I am running Ubuntu 12.04. Alt+F1 gets intercepted by Unity (I'm guessing) and highlights the Dash icon. I don't want it to do that, as I want Alt+F1 for other purposes. I have scoured google and tried everything I could find, to no avail. How can I prevent Unity from handling Alt+F1?
You'll need the CompizConfig Settings Manager (which you can install via the Software Center).
Once open, click on
Ubuntu Unity Plugin (in the
Desktop section). Under the
Behavior tab, you'll see
Key to put keyboard-focus on launcher. Simply change the keybinding there.
Note that in later versions of the Unity plugin, the tabs in that plugin have changed (as the comment below by Carlton mentions). The
Key to put keyboard-focus on launcher stting is now under the
The above answer works for me on 12.04LTS Unity 3D. If it's not working for you I wonder, are you using Unity 2D? If so you may not be able to change settings with CCSM.
In any case see here for several alternative fixes (the question is for 11.10 but many of these still work in 12.04):
If CCSM is not working for you, you might try the gconf-editor fix (or alternatively dconf)
Commentary: It's really too bad that this particular keybinding can't be changed simply through the system settings interface, as most others can. I haven't heard that this has been changed in 12.10 but I hope it is in the future. Far too many programs use Alt-keybindings for the OS to make it so difficult to change. (And I'm pretty sure Emacs mapped that keyboard real estate first, Ubuntu.)