A text box appears on the right bottom corner when typing on the desktop. What is the box used for and what's it called?


You mean this?

Picture of text box on desktop

A similar text box appears in the bottom right-hand corner of a Nautilus window if you start typing in it. There it allows you to select files and folders by typing out the first part of their names. Since Nautilus handles files on your desktop, I'd imagine it does the same thing there.

  • Yes exactly! but if I type example: home or gedit or firefox and then I press enter it doesn't do anything. any suggestions or is there a way to type in it like with some code? – st2011 Oct 24 '11 at 5:29
  • @st2011 Essentially, it's just a shortcut for quickly finding files or folders in your current directory (in this case, your ~/Desktop folder). Try dropping some files on your desktop then typing their names; you'll see it can select them for you once you type enough characters for it to know exactly which file you're trying to find. – Knowledge Cube Oct 24 '11 at 5:32
  • @Warriorlng64 Thanks Got it. I didn't have anything on the desktop thats why it wasn't working. But for other windows I had to select it, then type and it works. Thanks for the reply. – st2011 Oct 24 '11 at 5:35

The desktop is managed by the file browser called Nautilus, which allows you to type in the window to quickly find a file. When you do this, a little box pops up with what you have typed. The same thing is happening on the desktop. Hope that helped?

edit: Looks like WarriorIng64 beat me to it, so in that case I'll just add that I think this may be a bug - it never used to happen, and personally I think it just looks messy. Perhaps it was left there by accident.

  • Thank you for your reply. Now I know what it is and how it works. – st2011 Oct 24 '11 at 5:36
  • @Farran I'm not so sure if it is a bug. On one hand, for some users who simply dump everything onto their desktop to go through later, this could be a handy tool for picking the right file quickly out of a cluttered mess. – Knowledge Cube Oct 24 '11 at 5:44
  • @WarriorIng64 ah yes okay, that's quite a good point. This functionality has always been there though - the box just didn't pop up. Maybe this could be somewhere for a lens - an automatic (desktop?) search when you start typing, with focus on the desktop? – Farran Oct 24 '11 at 5:52

In case anyone is looking for how to turn this off, I found the answer here:

How to stop nautilus managing desktop in unity

Basically, install gnome-tweak-tool and turn off "Icons on Desktop" (For later versions such as Ubuntu Xenial, which is what I used it on; the setting has a different name in older versions).

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