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Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow

You are an Ubuntu user because you want to solve different problems that require some knowledge about computers. Or at least should require. It is well-known that the more you know stuff you know about Ubuntu , the faster you will be able to get things done. This article will help all Ubuntu (and Ubuntu based distro) Users to get used with some of the shortcuts available in for Linux systems. If you spend as many hours online and think of you as a “power user”, like we all linuxers do, you will find this “Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu” article very useful to improve your user experience and workflow.

Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu

1. Ctrl + X/Ctrl + C/Ctrl + V = Cut/Copy/Paste. Like I said in Windows 7 and Windows 8 articles these are fundamental productivity shortcuts for Ubuntu and everyone should know them, but in case you don’t know, you shouldn’t call yourself a computer user. (It’s true!).

Ctrl + X = Cut                   Ctrl + C = Copy                    Ctrl + V = Paste

Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow !Statement: “Super” key is the Ubuntu alternative of Windows key

2. Super + Number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  (the corresponding number of the application from Ubuntu panel) = To see the number of the application from Ubuntu panel just hold the Super key until you see some numbers on your applications. This shortcut will activate and run the program you pinned on your Ubuntu panel while the running program won’t be affected. Ex: Super + 2 will launch Terminal.

3. Alt + Tab = Switch between open windows. This shortcut does the same job as Alt+ Tab shortcut from Windows. If you use/used this in Windows this shortcut will be very easy for you to learn. Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow !

4. Super + D =  Show/Hide Desktop. I have a bad news for you. If you use Unity, this shortcut will not work for you unless you do some changes. There are two option for you:

  •  go to Power Button -> System Settings (Control Panel) -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Look for “Minimize all windows and set focus to desktop” and change “Ctrl + Alt + D” key to “Super + D”

  • if you want to bring back the “show desktop” button from Ubuntu panel you just have to go to Power Button -> System Settings (Control Panel) -> Appearance -> Behavior -> Enable the “Add show desktop icon to the launcher” option

In case you work with many open windows, and want to copy/paste something from desktop this is the best shortcut to get things done. To return to all your windows you can pres again Super + D or the Show Desktop icon. If you are the type of user that does a lot of copy/paste from one partition to another, or you constantly need to work with different files/folders, this is one of the best productivity shortcuts for Ubuntu that you’ll use.

5. Super + S = Switch between workspaces. If you like that every application to have its own place on your desktop, you can use workspaces to get your things done faster. If you want to switch faster between your workspaces you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Left to switch to the left workspace or Ctrl + Alt +  Right to switch to the right workspace. But, I find they best way to improve your workflow is to use some of the mouse gestures presented in an earlier article.

6. Ctrl + Alt + L = Lock your computer. Use it in case you need to leave the computer on, but want to be safe from different people who want to access your computer. Don’t forget to secure your Ubuntu computer every time you leave for a brief period of time, especially when you are at work. This does the same job as “Lock” option from Power Button drop-down.

7. Ctrl + H = Show Hidden Files. If you are that type of user who like to see all system files and everything, like I do, you can use this shortcut to use switch  between Show Hidden Files and don’t.

8. Ctrl + Mouse Wheel = Change the view type. Now it is easier to switch between different view types like “View as icons”, “View as detailed list” and “View as compact list” in almost any application, be it browser, word processor, folders.

9. Ctrl + Shift + Esc = Lauch System Monitor. If you like the “old school” Ctrl + Alt + Delete from Windows you will definitively like this faster alternative, cause you only need one hand to access it. The steps to create this shortcut are:

  • go to Power Button -> System Settings (Control Panel) -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Click on the “+” sign -> give it the name you want (I used System Monitor) in the “Name” field -> Enter “gnome-system-monitor” in “Command” field, but without “” -> Apply -> Click on “Disabled -> Pres Ctrl + Shift + Esc  so that the program will memorize your commandTop 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu to improve workflow !

10. Shift + Click = Create New instance. Using this shortcut a new instance/window of the icon you pressed will be created. The icon can be anything from a folder, chrome tab or different application from you Ubuntu panel.

11. Alt + PrntScr(PrintScreen) = Take Screenshot of Active Window. If you write articles related to operating systems or you just like to take screenshot of your applications from time to time, then this shortcut is s necessary for you. Using the Alt + PrntScr will take a screenshot of your active window only and that means you don’t need to edit and crop your image. It will help you finish the article faster.

12. If you need something to remind you about Ubuntu Shortcuts you can use a “cheat sheet” by holding the Super key. You you keep pressed the Super key for more than 2 second a windows will appear like the one below.Top Ten productivity tools for ubuntu

The last shortcut is only means for certain kind of users and that is why I exceeded the Top 10 Best Productivity Shortcuts for Ubuntu limit. Hope you will try to learn some of the productivity shortcuts for Ubuntu that I showed you. If you spend the time to read the whole article, please spend a couple more minutes to share or comment this article if you think I missed some important ones. Thank you :D


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