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Until today, I was using Windows. Now I have migrated to Ubuntu 12.10.

What are the keyboard shortcuts for basic commands like copy, cut and paste? How do they differ from Windows?

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4 Answers 4

basic shortcut similar to windows. new shortcut for Ubuntu Desktop to know press ('super','Window') key for long will see new dialog with shortcut clarification

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Editor shortcuts like cut, copy, paste are same as that of Windows, but that depends on the editor too.

For eg: if you use vi editor, cut, copy, paste have different shortcuts.

For more shortcuts information: Press superkey and type "shortcut" inside it, then launch the "Keyboard" app that will come at first place. Open the "Shortcuts" tab and you will see list of shortcuts available in your machine.

What is superkey? Read this What are the meta, super, and hyper keys?

If you want to customize the shortcuts try Ubuntu tweaks app

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Hold down the Super key, and a help message with a list of keyboard shortcuts will appear. These keyboard messages concern Unity, and don't include in-application shortcuts like copy and paste:

Screenshot of keyboard shortcuts help message

Shortcuts identical to those in Windows:

Many of the keyboard short-cuts are actually the same as on Windows:

  • Copy:Ctrl-C
  • Paste: Ctrl-V
  • Cut: Ctrl-X
  • Close window: Alt-F4
  • Search for files and applications: Super (also known as the Windows key)
  • Close tab: Ctrl-F4
  • Rename file: F2
  • Refresh: F5
  • Help: F1
  • Select all: Ctrl-A
  • Properties: Alt+Enter

Just like in Windows, if you hold down Alt, some letters will be underlined in the menu of the window, and you can use those letters to form a keyboard shortcut. For example, in the file explorer, you can hold down Alt, see that the F in File is underlined, so you hit F to open that menu.

Newer versions of Unity also include a new feature that allows you to search the menus by tapping Alt and then typing the menu item, for example, "save". This is called the HUD.

Shortcuts different to those in Windows:

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that are noticeably different:

  • Switch applications with Alt-Tab, and switch windows within an application with Alt-~
  • Log out with Ctrl-Alt-Del
  • Force log out with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (this must be enabled first)
  • Run a particular command with Alt-F2

I highly recommend learning some of the keyboard shortcuts specific to Unity. For example, Ctrl-Alt-Numpad right resizes and positions the focussed window on the right side of the screen (think sidebar), and the other numpad arrows do what you would expect. I use this all the time.

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All of the basic shortcuts can be the same, however the IBM CUA shortcuts are also supported if you're more used to those.

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