I'm trying to get text selection working the way I want on my laptop using Ubuntu 16.04. I don't have home/end keys on my laptop, so I installed xdotool and using the keyboard settings I mapped Super+left to xdotool getactivewindow key Home and Super+right to xdotool getactivewindow key End.

This is working as expected. However, I'd also like to have Shift+Super+Left select text from my cursor to the beginning of the line, and similarly Shift+Super+Right select to the end of the line. I tried mapping these combinations to xdotool using xdotool getactivewindow key shift+Home but this doesn't seem to work.

I've also tried running sleep 4 && xdotool key shift+Home in a terminal and then switching to my text editor, and it seems like only the Home key is firing - no text is selected. So it seems like a xdotool problem and not my keyboard. Does anyone know the proper key combination for xdotool to select text to the beginning/end of a line?


Runningsleep 4 && xdotool key Shift+Home with a capital S for shift works. Text is highlighted in my text editor from my cursor to the beginning of the line. However, it's still not working as a shortcut even with a capital S. So now I'm thinking there is something else wrong with the way I'm inputting the xdotool command into Ubuntu's keyboard settings.

  • If I understand correctly, you want to select the line? Is a triple-click an option? – Jacob Vlijm Dec 22 '16 at 15:42
  • Here goes a resource for you cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/proto/x11proto/plain/keysymdef.h – Arijit Chatterjee Dec 22 '16 at 15:45
  • In my experience, Xdotool is not good for complex keyboard shortcuts. – wjandrea Dec 22 '16 at 18:03
  • @wjandrea are there better options for what I'm trying to do? – greenerr Dec 22 '16 at 18:13
  • @wjandrea nevermind, I installed Autokey and managed to get it working using that. – greenerr Dec 22 '16 at 19:10

I couldn't get this working with xdotool, I ended up installing Autokey. I got it to work by creating a phrase with the following command: <shift>+<home> and mapping to the hotkey I wanted. I made a similar one for <shift>+<end>.

  • +1 to autokey, maybe not the best/exact answer to original question... but i can't live without it! – dgonzalez Dec 23 '16 at 4:32

In order to bind Shift+Home/End together with xdotool, please use:

xdotool key --window '$(xdotool getactivewindow)' Shift+Home

xdotool key --window '$(xdotool getactivewindow)' Shift+End

Then, you can customize your shortcut by Shift+Alt+Right Arrow and Shift+Alt+Left Arrow.

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