Shortcuts love

Keyboard shortcuts can be a powerful feature, particularly for actions that are repeated often and are consistently available. In GNOME 2, shortcuts could be learned through menu bars, but we moved away from these with GNOME 3. There were a number of reasons why we did this, and it was a good thing, but it did leave users without an easy way to learn keyboard shortcuts. This is something that we’ve wanted to address for some time, and are now finally resolving.

Builder Shortcuts

Thanks to Christian Hergert and Matthias Clasen, GTK+ master now includes GtkShortcutsWindow: a window which, unsurprisingly, shows the shortcuts for an app. They have some nice features, like search and animated paging. They also provide ways to show shortcuts that belong to different views or modes, and they can provide information on touch gestures as well as keyboard shortcuts.

Files Shortcuts

For GNOME 3.20, we’ve set ourselves the target of adding shortcuts windows to as many key GNOME applications as possible, so they are consistently available. We’re making good progress: 13 apps already have them.

The new shortcuts windows are a really convenient way to find and explore application shortcuts. You’ll be able to access them through application menus, or by using one of the two dedicated shortcuts: Ctrl+? and Ctrl+F1.

Photos Screenshots

This effort is prompting us to review the keyboard shortcuts for each of the applications, and in some cases we’re adding a lot more of them. So if you use shortcuts a lot, 3.20 should be a good release for you.

The new shortcuts windows need review and refinement: if you are interested in this feature, please give them a try and provide feedback. And, if you are responsible for a GNOME application and would like to add a shortcuts window of your own, guidelines and more information can be found on the GNOME goal page.

8 thoughts on “Shortcuts love”

    1. That’s not planned. You can already edit system-wide shortcuts through Settings, of course.

  1. I’m not a GNOME developer, so don’t know how the shortcuts mechanism work, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a common shortcut mechanism that would also handle the Shortcuts Windows? So you would just have a list of shortcuts in your program and bind them to different actions, and the mechanism would take care of showing that shortcuts to the user in a window (and give the user options to redefine the key bindings).

    So I would have a method in my programm called bar(). In a seperate part of the programm I would define the keyboard shortcut: Description, Default key, Method to call.

    The mechanism would then be able to collect that shortcuts and descriptions and show them to the user, so the programmer would have no need to design the shortcuts window, and to programm anything else concerning the shortcuts.

    Again, I’m not a Linux developer and have no idea how these things work in reality.

  2. Wow, this just made my day! It will be while until we get 3.2 with Gentoo but I will be very happy about this change. At the moment its really cumbersome to learn short cuts. I went as fare as taping notes to my laptop case beside the touch pad. This will hopefully be on a thing of the past soon. Now only default applications need a good interface an then Gnome is perfect for me =)

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