Software & Apps Linux How to Change the Linux Mint Cinnamon Keyboard Shortcuts Configure your Linux Mint keyboard the way you want By Gary Newell Writer Gary Newell was a freelance contributor, application developer, and software tester with 20+ years in IT, working on Linux, UNIX, and Windows. our editorial process Gary Newell Updated March 22, 2020 Linux Mint comes pre-installed with tons of great, free software. Linux Switching from Windows Tweet Share Email This guide will show you how to adjust the keyboard shortcuts within Linux Mint 19 running the Cinnamon desktop environment as well as setting a few extra shortcuts. After you have finished reading this guide, you can follow this one to customize the Linux Mint Cinnamon desktop. Open the Keyboard Settings Screen To begin editing shortcuts, open the Mint menu. Navigate to Preferences, and scroll down until you see Keyboard. Alternatively, open the menu, and start typing "Keyboard into the search bar. The keyboard settings screen will appear with three tabs: TypingShortcutsLayouts Primarily this guide is about the Shortcuts tab. The typing tab, however, allows you to toggle enable keyboard repeat. When keyboard repeat is on you can hold down a key and after a set amount of time, it will repeat. You can adjust the wait time and how quickly the character repeats by dragging sliders. You can also turn on the text cursor blinks and set the blink speed. The layouts tab is where you add different keyboard layouts for different languages. For this guide, you will need the shortcuts tab. The Keyboard Shortcuts Screen The shortcuts screen has a list of categories down the left, a list of keyboard shortcuts in the top right and a list of key bindings in the bottom right. There are also buttons for adding and removing custom keyboard shortcuts. To set a keyboard control you first need to select a category. Start with General for something basic. The list of possible keyboard shortcuts appears such as Toggle Scale, Toggle Expo, Cycle Through Open Windows, etc. will appear. To bind a keyboard combination select one of the shortcuts and click on one of the unassigned keyboard bindings. You can overwrite an existing keyboard binding, if you so wish, but unless you have good reason to do so, it is better to add shortcuts rather than overwrite them. When you select unassigned, you can now press a keyboard combination to associate with that shortcut. The binding will start to work straight away. General Keyboard Shortcut Bindings The general category has the following keyboard shortcut options: Toggle scaleToggle expoCycle through open windowsCycle backward through open windowsCycle through open windows of the same applicationCycle backward through open windows of the same applicationRun dialogue The toggle scale option shows all the applications for the current workspace. The toggle expo option shows a grid of workspaces. Cycle through open windows shows all the open windows. The cycle through open windows of the same application doesn't have a default shortcut set. This is one you might want to set for yourself. If you have lots of terminal windows open or file managers this will help you navigate through them. The run dialogue brings up a window where you can run an application by typing in its name. The general category contains a sub-category called troubleshooting which lets you set a keyboard shortcut for Toggle Looking Glass. The Toggle Looking Glass provides a diagnostics type tool for Cinnamon. Windows Keyboard Shortcut Bindings The Windows top-level category has the following keyboard shortcuts: Maximize windowUnmaximize windowMinimize windowClose windowShow desktopActivate window menuRaise windowLower windowToggle maximization stateToggle fullscreen stateToggle shaded state Most of these should be fairly obvious as to what they do. The maximize window shortcut doesn't have a keyboard binding so you can set one if you wish. As unmaximize is set to ALT and F5 it would make sense to set it to ALT and F6. Minimize window also doesn't have a shortcut. We recommend setting this to SHIFT ALT and F6. 2 other keyboard shortcuts that don't have bindings are raise and lower window. The lower window option sends your current window backward so that it is behind other windows. The raise window option brings it forward again. Toggle maximization state takes an unmaximized window and maximizes it or takes a maximized window and unmaximizes it. The toggle fullscreen state doesn't have a key bound to it either. This makes an application take up the full screen, which includes the space above the Cinnamon panel. Great when running presentations or videos. The toggle shaded state again doesn't have a key bound to it. This reduces a window down to just its title bar. Customize Window Positioning Keyboard Shortcuts This one's a sub-category of windows shortcut settings is positioning. The available options are as follows: Resize windowMove windowCentre window in screenMove window to upper rightMove window to upper leftMove window to lower rightMove window to lower leftMove window to right edgeMove window to top edgeMove window to bottom edgeMove window to left edge Only the resize and move windows option have keyboard bindings by default. The others are really useful for moving windows about quickly, so we set them using the enter and number keys of the keypad. Customising Tiling and Snapping Keyboard Shortcuts Another sub-category of windows keyboard shortcuts is Tiling and Snapping. The shortcuts for this screen are as follows: Push tile leftPush tile rightPush tile upPush tile downPush snap leftPush snap rightPush snap topPush snap down All of these currently have keyboard shortcuts which are SUPER and LEFT, SUPER and RIGHT, SUPER and UP, SUPER and DOWN. For snapping it is CTRL, SUPER and LEFT, CTRL SUPER RIGHT, CTRL SUPER UP and CTRL SUPER DOWN. Inter-Workspace Keyboard Shortcuts The third sub-category of Windows keyboard shortcuts is "Inter-Workspace" and this deals with moving windows to different workspaces. The available options are as follows: Move window to new workspaceMove window to left workspaceMove window to right workspaceMove window to workspace 1Move window to workspace 2Move window to workspace 3Move window to workspace 4Move window to workspace 5Move window to workspace 6Move window to workspace 7Move window to workspace 8 By default, only the "move window to left workspace" and "move window to right workspace" have key bindings. It is a good idea to create a shortcut for moving to a new workspace so that you can de-clutter easily. Having shortcuts for workspaces 1,2,3 and 4 is probably a good idea as well as it saves holding down the SHIFT, CTRL, ALT and LEFT or RIGHT arrow keys down and trying to press the arrow keys the correct number of times. Inter-Monitor Keyboard Shortcuts Logitech The final set of keyboard shortcuts for the Windows category is "Inter-Monitor." This sub-category is really only relevant to people who have more than one monitor. The options are as follows: Move window to left monitorMove window to right monitorMove window to up monitorMove window to down monitor Rather surprisingly all of these have pre-defined keyboard shortcuts which are SHIFT, SUPER and the arrow for the direction. Customizing Workspace Keyboard Shortcuts The workspaces category has two keyboard shortcuts available: Switch to left workspaceSwitch to right workspace You can customize the key bindings for these as specified in step 2. By default, the shortcuts are CTRL, ALT, and either the left or right arrow key. There is a single sub-category called Direct Navigation. This provides shortcut bindings as follows: Switch to workspace 1Switch to workspace 2Switch to workspace 3.....Switch to Workspace 12 Yes, there are 12 potential keyboard shortcuts that can be used to instantly access a particular workspace. As there are only 4 default workspaces it makes sense to do the first 4 but you could use all 12 if you choose the function keys. For instance why not CTRL and F1, CTRL and F2, CTRL and F3, etc. Customize System Keyboard Shortcuts The system category has the following keyboard shortcuts. Log outShut downLock screenSuspendHibernateRestart Cinnamon Log out, shut down, and lock screen all have pre-defined keyboard shortcuts that will work on every computer. If you have a laptop or modern PC, you will more than likely have extra keys that work when the FN key is pressed. Suspend, therefore, is set to work using the sleep key which probably has a symbol of a moon on it. On our keyboard, you can access it with FN and F1. Hibernate is set to work using the hibernate key. The system category has a sub-category called Hardware. The shortcuts under hardware are as follows: Re-detect display devicesRotate windowsIncrease brightnessDecrease brightnessToggle keyboard backlightIncrease backlight levelDecrease backlight levelToggle touchpad stateTurn touchpad onTurn touchpad offShow power statistics Many of these items use special function keys which can be used with the FN key and one of the function keys. If you are finding it difficult to find the key or simply don't have an FN key you can set your own key binding. Customize Screenshot Keyboard Settings Linux Mint comes with a screenshot tool that can be found by opening the menu and selecting accessories and screenshot. Keyboard shortcuts are available as a sub-category to System settings to make it easier to take screenshots. Take a screenshot of an areaCopy a screenshot of an area to the clipboardTake a screenshot of the entire screenCopy a screenshot of the entire screen to the clipboardTake a screenshot of a new windowCopy a screenshot of a new window to the clipboardRecord a video All of these options have a pre-defined keyboard shortcut already set for them. It's recommended to use Vokoscreen as a tool for recording the desktop. Customize Keyboard Shortcuts for Launching Applications By default, you can add keyboard shortcut settings for launching applications by clicking on the Launching Applications category. The following application keyboard settings can be set up: Launch terminalLaunch help browserLaunch calculatorLaunch email clientLaunch web browserHome folderSearch Only the terminal and home folder currently have useful keyboard settings. We recommend setting up shortcuts for your email and web browser as well. Sound and Media Keyboard Shortcut Settings The Sound and Media category has the following keyboard shortcuts: Volume muteVolume downVolume upLaunch media playerPlayPause playbackStop playbackPrevious trackNext trackEjectRewind The default bindings are again set to function keys that are available on modern keyboards but you can always set your own. The launch media player option will launch the default media player. It might be better to use custom shortcuts which will be mentioned later on. The Sound and Media category has a sub-category called "Quiet Keys." This provides the following keyboard shortcuts: Volume mute (quiet)Volume down (quiet)Volume up (quiet) Universal Access Keyboard Shortcuts Aku Siukosaari / Getty Images For those of us who are getting older and for people with sight issues, there are keyboard shortcuts for zooming in and out and increasing the text size. You can also turn on the on-screen keyboard. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts It is at this point that it is worth discussing the Add custom shortcut button as you can use this to add shortcuts for further applications. Press Add custom shortcut, enter the name of the application, and the command to run. Custom Shortcuts appear under the Custom Shortcuts category. You can specify a key binding for custom shortcuts in the same way you would any other shortcuts. This is very useful for launching applications you use quite often such as audio players like Banshee, Rhythmbox or Quod Libet. Summary Setting up keyboard shortcuts and remembering them will make you far more productive than you ever could be with a mouse or touchscreen.