Where custom keyboard shortcuts went in KDE4

When I went to Mandriva 2009.0, I also upgraded to KDE 4.  There was only one feature I missed from KDE 3: how you could assign keyboard shortcuts to run arbitrary commands.  I liked that and had my email, browser, and terminal set to easy shortcuts.

I hadn’t been able to find this functionality in KDE 4, even with doing a bit of searching around on the web.  But it’s there!

It’s There!

Here’s how to get to it:

If you’re using the new-style Application Launcher that lets you search, press the “K” launcher button and type khotkeys into the search box.  A program called Input Actions appears (I can’t seem to find it in the menus — I’m not sure how the search finds it).  This is what I think used to be called KHotKeys in KDE 3, and it’s the same good ol’ quirky interface that lets you hook up key combinations to actions.  (The “Windows” key can form part of the key combination, which I find convenient.)

Other Places to Configure Shortcuts

There are two other areas that look similar but didn’t seem to be what I wanted: Configure Your Desktop -> Keyboard and Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts allows configuration if the item already appears in the list;  and if you go to the Application Launcher and search for shortcut, there is a Keyboard Shortcuts item that appears that has some system-level shortcuts you can set (good information to know), but it wasn’t what I was looking for either because it didn’t seem to have my programs in the list or have a way to add them.  (Actually I think I could add them into the Keyboard Shortcuts one by first adding them to the menu system using the KDE Menu Editor…but I was used to doing it the old way.  Guess I’ll learn the new way if I eventually need to.)

Update: Boy, do I feel dumb.  I didn’t even try out the shortcuts to make sure they were operational before making this post, and they don’t seem to be operational for me.  I can set up a shortcut either the Input Actions way or through Configure Your Desktop -> Keyboard and Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts, but the shortcuts don’t seem to work, even after rebooting.  I don’t know how to do it. : (

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  1. #1 by Jim on April 28, 2009 - 2:41 am

    I looked for these in KDE4 too. I’m sure they weren’t there in 4.1 but they returned in 4.2. On Fedora the old menu editor is back. A right click on the Launcher (menu icon) gives you the option of the menu editor. The shortcut option is on the advanced tab after you select the application.

    The combination of shortcuts for my everyday apps and the favourites for less used ones makes the new menu structure usable for me.

  2. #2 by Oliver on May 21, 2009 - 12:14 am

    Hi

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for a while. Your method actually works for me. Thanks :)

  3. #3 by danielmeyer on May 21, 2009 - 8:06 am

    @Oliver: I wonder why it works for you and not me? Perhaps you have a khotkeys daemon running or something? (I couldn’t find a daemon that looked applicable)

    Glad it helped!

  4. #4 by Pierre on December 10, 2009 - 6:45 am

    Well I am coming a bit late here. It works for me as well. But I have had to explicitly check the hidden checkbox on the right … The whole keyboard story setting is way to complicated !

  5. #5 by Jeff Schwab on August 10, 2010 - 12:39 pm

    Go to K->System Settings->Input Actions

    Make sure the box to the right of KMenuEdit is checked.

  6. #6 by danielmeyer on August 20, 2010 - 10:52 am

    Hey, just created a new shortcut and it worked! Thanks, Jeff.

    (For me, the path to get to it was K -> Applications -> Tools -> System Tools -> Configure your Desktop -> Input Actions.)

    Also, I’m on KDE 4.3.5.

  7. #7 by Sean Fried on November 14, 2010 - 11:52 pm

    Wanted to second that Jeff’s method worked for me.
    I checked that box, then right clicked on KMenuEdit, moused over New -> Global Shortcut -> then clicked K-Menu Entry.

  8. #8 by מיכאל ויצמן on August 5, 2011 - 3:21 pm

    Hello, everybody. I have used years Gnome and now I started to use KDE. Thanks your advise!

  9. #9 by danielmeyer on August 5, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    Sorry Michael, I have not used Gnome so I can’t offer much help.

  10. #10 by Jonas on May 21, 2012 - 7:34 am

    Hi all!
    I just right-click the kickoff button and choose Edit program. There I can change any shortcut to a program under the Advanced tab. Or i can add my script and set a shortcut to it.
    Just remember to clicks save :)

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