It should be possible to control everything by keyboard. Here we show some of the not so obvious ways to achieve important window managing tasks only with keystrokes.
Alt-Tab = Switches between the open windows Alt-F4 = Closes a window Alt-F9 = Minimizes a window Alt-F10 = Maximizes a window Alt-F12 = Rolls the window up (leaving only the titlebar visible, press Alt-F12 again and the window rolls back down) Alt-Shift-F10 = Maximizes the window vertically Alt-Ctrl-arrow left = Changes workspaces from 1-12 Alt-Ctrl-arrow right = Changes workspaces from 12-1 Alt-Ctrl-Esc = Opens the window list Ctrl-Esc = Opens the menu
You are accustomed to a window manager that allows you to switch between virtual desktops using your keyboard? IceWM allows for this, too.
Before I describe how to switch between virtual desktops I want to
describe how to control their number. Imagine that your
$HOME/.icewm/preferences has a row reading
This setting results in ten virtual desktops and ten buttons in your taskbar looking like this:
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 0 | +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
If you name less desktops you obtain less if you name more you get more.
For understanding how switching virtual desktops works in IceWM you should imagine that the buttons represent your virtual desktops and that these desktops are arranged in one long row.
You can imagine two ways of switching between desktops:
IceWM has both ways:
represents the key that moves your cursor one character to the left
If you are using
"Ctrl-Alt-Cursor_Right" on the
rightmost desktop you switch to the leftmost desktop. From here,
"Ctrl-Alt-Cursor_Left" brings you back to the
What if you have more than ten virtual desktops? In this
"Ctrl-Alt-n" will only work for the first ten
desktops while switching to the left or right still works for all
IceWM has another feature to offer: You may not only use your keyboard to switch desktops, you can also use it to move windows from one desktop to another. The next section is on this (you should read it, too).
Note: To switch desktops when moving mouse on desktop edges use preference:
then you can change workspaces automatically by moving your cursor to the left/right edges of your screen.
In the previous section I explained how to switch between desktops.
If you didn't already read it you should do it now because moving the
active window to another desktop works almost the same like switching
to a certain desktop. All you have to do is pressing the
"Shift" while switching to the desktop:
You should run IceWM with
because that will enable the CLI (see
What is the blank bar in the task bar good for? for some
The CLI is especially useful if you rather frequently need to access man pages and don't want to have xman hang around all the time.
If you enter
man perl and press
"Ctrl-ENTER" an XTerm will pop up displaying the
main Perl man page. If you press
"q" not only the
man page no longer is displayed but the XTerm will terminate, too.
This only is one example of how to use the CLI. You can use it to issue any other command as well. A problem that might occur is that the XTerm will terminate before you had time to read the output of a command (it terminates as soon as the command is done).
In most such cases it is sufficient to pipe the output through
less (this is one of the rare cases you cannot
more because it terminates after displaying
the last line). However, there are cases (mainly programs that write
colorful output such as
ls) that may result in
Fortunately Linux (any Unix version?) offers a solution to these
cases, too: The
sleep command. It sleeps some
time, then terminates. So you could use
ls $HOME/bin --color ; sleep 1m
to list all programs in your
sleep command will wait the given
period of time (in this case a minute) before the XTerm automatically
will close (you can use
"Ctrl-C" to abort the
sleep command before that time went by).
Sure you can. Josef Oswald reported:
this is in
clear mod4 keycode 64 = Alt_L keycode 113 = Alt_R keycode 115 = Meta_L keycode 116 = Meta_R add Mod4 = Meta_L Meta_R
.Xmodmap there is:
add Mod1 = Alt_L add Mod2 = Mode_switch keycode 117 = Menu
and then in
Win95Keys=1 # was 0 # KeySysWinMenu="Shift+Esc"
as can be seen I did _not_ enable the above, as I don't like pressing two keys. If one wants to use it, it does work.
On a free workspace the right Win95 opens the list of Workspaces.
Now also in Open-office I can use the right menu key to open the menus in the OOo taskbar with the letters for the shortcut I can switch to the desired menu without needing to leave the keyboard, my preferred way of working on the pc.