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Sometimes in Ubuntu, you will want to create global keyboard shortcuts that aren’t possible in the keyboard preferences in the system menu. There are a couple of ways to do this, but probably the easiest is a program called xbindkeys. To get it, open terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install xbindkeys xbindkeys-config
If you are using Orca, the screen reader, you don’t need to get xbindkeys-config because Orca doesn’t work with it.
The first thing to do after the program is installed is type:
xbindkeys –defaults > ~/.xbindkeysrc
This basically creates the initial settings for xbindkeys in the file called .xbindkeysrc
After that is done, type:
this command starts the xbindkeys daemon. In order to have it start at login, go to system, preferences, session. On the additional programs tab click add then type xbindkeys in both the name and command boxes. Click add then click close and it will start automatically on login.
To create a keyboard shortcut, you can launch the gui, called xbindkeys-config, by pressing alt-f2 to open the run dialog and type:
For Orca user, the process is a bit different. Because xbindkeys-config doesn’t work with Orca, you will need to open the .xbindkeysrc file and edit it directly. To do this, in your home directory, type:
This will open the file in text editor. Once that is done, use the control-end keys to quickly navigate to the bottom of the file. Move up 3 lines. The bottom 3 lines are basically just a fancy ending for the file. On a blank line above the three bottom lines, you can type in your keyboard shortcut. This consists of two lines. The first is the command you want the keyboard shortcut to execute. To launch orca, for example, you would type the word orca surrounded by quotes:
On the second line comes the actual shortcut. In our example, we shall use control plus alt plus o as the shortcut. So, to put it altogether:
control+alt + o
Press control-s to save the file and close gedit. Now, control-alt-o will launch orca. This can be done for any program you choose. It works on Kubuntu, Ubuntu, and Xubuntu.