I recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 and unfortunately, I have just discovered that I can't drag a file e.g. image file to an open application such as Inkscape.

In Ubuntu 17.10 I was able to select the image file by clicking on it, and while holding down left mouse button I would hit the supper key displaying all open windows where for there I could then drop the file in any open app or folders. This is no longer possible/default behavior in Ubuntu 18.04.

Is there a workaround that would allow me to achieve this or even a way to recreate the same behavior as 17.10?

  • 2
    You can DnD on open windows. You can't DnD on icons in the launcher or in the activities overview. Note that the snap version of inkscape can't open files on other volumes in any fashion. – doug Nov 4 '18 at 17:47

There seems to be no no convenient possibility at the moment (May 2018. Ubuntu 18.04)! Although the issue is known for a long time, see github-comment from 2015!

But at least there are two ways of one inconvenient possibility (see comment below):
- Left-click on the file, hold it, press the keys alt and press as many times the key tab to navigate to the window you want to drag the file to (while still holding the left-click), release alt when the right application window is chosen and drag the file to the desired place to drop. (This is difficult on a laptop while using the touch pad, though, easier with a mouse.)
- If you click on alt & tab and hold alt (as well as the left-click on the file, the overview of all opened windows/apps will open and you can move the cursor over the appropriate window and finally release the file there when the windows is opened (Thanks fcole90).
With Nautilus, it looks like this only works if the files are in list view not icon view!

For some it works without the keyboard, but just the mouse or touchpad or whatever you use to move your cursor. You drag the element to the bar, this triggers the overview window, you then drag the item to the window you want, then the window get focus, finally release your item.

Kyriakos Loizou suggests the same behaviour but with left-click on the file [I have to drag the file to the Dash to Dock] and then click & hold the super (while still holding the left-click). This triggers the overview window, you then drag the item to the window you want, then the window get focus, finally release your item.

There is also a bugzilla-report. Maybe we can all subscribe to this thread and the github-thread to show the need for it. There has been some activity in the github-thread, please contribute or comment with your reaction (smiley, thumb up, ...). I think this feature is crucial for Ubuntu 18.04 and without it a real pain. Hopefully someone with knowledge and skills will look into this and help to find a more convenient way.

  • 1
    Very true, it's a pain not having this feature. I've been with Ubuntu since version 7.04 and was actually excited to see it move back to Gnome. But I must say honestly, it feels like some issues haven't been thought through very well. In regards to dragging and dropping, you can actually drag the file to an open application or folder using alt+tap, but doing this on a laptop while using the mouse pad to drag the file at the same time is very awkward. – Kyriakos Loizou May 5 '18 at 7:00

You can try the following command in your terminal. It worked for me on ubuntu 18.04.

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences use-experimental-views false

As of today, I have noticed that you can now select a file with Left-click and while holding the mouse button down you can then press the super button on the keyboard. This will preview all running applications or open folder. Then, while you're still holding the mouse button down, move the mouse over the application/folder you would like to move/add it to, hover over it for 2-3 seconds and it will become focused, now you can drop the file there and it should be added.

I have tested this behaviour with an image file dropping it into Inkscape and works like a charm. I'm not sure how effective this is with other applications, but I don't see a reason why it shouldn't work.

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