Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Drag and Drop Files to Open Applications in Ubuntu 18.04

Ubuntu 12

In this article, we will delve into the process of dragging and dropping files to open applications in Ubuntu 18.04. This is a handy feature that can simplify your workflow and increase your productivity. We will explore a couple of methods and a workaround to achieve this.

Quick Answer

To drag and drop files to open applications in Ubuntu 18.04, you can use the Alt+Tab method or the Super key method. These methods allow you to easily switch between open windows and drop files onto the desired application. If these methods don’t work, you can try a workaround using the Terminal to change a setting in Nautilus.

Method 1: Using Alt+Tab

The Alt+Tab method is a quick and easy way to drag and drop files between open applications. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click and hold the file you want to drag.
  2. Press the Alt+Tab keys on your keyboard to switch between open windows.
  3. Keep pressing the Tab key until you reach the desired application window where you want to drop the file.
  4. Once you see the window you want, release the mouse button to drop the file.

This method is straightforward and works well for most applications. However, it might not work for dragging and dropping files onto icons in the launcher or in the activities overview.

Method 2: Using the Super key

The Super key method involves using the key also known as the Windows key on your keyboard. Here are the steps:

  1. Click and hold the file you want to drag.
  2. Press and hold the Super key (also known as the Windows key) on your keyboard.
  3. While still holding the mouse button, move the mouse over the application or folder where you want to drop the file.
  4. Hover over the application or folder for 2-3 seconds until it becomes focused.
  5. Release the mouse button to drop the file.

This method is a bit more involved than the Alt+Tab method, but it can be more precise. However, it’s worth noting that the snap version of certain applications, like Inkscape, may have limitations when opening files from other volumes.

Workaround: Using Terminal

If neither of the above methods work for you, there is a workaround using the Terminal. This involves changing a setting in Nautilus, the default file manager in Ubuntu. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Enter the command: gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences use-experimental-views false

This command changes a Nautilus setting. The gsettings command is a tool for manipulating the settings of GNOME applications. The set parameter is used to assign a new value to a key. In this case, we’re setting the use-experimental-views key in the org.gnome.nautilus.preferences schema to false.

This command may help restore the drag and drop functionality, but it may not work for all versions of Ubuntu.

Conclusion

Dragging and dropping files to open applications in Ubuntu 18.04 can be a great time-saver. While the methods outlined in this article should work for most users, keep in mind that due to the diverse nature of Linux distributions and their various versions, your mileage may vary. If you’re still having trouble, it’s recommended to check for any updates or bug reports related to this issue on the Ubuntu forums or bug tracking systems.

Can I drag and drop files onto icons in the launcher or activities overview?

No, the Alt+Tab method described in Method 1 may not work for dragging and dropping files onto icons in the launcher or activities overview.

Are there any limitations when using the Super key method?

Yes, the snap version of certain applications, like Inkscape, may have limitations when opening files from other volumes.

What is the purpose of the workaround using Terminal?

The workaround using Terminal is to change a setting in Nautilus, the default file manager in Ubuntu, in order to restore the drag and drop functionality.

Will the Terminal workaround work for all versions of Ubuntu?

The Terminal workaround may not work for all versions of Ubuntu, as it depends on the specific configuration and settings of the system.

Where can I seek further assistance or information if I’m still having trouble?

If you’re still having trouble, it’s recommended to check for any updates or bug reports related to the issue on the Ubuntu forums or bug tracking systems.

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