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Monday, April 8, 2013

Quick & Easy Shortcuts in Ubuntu Unity UI

We had some initial troubles in getting around with the Unity Interface of Ubuntu. One of the common problems was in creating short cuts for the UI.

We got some info from this source in Ubuntu Forum while searching.

Here is the explanation and step-by-step procedure:
1. Open your favorite editor with an "ApplicationName.desktop" file
     We use 'gedit' so we give the command:
gedit ApplicationName.desktop
     The 'ApplicationName' field here needs to be replaced with your desired application's name.

2.  Now write the following into the file:
[Desktop Entry]
Categories=Main_Category_of_Application; Sub_Category_of_Application

Here the following Fields are required:
  • ApplicationName - This is the name that you have earlier given to your desktop icon
  • Comment_To_Be_Displayed_when_Mouse_Hover - This is a comment that would be displayed both on the Ubuntu Unity panel as well as if placed on the Desktop
  • /path/to/executable - This is actual path to the install directory of the application that you wish to create the short cut for
  • /path/to/application_icon_file - This is the application icon file that can be a .ico or a picture file with 48x48 max pixel dimension.
  • Main_Category_of_Application - This is an optional parameter, it can be any of the standard application categories that you find in the Ubuntu Software Center - Accessories, Education, Games, Graphics, Network, Office, Development, System .etc.
  • Sub_Category_of_Application - This is sub category under main category - for more info refer to this page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SoftwareCenter#Genre
3. After save this file into the correct directory and close the editor.

4. To install the icon to the Dash-Home of the Ubuntu Unity give the following command in a terminal window:
xdg-desktop-menu install --novendor /path/to/ApplicationName.desktop
Now your icon would be available on the Dash-Home.
Next if you need this to be on the Unity Bar - just run the program and right click to 'Lock to Launcher'.

Hope that this was helpful, let us know your feedback.