Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts

Ubuntu comes with a powerful set of keyboard shortcuts that you can utilize in order to increase your productivity through minimum effort. When you have a good grip on the shortcuts, you can avoid using the mouse; which saves a lot of time. You can also focus more on your work rather than following the mouse pointer. Keyboards shortcuts are especially useful if you do a lot of text editing; your hand muscles will actually thank you for avoiding the mouse. In this article, we will mention some useful keyboard shortcuts for Ubuntu and also show you how to create a custom shortcut for a task that you frequently perform.

Before heading forward with the article, please note the following points:

  • The shortcuts mentioned in this article have been tried and tested on Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).
  • The Super key mentioned in this article refers to the Windows button of your keyboard.

Ubuntu Desktop Shortcuts

You can use the following shortcuts to get the maximum benefit from the Ubuntu desktop environment:

Shortcut Utility
Ctrl+Alt+Delete Use this shortcut to logout 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.
Shift+Super+Up/Shift+

Super+Down

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:

Shortcut Utility
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:

Shortcut Utility
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 which will be saved as a screenshot in the Pictures folder.
Ctrl+Alt+

PrintScreen

Use this shortcut to copy a screenshot of a window to the clipboard.
Shift+Ctrl+

PrintScreen

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:

Shortcut Utility
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 18.04

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.

  1. Open the Settings from Ubuntu dash or the down-arrow button located at the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Click the Devices tab from the left menu of the Settings window.
  3. Click the KeyBoard tab from the Devices menu. The following Keyboard view will be displayed in the right panel:

Create Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcut

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.

Set Custom Shortcut

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.

The Powerful World of Ubuntu Keyboard Shortcuts
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Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.