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When selecting a file in Nautilus, I would like to see the context options of the file (mouse right click) using the keyboard and not the mouse.

Example, when i iterate over the list of files in a folder with the arrows, and one of the files is an archive, I would like to extract the file here without the need to go to the mouse.

It is MUCH healthier to work with the keyboard.


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I use Lenovo thinkpad edge laptop. I tried an external keyboard with a menu button and it worked great. The problem is that me laptop keyboard doesn't have the menu button. Any idea of how to emulate one? – AlikElzin-kilaka May 16 '11 at 20:07
You could use xmodmap to bind another key to the menu button, like in the answer to that question. But if you are using a laptop, you should have one or two right mouse buttons at your trackpad. Isn't it easier to use one of these? – elmicha May 17 '11 at 17:29
It is NOT easier to use the right mouse button, because when selecting a file with the keyboard, the selected file and the mouse are located in 2 different location. Clicking the right mouse button, will click on something else rather than the selected file. – AlikElzin-kilaka May 17 '11 at 19:03
You're right, I didn't think of that. I'm afraid I can't find anything better than a global key binding, either using xmodmap or xbindkeys (or Gnome's key combinations) with xsendevent. – elmicha May 17 '11 at 21:04
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This shortcut works for me (assuming keyboards without the "menu" key): Shift + F10

Then you can use arrows to navigate up and down the context menu.

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Thanks a bunch: shift+F10 !!! – AlikElzin-kilaka May 24 '11 at 6:30
This doesn't work the same for me. If I right click on a folder I get a lot of options (copy, paste, delete, etc); however, if I have that folder selected and do this keyboard shortcut (even if the mouse is hovering over the folder--which would defeat the purpose of keyboard navigation) it gives me a much more dumbed-down menu with no options pertaining to that folder. – weberc2 Apr 20 '12 at 10:12
@weberc2 what version of ubuntu? (it works on 10.10). Make sure you're doing a "shift+f10", not a "ctrl+f10", both of which present a menu, but with different options. (Mouse position (hovering or not) should make no different.) – michael_n Apr 22 '12 at 0:15
My mistake, I was using ctrl+F10. Thanks for the answer. :) +1 – weberc2 May 4 '12 at 12:28
So is there anyway to change this keyboard shortcut behavior? I'd like to use this more frequently, but I have a Mac so F# keys require the 'fn' key to be pressed. Since I don't have mad hatred for my wrists (nor do I want to have to use two hands), it would be nice to customize this keyboard combo. – weberc2 May 4 '12 at 12:30

When in Nauitlus you can access the menubar with the Alt + any underlined letter in the menu. For instance, to access the File menu Press Alt + F.

To extract a file using the keyboard.

  1. Arrow down to the file you want to extract.
  2. Press Alt + E to access the Edit menu.
  3. Arrow down to "Extract Here".
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This is a good workaround but it still doesn't give the same "action oriented" context list in one place. Some options belong in the File menu, some in the Edit menu and perhaps other options belong to other menus. The context gives you the most probable actions. – AlikElzin-kilaka May 17 '11 at 6:01

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