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I'm setting up edubuntu for my son's kindergarten, and I put shortcuts on the desktop for some of the applications. The problem is that when you double click an icon, you get no visual hint that anything at all has happened.

This causes even me to doubt whether my double-click was detected, and I end up launching several instances of the same application. I suspect it would be even worse for the teacher and kids.

Is there a way to get something to happen as soon as you double-click the icon? Alternatively, is there a way to put "Buttons" on the desktop, so that clicking them would create an obvious visual cue of being pressed and depressed?

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Not really an answer to your question, but I would suggest using a single-click activation instead (Nautilus → Preferences → Behavior → Single click to open items).

Then when you click an item, it gets selected, and at the same time launched. This is generally consistent with the way we open links and press buttons in an Internet browser window (we never double-click), so once you get used to it, you will never look back (and it saves your mouse and fingers too).

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at least when using Ubuntu 11.04 or later programs should show up in the launcher on the left side of the screen. If that's not enough you might consider using CompizConfig Settings Manager, where you can configure a blink animation when launching an app (launch compiz > Ubuntu Unity Plugin > change "Launch animation" from none to "pulse until running"). This will only aeffect the animation in the launcher - the desktop icon will not be aeffected.


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