Ubuntu Linux Demystified – Understanding Launcher & Application Shortcuts

After understanding the top bar and the features of the Indicators, we will have a brief look at the frequently used “Launcher” on Ubuntu Linux desktop. The Launcher is a vertical bar placed at the left hand side of the desktop. It has a number of different icons that are very similar to the desktop icons in the Microsoft Windows environment. These icons are the shortcuts that let you access applications quickly with a single click.

Once the application starts, you will be able to see a triangle symbol on the left hand side of the application.

In the screen shot above, you can easily spot a triangle on the left hand side of the two applications that are currently running.

Similarly, the application that is running in the foreground will have a triangle on each side of its icon.

In the screen shot above, you can see that the Chromium web browser is in the foreground and hence has a triangle symbol on each side of its icon. These quick symbols and indications may seem insignificant at first, but they can help you to a great deal in switching among different applications without getting confused.

On the other hand, if there is any application that you use frequently, you can easily place it in the Launcher bar to access it quickly with a single click. For demonstration, I am going to put “Movie Player” in the Launcher. All you need to do is go to the Dash Home and type the name of the application.

Now, drag the application to the Launcher bar.

Or, if you have already opened an application and you want to put it in the Launcher bar to use it frequently, simply right-click on its icon and left click on “Lock to Launcher”.

You can see now that the Movie Player is placed in the Launcher bar. Other than being a shortcut, placing an application in the Launcher lets you perform quick actions without even opening the application. For instance, if you right-click on the Movie Player icon, you can perform different actions like Play, Stop, or Fullscreen directly.

Finally, when you install Ubuntu Linux, you will have a number of different application icons in the Launcher bar. You may find some of those icons helpful while you might want to remove some of the other icons. So, to remove an application shortcut from the Launcher just right-click on the application and left-click on “Unlock from Launcher”. Here is the demonstration of removing “Ubuntu One” from the Launcher bar.

So, after understanding the features and configuration of the Launcher and the Indicators, you will find yourself much familiar with Ubuntu Linux 12.04.

Screenshots by : Zealous.Zaryab

Author: zealous.zaryab