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Using Gnome Shell, I'll press the Super key to bring up the search box in order to search for a program to use. Once the program has come up, or, once I've selected the program using the keyboard directional buttons, how do I open the program?

Pressing enter once the program is selected doesn't open it. What do I press, or where can I configure it, so that the program opens when pressing enter, or another key?

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Using enter to launch applications in the Applications side of the Activities overview works fine for me in GNOME Shell on Ubuntu 11.10. Keyboard navigation appears to not have been developed yet on the Windows side of the Activities overview but that's a different question. –  Jeremy Bicha Nov 4 '11 at 18:15
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Super (Windows) -> start typing name -> Use 'UP' or 'DOWN' keys to get to application and then press 'ENTER'. This method works perfectly for me. Another way would be press 'ALT+F2' and start entering name (command line name) of program, here you can use 'TAB' for auto completion and then press enter. Not sure if this helps you, if not then I didn't understand question properly. –  wisemonkey Nov 4 '11 at 18:17

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The problem which wasn't allowing the "ENTER" key to open the application was caused by some Gnome3 plugins I had installed. Using the Gnome3 advanced settings application, I turned off the "Advanced Search Extension" and the "Journal Extension" which solved the issue.

You can download the Gnome 3 Advanced Settings (aka Gnome Tweak Tool) application here: http://live.gnome.org/GnomeTweakTool

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