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How to customize keyboard shortcuts on Cinnamon

The Cinnamon desktop has a reputation of being easy to configure. Despite this, many users have trouble figuring out how to customize the keyboard shortcuts on the desktop. For this reason, we’re making this guide. In it, we’ll discuss how to customize keyboard shortcuts on Cinnamon.

Accessing keyboard shortcut information

The keyboard shortcuts for the Cinnamon desktop are stored in the “Keyboard” app. In the Keyboard area, users can access and change settings related to how Cinnamon works with keyboards connected to the computer, as well as swap keyboard layouts and of course, edit keyboard shortcuts.

To access the keyboard shortcuts area through the Cinnamon control center, click the panel menu button, then the “Settings” icon in the Cinnamon panel to load up the control center. Once in the control center, scroll down to “Hardware” and click on the “keyboard” icon.

After clicking on the “Keyboard” icon in the Cinnamon settings app, locate the “shortcuts” tab and click on it to access the Cinnamon desktop’s keyboard shortcut settings.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like navigating through the Cinnamon settings app, you can click the app launcher icon in the panel, and search for “Keyboard” to access the keybinding settings that way.

Assign shortcuts to existing actions

Cinnamon has a lot of existing actions that do not have a keyboard combination (aka shortcut) assigned to them. Without a shortcut, these features are disabled by default, making it impossible to enjoy some useful features. In this section of the guide, we’ll show you how you can easily assign new shortcuts to these disabled actions.

To assign a shortcut to an existing action, you’ll need to find one first. Unfortunately, there’s no separate area of the Cinnamon keyboard shortcut desktop actions for actions that do not have shortcuts. Instead, you must click through, find a shortcut that doesn’t have a key combination assigned, and work with it.

When you’ve found an existing desktop action that you wish to assign a key combination to, find “unassigned,” double-click on it and then press the desired combination on your keyboard.

Customize existing shortcuts

For whatever reason, you may not be happy with the default keyboard shortcuts that Cinnamon has set up by default. Luckily, Cinnamon makes it very easy to swap outa default shortcut for a custom one. To do it, locate an action that you’d like to change in the shortcut list on the left and click on it with the mouse. From there, move down to the bottom panel and locate the box that shows the default keyboard shortcut for the action and double-click on it to change the key combination.

Add custom keyboard shortcuts

The Cinnamon desktop environment supports custom keyboard shortcuts, and you can set them in the “Keyboard” app.

To add a custom keyboard shortcut, find “Custom Shortcuts” on the left side in the “Categories” list.

Once you’re at the “Custom Shortcuts” area of the Keyboard app, you’ll need to locate the “Add custom shortcut” button and click on it with the mouse.

Clicking on the “Add custom shortcut” button will bring up a dialog box. In this dialog box, you’ll be able to assign a name for the shortcut under “Name”. Under the “Command” section, you can assign a specific action for the shortcut.

When you’ve set both the name and command sections up in the shortcut dialog box, click the “Add” button to add it to the system. Then, find the “Keyboard bindings” section.

In “Keyboard bindings”, double-click on one of the “unassigned” items in the list to assign a key combination to the shortcut.

To assign multiple keyboard combinations to your custom shortcut, click on each of the “unassigned” items and set a different combination for each one.

When done, minimize the Keyboard app and test out your shortcut to confirm that it works.

Change a keyboard binding for custom shortcut

If you’re unhappy with the keybinding originally set with your custom keyboard shortcut, you can change it by selecting the shortcut under “Keyboard shortcuts,” then selecting the binding under “Keyboard bindings, and double-clicking on the combination to reassign it.

Delete custom keyboard shortcuts

Need to delete a custom keyboard shortcut from the Cinnamon desktop environment? It happens! Luckily, it’s a very straightforward process. Here’s how.

First, open up the Keyboard app in settings. Then, locate “Custom Shortcuts,” and highlight the keyboard shortcut you want to remove in the list under “Keyboard shortcuts”.

After selecting the shortcut, find the “Remove custom shortcut” button and click on it with your mouse to instantly delete the custom keyboard shortcut from Cinnamon.

Be sure to repeat this process for each keyboard shortcut you wish to remove from your Cinnamon setup.

1 Comment

  1. I’m trying to disable all the hotkeys for a specific application, is this possible in cinnamon or do you have to use KDE Plasma 5?

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