Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Essential skills: Dragging and dropping files in Gnome

Drag-and-dropping files with the left mouse button will move files, just like other desktops. There are some modifiers to the normal drag and drop make this action more powerful:

  • drag and drop with the middle mouse button or with the Alt key pressed gives you the menu of options, such as copying rather than moving the files

  • keeping the Ctrl key pressed while drag and dropping will copy the files instead of moving them

  • holding the Shift key pressed while drag and dropping will move the files

  • pressing both Shift and Ctrl will create a symbolic link to the file

  • it is also possible to change the action to be performed while dragging pressing and releasing the modifiers presented above
  • dragging from a window not currently active while pressing the AltGr key or the Super key (usually the Windows key) or one of the modifier key told above will not raise the window, leaving the focus on the current window (this workaround to not-raising-windows-when-they-shouldn't-be possibly only exists due to separate bugs)

  • dragging something over a minimized or obscured window button in the window list (in the gnome-panel) will bring up the window
  • pressing Esc while dragging something will cancel the drag

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