Do Plasma users know all the useful shortcuts?

An overview of keyboard shortcuts printed on paper keys

Do Plasma users know all the useful shortcuts?


“keyboard shortcut bulletin board” by arvind grover

Dear reader,
when Heiko Tietze and I discussed the usefulness of a user assistance feature that is being considered, we realized that we had very different assumptions about how well users know the keyboard shortcuts that KWin and Plasma offer.
Although I know that the readership of my blog is not exactly representative of the Plasma and KWin user base, I’d like to get at least a rough feeling about whose perception might be closer to the truth. For that, I need your help: I’d like to ask you to do the following:

  1. Go to System SettingsShortcutsGlobal Keyboard Shortcuts
  2. Select “KWin” in the “KDE component” dropdown
  3. Go through the shortcuts which have a “Default” value set and count those which you did not know by heart (or not at all) but think could be useful to you.
  4. Do the same for the “Plasma” component
  5. Add the two numbers
  6. Select the appropriate option in the poll below.

If you know any Plasma users who don’t read Planet KDE / my blog, it would be great if you could link them to this.
Thank you!
P.S.: Sorry for the confusion I might have caused with the picture above. It has nothing to do with Plasma or KWin, actually. I just wanted a nice picture, and I explicitly did not want to show any Plasma or KWin shortcuts in order to not influence the experiment.
[polldaddy poll=9321070]


Comments: 24

  1. Wolfgang Mader says:

    While I know all the shortcuts I want to know, there are several people in the group I am working with using kde but barely even know the task-switching shortcuts. They interact with the desktop environment solely via mouse and they will not participate in the survey, I fear. There is one execption: everyone seems to know how to launch krunner. This us just such a usefull piece of software.

  2. valentin rusu says:

    Ctrl+Q for instantly quitting your app is really a bad idea of a shortcut, especially for applications taking long to start and without auto session restore. Alt+F4, or something more difficult to touch by error would be far better.

  3. Jay says:

    I do not see any poll, the number is 6

    • Oh, right: The poll comes from an external site (, that’s the only poll option I get from, it could be not loading because you have some tracking protection feature on (e.g. the built-in one from Firefox, or Ghostery or whatever).
      I know it’s not optimal, but I’m afraid you’ll have to suspend the tracking protection on this site for the poll to work.

  4. Eugen says:

    It would be usefull if I can download the shortcut-Picture in high quality. Then I can print it 🙂

  5. Ista says:

    It would be great to have active shortcuts available in a widget/popup/overlay (like when you press ‘?’ in gmail)

  6. Janet says:

    5 – that’s enough. I prefer mouse contextmenus and mouse key and wheel actions over keyboard control.

  7. John Doe says:

    I suspect only five of those configured by default that I didn’t know about will be useful very regularly to me in the future — however, I configured a keybinding for twelve (yes, twelve!) of them which I know I will be using very regularly. That is maximizing and minimizing, switching to previous and next desktop and all the quick tile keybindings.

    • Do you know those you have configured by heart or do you tend to sometimes forget any of them?

    • John Doe says:

      No, I essentially used the keys that correspond to the numpad on my laptop but without the numpad enabled. Meta + 0 for minimizing, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 for quick tiling, 5 for maximizing and restoring size. Meta + PgUp and PgDn to switch to the previous or next workspace. Easy to remember, and very efficient.

  8. fre says:

    Can anyone read anything about this? If you give help then make sure that people can read it!

  9. Lazy says:

    The problem with the KDE shortcuts, is that they seem to be random, rather than to Gnome in which, from Meta (Windows), it seems that the whole system, the work environment, and software are built in a rational way to work with shortcuts, also in Gnome 3 the first time the system is a nice interactive guide, which explains how the whole system is focused on shortcuts

  10. YoYo says:

    Similarly to John Doe I have a lot of others that have no shortcuts by default: move to desktop/screen, minimize/maximize/vert/horiz/…, toggle raise/lower, quick tiling… Most of them are muscle memory from old times, so not really a problem to remeber.
    I however use some of the effects’ shortcuts (zoom, mouse trails,..) and can remember those (either the modifier combination or the correct F? key).
    Btw, most of the default key bindings for the more recent features use F-keys, which are pretty hard to remember (I always remap present windows to Win+W and similar, to remeber it either by association or place on keyboard)

  11. Learning KWin shortcuts would be very useful but I find that shortcuts in Plasma tends to be different from what folks are used to for example I have Ctrl+# for switching to different workspace is a tough one. Also keyboard shortcuts should revolve around 1 or 2 keys preferably 1 key like meta key but I see shortcuts revolve around either meta combo or ctrl combo.

  12. […] Do Plasma users know all the useful shortcuts? […]

  13. AccountKiller says:

    How about Ctrl+G for »Find again« as used in, for example, KWrite?
    Ideally, any application supporting Ctrl+F should also support Ctrl+G.

  14. So, I use Plasma shortcuts a lot. However, I’ve custom setting for most shortcuts. I recommend all Plasma users to get familiar with Quick Tile, Pack Grow, Switch to Window Above|Below|to the Left|Right. They make window management really fast and simple. Besides that, for the ones who use many virtual desktops, I recommend mapping “Present Windows (All Desktops)” to something like Meta+f. Present Window effect enables one to switch to a window by typing its name+CR.

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