So how do you use HUD? When I tap the headings for the menus shows up. All I had to do in the past is mouse over the top of the screen and that happens.

Can you tell and show me things that HUD can do that makes is so great. Seems to me it is less useful than Windows. Is this correct?


The benefits of HUD are several that I have experience in this last days. For instance:

  • Use Case: GIMP

    I did not know where some options were in the menus of sub-menus but I knew what they were called and in some cases I only knew part of the word. HUD saved me time by just typing a part of the word and found what I was looking for. Here is the example of it (I was looking for the Diffraction Patterns option):

    enter image description here

  • Use Case: Firefox / Chrome

    When browsing you would like to do some stuff quicker, here are some images that will give you an idea:

    In Firefox I am trying to access a Web Developers Addon option about clearing all styles from web pages when I view them. This is a 3 to 5 click menu option depending on how you get to it. With HUD is faster.

    enter image description here

    In Chrome I am trying to clear the history and other stuff. HUD made it easier.

    enter image description here

  • Use Case: Wireless Network Sharing

    To create a Wireless Network Share you just type Net and the first option is the one.

    enter image description here

  • Use Case: Connecting to Known Wireless Hotspot

    I wanted to connect to the Wireless Router in the house so I...

    enter image description here

  • Use Case: Third Party Apps

    Even works with 3rd party apps like VirtualBox:

    enter image description here

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. The amount of time that HUD saves is one factor. The other is to quickly find options in a new program that you are learning. So it is very good for learning something.

To use it you just press the Left ALT button after selecting the App you want HUD to work with and start typing anything that might appear in the menus or sub-menus of an app.


I hate when someone posts an URL as an answer, and I usually downvote them, but in this case, the old saying is true: an image is worth a thousand words. And this video is worth a thousand answers:


(and it's an official Canonical video from the Development Team)

That said, the default trigger to the HUD is a tap on alt key.


HUD is an alternative to the traditional menu bar of a window. It haves the same options, but you use it writing orders, instead of finding an option. It also remembers the most used options, so you can access quicklier to your menus.

And why is it less useful than the traditional menus? Is the same, but faster and easier (in some cases). Also remember that the traditional menus are still there.

To use it, just press the Alt key, type your order, and click it or press Enter. Done!

A screenshot of HUD:

enter image description here


I'm not sure the HUD is more or less powerful, but it does have a great advantage: if you're using the keyboard, it can help reduce the times you need to lift your hand from the keyboard and use the mouse.

If you're working in something and need to access a menu item, just tap the ALT key and the HUD will pop up (basically just an entry field). Start typing what you want to do, and the HUD will try to find that menu item for you. The example I've seen most often is that if you're working in Gimp, where there are LOTS of menu options, and you want to apply some effect or filter, you don't need to go up to the menu and start digging down; you can just tap ALT and start typing and the menu item will be found and then you can just scroll to it with the arrow keys and select it (for example, you can start typing "blur" and before you finish typing it the menu item will be found).

It's not a cure-all, and as a feature it's not yet finished. Mark Shuttleworth just said in an interview that it still needs work. But so far it can be pretty useful. And remember, it is used for finding menu items within applications; it is not used for finding and launching applications (the Dash is for that).

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