A Tour of the GNOME Desktop

This section introduces the core components in the GNOME Desktop. The GNOME Desktop is very configurable, therefore this section covers the main functional possibilities of the GNOME Desktop features. If you want to find out how to implement the various configuration possibilities that are mentioned in this section, see Customizing Your GNOME Desktop.

The chapters in this section are as follows:

  • Basic Skills

    Read this chapter to find out about mouse usage, shortcut keys, basic window skills, and basic dialog skills.

  • Overview of the GNOME Desktop

    Read this chapter for an introduction to the major components and functions of the GNOME Desktop. If you do not read anything else in this manual, read this chapter.

  • GNOME Desktop Sessions

    Read this chapter for information about how to start, manage, and end GNOME Desktop sessions.

  • Working With Panels

    Read this chapter to find out more about using panels. Panels are a key component of the GNOME Desktop. This chapter tells you how to use the different parts of your panels, and how to invoke the available functions of the GNOME Desktop using panels.

  • Working With Menus

    Read this chapter to find out more about using menus.

  • Working With Windows

    Read this chapter to find out more about using windows. This chapter describes basic windows functions such as moving and resizing. This chapter also describes the controls that you use with windows.

  • Nautilus File Manager

    Read this chapter to find out more about the Nautilus file manager. This chapter describes how to use the file manager to work with your file system. This chapter also describes how to customize the file manager.

  • Using Your Desktop

    Read this chapter to find out more about using the desktop. The desktop is the part of the GNOME Desktop where there are no interface graphical items, such as panels and windows. This chapter describes how to use the desktop to start applications, and open your files and folders. The chapter also describes how to use Trash from the desktop, how to use the Desktop menu, and how to customize the desktop.

Table of Contents

1. Basic Skills
Mouse Skills
Mouse Button Conventions
Mouse Actions
Mouse Action Terminology
Mouse Pointers
Keyboard Skills
General Shortcut Keys
Window Shortcut Keys
Panel Shortcut Keys
Application Shortcut Keys
Access Keys
Using Windows
To Resize Panes
Using Tables
2. Overview of the GNOME Desktop
Introducing GNOME Desktop Components
Panels
To Create Panels
To Delete Panels
To Hide Panels
To Add Objects to Panels
To Manipulate Panel Objects
Menus
Windows
Types of Windows
To Manipulate Windows
To Give Focus to a Window
Workspaces
To Switch Between Workspaces
To Add Workspaces
File Manager
To Open Files from the File Manager
To Move Files Between Folders
Desktop and Desktop Objects
To Open Desktop Objects
To Add Objects to the Desktop
GNOME Desktop Preferences
Applications
To Find Out More
To Find Out More About GNOME Desktop Topics
To Find Out More About Applets
To Find Out More About Applications
3. GNOME Desktop Sessions
Starting a Session
To Log in to a Session
To Log in to a Session in a Different Language
To Lock Your Screen
Managing the Session
Defining Session Behavior When You Log In and Log Out
To Use Startup Applications
To Browse Applications in the Current Session
To Save Session Settings
Ending a Session
4. Working With Panels
Introducing Panels
Top Edge Panel
Bottom Edge Panel
Managing Your Panels
To Add a New Panel
To Interact With a Panel
To Move a Panel
To Hide a Panel
To Modify Panel Properties
To Delete a Panel
Panel Objects
Interacting With Panel Objects
To Add an Object to a Panel
To Modify the Properties of an Object
To Move a Panel Object
To Lock a Panel Object
To Remove a Panel Object
Applets
To Add an Applet to a Panel
To Select an Applet
To Modify Preferences for an Applet
Launchers
To Add a Launcher to a Panel
To Modify the Properties of a Launcher
Buttons
Force Quit Button
Lock Button
Log Out Button
Run Button
Screenshot Button
Search Button
Show Desktop Button
Notification Area Applet
Menus
Drawers
To Open and Close a Drawer
To Add a Drawer to a Panel
To Add an Object to a Drawer
To Modify Drawer Properties
5. Working With Menus
Introduction to Menus
Menu Features
Menu Item Popup Menu
Applications Menu
Actions Menu
Using the Run Application Dialog
To Take a Screenshot
Main Menu
To Add a Main Menu to a Panel
Menu Bar
To Add a Menu Bar to a Panel
Customizing Your Menus
To Add a Menu
To Add a Launcher to a Menu
To Add a Launcher to an Empty Menu
To Copy a Launcher to a Menu
To Edit the Properties of a Menu
To Edit a Menu Item
To Delete an Item from a Menu
6. Working With Windows
Windows and Workspaces
Window Manager Behavior
Types of Window
Window Frames
Menus and Applets for Working With Windows and Workspaces
Window Menu
Window List Applet
Workspace Switcher Applet
Window Selector Applet
Manipulating Windows
To Give Focus to a Window
To Minimize a Window
To Maximize a Window
To Restore a Window
To Place a Window on Top of Other Windows
To Close a Window
To Resize a Window
To Move a Window
To Roll Up a Window
To Put a Window on All Workspaces
To Move a Window to Another Workspace
Manipulating Workspaces
To Switch Between Workspaces
To Add Workspaces
To Name Workspaces
To Delete Workspaces
7. Nautilus File Manager
Introduction to Nautilus File Manager
Browsing Your Files
File Browser Windows
File Browser Window Components
View Pane
Side Pane
To Show and Hide File Browser Window Components
To Display Your Home Folder
To Display a Folder
Using the Tree From the Side Pane
Using Your Navigation History
Viewing Files in a File Browser Window
To Bookmark Your Favorite Locations
Adding Notes to Files and Folders
Navigating Your Files and Folders as Objects
File Object Windows
To Display Your Home Location in a File Object Window
To Display a Folder
To Display a Parent Folder
To Display a Folder in a File Browser Window
Using the Start Here Location
Modifying the Appearance of Files and Folders
Icons and Emblems
To Add an Emblem to a File or Folder
To Add a New Emblem
To Change the Icon for a File or Folder
To Change the Size of Items in a View
Using Views to Display Your Files and Folders
Assigning Actions to Files
To Modify Actions
Customizing the File Manager
Setting Your Preferences
Changing Backgrounds
Opening Files
To Execute the Default Action
To Execute Non-Default Actions Using the Open With Submenu
To Execute Other Actions When Displaying a File
Navigating Your Computer
To Access an FTP Site
To Access Network Places
To Access Network Servers
Accessing Special URI Locations
Managing Your Files and Folders
Drag-and-Drop in the File Manager
To Select Files and Folders
To Move a File or Folder
To Copy a File or Folder
To Duplicate a File or Folder
To Create a Folder
Templates and Documents
To Rename a File or Folder
To Move a File or Folder to Trash
To Delete a File or Folder
To Create a Symbolic Link to a File or Folder
To View the Properties of a File or Folder
To Change Permissions
Using Trash
Using Removable Media
To Mount Media
To Display Media Contents
To Display Media Properties
To Format a Floppy Diskette
To Eject Media
Writing CDs
Running Scripts From the File Manager
8. Using Your Desktop
Introduction to the Desktop
Desktop Objects
To Select Objects on the Desktop
To Open an Object from the Desktop
To Add a Launcher to the Desktop
To Add a Symbolic Link to the Desktop
Adding a File or Folder to the Desktop
To Rename a Desktop Object
To Remove an Object from the Desktop
To Delete an Object from the Desktop
To View the Properties of a Desktop Object
To Change the Permissions of a Desktop Object
To Add an Emblem to a Desktop Object
To Add a Note to a Desktop Object
To Change the Icon for a Desktop Object
To Resize a Desktop Object Icon
Using Trash on the Desktop
To Display Trash
To Empty Trash
Using the Desktop Menu
Changing the Pattern or Color of the Desktop
9. Setting Session Sharing Preferences