. Nice to have your currency symbol actually working, especially since it's worth about $1.50 nowadays ;)

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