Laptop Function Shortcuts
Many laptops have function Fn keys which you can hold down
to access more functions on the laptop's keyboard. A list of these
functions should be available from the manufacturer of the laptop.
Text Entry Shortcuts
If you want to have quick access to lines of text by using a hotkey,
for example to enter your email address in forms, then you can use
xbindkeys. Xbindkeys has a GUI utility to allow easy settings of
hotkeys, but be aware that it's a little more complicated than the
default Ubuntu Shortcutkeys interface.
sudo apt-get install xbindkeys
Create the default config file for
xbindkeys --defaults > /home/your-user-name/.xbindkeysrc
When thats done, install
xbindkeys-config, the GUI for
sudo apt-get install xbindkeys-config
Now the utility that actually does the "typing":
sudo apt-get install xvkbd
Once each is installed, start both applications by bringing up Run
To keep the
xbindkeys hotkeys active when you next start the
computer you will have to add a new session, System > Preferences >
Sessions. Put in the command
xbindkeys into the command field.
You should be able to see the Xbindkeys Config window. Start a new
hotkey. Hit New on the bottom row of buttons. Then use the edit
area at the top right. Give the hotkey a name. Hit the GetKey
button to set the keypress for a hotkey. Some hotkeys may conflict
with other hotkeys on the system (a window will open or a compiz
plugin will activate). If this happens then choose another combination
like Ctrl+Alt+F for example.
Now put the command to activate with that hotkey in the Action
field. This can be anything, but to allow for the entry of a line of
text into part of the GUI enter
xvkbd -xsendevent -text "email@example.com"
The example shows an email address but it can be any line of text. Now
hit Apply and test the hotkey in a Firefox field, text editor, or
anywhere that text can be entered. Please note that using Run
Action will not be able to test the command in
you will have to test it somewhere else.
Replacing keys with other keys
If you want to use
xbindkeys to override certain keys on your
keyboard, you can catch them with
xbindkeys, and then emit new
xmacro. To install
sudo apt-get install xmacro
After this, you can find out the commands for specific keypresses by
First give it the key which will allow you to quit the app, then press
the keys you want to know the codes for. After this, you can use those
codes in the commands you tell
xbindkeys to run, for example:
xmacroplay-keys :0.0 KeyStr Next
will simulate a key press of the PageDown key. Thus, in my
.xbindkeysrc the following contents
"xmacroplay-keys :0.0 KeyStr Prior"
"xmacroplay-keys :0.0 KeyStr Next"
will turn the Backward/Forward buttons on my Thinkpad T41 into PageDown and PageUp keys, and
will no longer disturb my browsing as I accidentally press those
Backward/Forward while browsing.