Ubuntu has a number of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to increase your productivity with minimal effort. If you have a good grip on the keyboard shortcuts, you can do without the mouse, which saves a lot of time. Also, you can focus more on your work instead of following the mouse pointer. Keyboard shortcuts are especially useful if you edit a lot of text; your hand muscles will thank you for not using the mouse. In this article, we’ll introduce you to many useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu and also show you how to create your own shortcut for a task you perform frequently.
Before you continue with the article, please note the following points:
- The shortcuts mentioned in this article have been tried and tested on Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 22.04.
- The Super key mentioned in this article refers to the Windows key on your keyboard.
If you like to change the keyboard layout, have a look at this guide instead.
Ubuntu Desktop Shortcuts
You can use the following shortcuts to get the maximum benefit from the Ubuntu desktop environment:
|Ctrl+Alt+Delete||Use this shortcut to log out of Ubuntu.|
|Alt+Tab||Use this shortcut to switch between open programs.|
|Ctrl+Alt+Tab||Use this shortcut to switch between system controls such as Windows, Top Bar, and Desktop.|
|Ctrl+Alt +Esc||Use this shortcut to directly switch between system controls.|
|Super+L||Use this shortcut to lock the screen.|
|Super+A||Use this shortcut to view all applications.|
|Super+V||Use this shortcut to view notifications, if any.|
|Super+S||Use this shortcut to get an overview of open activities.|
|Alt+F1||Use this shortcut to get an overview of open windows.|
|Alt+F2||Use this shortcut to open the Run command dialog.|
|Alt+F4||Use this shortcut to close the current window.|
|Alt +F5||Use this shortcut to unmaximize the current window.|
|Alt+F7||Use this shortcut to select the current window for moving.|
|Alt+F8||Use this shortcut to resize the current window.|
|Alt+F10||Use this shortcut to minimize or maximize the current window.|
|Alt+Space||Use this shortcut to view the window menu used to maximize, minimize, move, close, etc. the current window.|
|Ctrl+Super+D||Use this shortcut to view the desktop.|
|Super+Pageup||Use this shortcut to move to the above workspace.|
|super+Pagedown||Use this shortcut to move to the below workspace.|
|Super+Home||Use this shortcut to move to the first workspace.|
|Super+End||Use this shortcut to move to the last workspace.|
|Shift+Super+Home||Use this shortcut to move the window to the first workspace.|
|Shift+Super+End||Use this shortcut to move the window to the last workspace.|
|Use this shortcut to move the window up/down.|
|Shift+Super+Left/Shift+ Super+Right||Use this shortcut to move the window left/right.|
Ubuntu Application Shortcuts
You can use the following shortcuts to get the most out of Ubuntu applications:
|Ctrl+0||Use this shortcut to open a new file.|
|Ctrl+S||Use this shortcut to save the current file.|
|Ctrl+P||Use this shortcut to print the current document.|
|Ctrl+W||Use this shortcut to close the current file.|
|Ctrl+Q||Use this shortcut to close the open application.|
|Ctrl+A||Use this shortcut to select all items/text.|
|Ctrl+C||Use this shortcut to copy the selected items/text to the clipboard.|
|Ctrl+V||Use this shortcut to paste the copied items/text.|
|Ctrl+N||Use this shortcut to create a new file in the currently open application.|
Ubuntu Screen Printing Shortcuts
You can use the following shortcuts to quickly use the screen printing feature of Ubuntu:
|PrintScreen||Use this shortcut to take a screenshot of your screen and save it to the Pictures folder.|
|Alt+PrintScreen||Use this shortcut to take a screenshot of the current window and save it to the Pictures folder.|
|Shift+PrintScreen||Use this shortcut to select an area that will be saved as a screenshot in the Pictures folder.|
|Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of a window to the clipboard.|
|Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of a selected area to the clipboard.|
|Ctrl+PrintScreen||Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of your entire screen to the clipboard.|
Ubuntu Terminal Shortcuts
You can use the following shortcuts to run terminal commands quickly in the most optimal manner:
|Ctrl+A||Use this shortcut to move the cursor to the beginning of the line.|
|Ctrl+E||Use this shortcut to move the cursor to the end of the line.|
|Ctrl+C||Use this shortcut to kill the current process.|
|Ctrl+R||Use this shortcut to search the history based on the entered keywords.|
|Ctrl+U||Use this shortcut to delete the current line.|
|Ctrl+K||Use this shortcut to delete the text at the right side of the cursor.|
|Ctrl+W||Use this shortcut to delete the text before the cursor.|
|Ctrl+L||Use this shortcut to clear the output of a terminal command(s).|
|Alt+F||Use this shortcut to move the cursor forward by one word.|
|Alt+B||Use this shortcut to move the cursor back by one word.|
|[letter]<tab><tab>||Enter a letter and then tab twice to list all the commands beginning with that letter.|
How to Create a Custom Shortcut on Ubuntu 20.04
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to perform a task, again and again, Ubuntu enables you to create a custom shortcut for it. Lets us present an example of how to create a custom shortcut in order to launch the graphical text editor gedit on Ubuntu.
- Open the Settings from the Ubuntu dash or the down-arrow button located at the top right corner of your screen.
- Click the Devices tab from the left menu of the Settings window.
- Click the KeyBoard tab from the Devices menu. The following Keyboard view will be displayed in the right panel:
Scroll down the right panel and click the + button. The Add Custom Shortcut dialog will appear.
Add the following information in the Add Custom Dialog menu:
- Name: Launch gedit
- Command: gedit
- Shortcut: Set a shortcut by pressing the “Set Shortcut” button and then setting a shortcut by pressing both keys simultaneously. This shortcut should not be already in use.
This custom shortcut is now set and you will be able to launch gedit anytime you press the new custom shortcut.
You can now work more efficiently by avoiding the mouse altogether and focus more on your work by simply ignoring the cursor. You can utilize the shortcuts mentioned in this article to operate your desktop, terminal, applications, and screenshots and save a lot of time.