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By default, when I press Alt+F2 it just tries to autocomplete what I am trying to do with commands. Is there a way to have it search installed applications as well? maybe even recent documents, but I'll take just applications. Is there another shortcut I should be using instead?

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If you just press the Super key (Windows/Meta key) you'll get a similar one that does all that. It also has options in the bottom to change the mode to search video (youtube included), apps (included ones not installed yet), and others.

See also:

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