help Ctrl-Q die

Dear maintainers of Gnome applications that don’t allow closing the window with Ctrl-W, please “fix” your application. Ctrl-Q is outdated for anything but weird applications that are multi-windowed. Most of the time this is a simple fix in your .ui file where you just need to change the accelerator key.

Please don’t ask me for a reason for this change, I just want all apps to close using the same key, no matter wich one. After consulting lots of people it seems Ctrl-W is the way to go forward. So gcalctool, totem and friends, please make me happy. I’m way too lazy to file lots of bugs for a 1-character change.

And to answer all the dob^wpeople asking me on IRC: I don’t want Ctrl-Q to go away when it does something different from Ctrl-W. That’s perfectly fine. Just make Ctrl-W close in every app.


#1 Ben Kahn on 03.17.08 at 19:21

And here I thought it was ctrl-f4….

#2 Ben Kahn on 03.17.08 at 19:21

And here I thought it was alt-f4….

#3 Roman Kennke on 03.17.08 at 19:25

+1 from me. drives me crazy all the time.

#4 Matt Kraai on 03.17.08 at 19:45

Unless your application displays an icon in the notification area (e.g., Liferea or Rhythmbox)?

#5 Ash on 03.17.08 at 19:53

Ctrl+W in gnome-terminal running bash would be a bad idea.

It is a useful and important shortcut in bash.

#6 Steve Baker on 03.17.08 at 20:07

I use Compiz with the Scale plugin, so when I want to close windows I push my mouse to the corner of the screen then hover and Ctrl-W everything I want to close.

Its fun, like a video game.

You need to configure Scale to have a hot-corner and to use Ctrl-W to close windows.

#7 Kevin on 03.17.08 at 20:14

I thought it was part of the GTK toolkit. I know to add the quit menu to my app I do this..

menuitem_file_quit =
GTK_MENU_ITEM(gtk_image_menu_item_new_from_stock(GTK_STOCK_QUIT, accel_group));

I don’t assign a key. So maybe if it gets fixed in stock it will get fixed in lots of places.

#8 tuXXX on 03.17.08 at 20:25

And hitting ctrl+A to select all the text has sometimes the effect on my azerty keyboard to call ctrl+Q and quit the app.
(yes, this is really annoying, I need to find how this is possible)

#9 Calvin Walton on 03.17.08 at 20:47

You have to remember that there are three different shortcuts, each with specific meanings.

ctrl-w: Close the current document
ctrl-q: Quit the application
alt-f4: Close the current window (wm-dependant)

They all do different things, and have defined meanings. As, e.g. gcalctool doesn’t do anything with documents, there is no reason to have a “close the current document” shortcut.

Gedit has it right: You hit ctrl-w to close the current file in a multi-tab window, and alt-f4 to close the window, and close all the tabs therein, and ctrl-q to close all the gedit windows everywhere.

#10 Anonymous on 03.17.08 at 20:53

nuXXX: C-w is just as close to C-q as C-a is…

#11 Scott on 03.17.08 at 21:29

I have to agree with Calvin. For tools with tabs or the like, ctrl-w should only close the current tab. Ctrl-q should close the application. For other tools, ctrl-w and ctrl-q should both close the application, in my opinion.

#12 liberforce on 03.17.08 at 22:14

Same goes for Ctrl+Shift+Z and Ctrl+Y to redo an action…

#13 Andrea on 03.18.08 at 07:09

Mmmh, am I wrong or you used Ctrl-w to cancel a word? ^__^

#14 fraggle on 03.18.08 at 09:55

Preach it brother! I’m so fed up of applications that use Ctrl-Q/Quit instead of Ctrl-W/Close. Every time I see a program with a “quit” menu item, it makes me a little sad inside.

#15 Mati on 03.18.08 at 10:41

The same goes for switching between tabs. Firefox uses Ctrl-Tab (and Ctrl-Shift-Tab), and people are quite used to it, gedit uses Alt+Ctrl+Page[Up|Down] (which cannot be invoked using one hand), neither of these works in Anjuta IDE.

This is madness! :)

#16 menko on 03.18.08 at 11:46


#17 Björn on 03.18.08 at 13:55

Hear hear! I too am very sick of having to remember that different applications use different keybindings to quit. It is totally silly, but as long as each project has its own opinion about what keybindings makes sense and refuses to go with the flow it probably won’t change. :(

#18 Mr. Berg on 03.18.08 at 14:38

CTRL-W should delete last word, just like in bash/vim etc. Escape on the other hand…

Either way, it shouldn’t close the application, but the current tab/file/project. Back to the drawing board boys.

#19 Leo S on 03.18.08 at 16:05

Huh? All the apps I use take Ctrl-Q to quit, except the broken Firefox. If your app closes on Ctrl-W, it’s broken. As others have mentioned, Ctrl-W is close document, not quit.