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Some KDE 4 tips you should know

August 13th, 2009 by

KDE 4 is definitively my daily desktop environment, although it’s not yet mature like the 3.5.x branch i consider it enough stable and usable, but sometime the default settings and the few time available, don’t help us to appreciate it, so let’s resume some little tip for beginners that feel lost with everything new and don’t want waste their time.

(This article is also available for italian users)

  • If you want Delete/Move items over the panel click the Plasma icon in the right edge: a second panel will help you to insert other plasmoids, resize the panel, align it, activate the auto-hide, and plus will be enabled the drag’n drop over any item for change their positions
  • The Show Desktop icon is one of the most feature i use, unfortunately it’s hide between the other plasmoids and his place is taken from the Show Dashboard. If you need see quickly your desktop then right click over the panel and select Panel Settings > Add Object then select Windows and Tasks and drag Show Desktop plasmoid over the panel. Add a key shortuct is easy: right click over the icon submitted and select Show Desktop Settings then click over the button and insert it (if Win + D sound more familiar you can use it too)
  • Link your software over the main Panel or the Desktop with few steps: just search it into the main menu (Alt + F1) and drag’n drop over the Panel/Desktop. If a folder is dragged from Dolphin/Konqueror over the Desktop you may create, through the popup menu, a Folder View, a Lancelot menu or just an icon that will start a dolphin’s session
  • You don’t like the Plasma Desktop? Switch back to the old style just selecting the Folder View under Desktop Settings > Type
  • Everyone has just installed KDE 4 want see the Cube and probabily this effect it’s already activated through KWin, then press CTRL + F11, switch the faces with the arrow keys and select your desktop pressing Return
  • KSnapshot doesn’t popup with PrtScr? If you miss this feature, then fix it: launch systemsettings, select Input Actions and create a new global shortcut (Command/URL) into the tree list through the contextual menu, fill the multiline text field with a comment, set PrtScr as key, and insert the command ksnapshot, then save. With the same system you can associate your favorite software with a combo key (think on it if you want launch dolphin with Win + E or kfind with Win + F)
  • The Grid View is something useful for watch and select any window opened in your desktop, try it with Ctrl + F9 or Ctrl + F10 if you want see the windows opened in every Desktop. This feature is also available for align the Desktops in the same view (Ctrl + F8)
  • KDE 4 seem slow? Before say it try to disable some effect under systemsettings > Desktop. Usually i disable the effects related to the windows minimization (slow redesign) and move (transparence), but if your system is very old, before to leave KDE 4 disable them completely
  • How to show/hide the invisible files? Both in Dolphin or Konqueror switch their visualization with Alt + .
  • Klipper improve the clipboard’s system: use Ctrl + Alt + V for paste one of the last ten, twenty,… items already copied, it support also the actions (Ctrl + Alt + X for enable/disable) configurables through regular expressions, they allow to open the string selected with a particular program. Try this feature selecting this: http://www.opensuse.org
  • Tired to navigate the main menu? Krunner can help you: call it with Alt + F2 and begin to write in the text box a part of the application’s name you would like start and it will search the string between the whole menu. Krunner can also open a folder, search between contacts or bookmarks, convert units or execute little math operations, look the official page on KDE.org for more details.
  • Some plasmoid look very useful, not only gadgets for fill your Desktop: webmaster should love the Color Picker and keep it fix in the main panel; the Timer will help us to manage our time counting down a configurable interval; Notes is a post-it system; Quick Access is another way to reach our files and folder and navigate between them directly from the main panel.

That’s all for now, hope it help to enjoy a bit more this fantastic Desktop Environment, any new hint is welcome, just leave a comment below ;)

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4 Responses to “Some KDE 4 tips you should know”

  1. KenP

    Thanks for this list. I do most of them myself after first login to a KDE4 desktop.

  2. It would be great to start collecting these components under opensuse.org/KDE.