Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Currently in Thunar, to shift to the next tab, Ctrl+Alt+PageDown is to be used. I want to change it to either Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+PageDown.

Now, ~/.config/Thunar/accels.scm is where all the shortcuts are defined in this format :

(gtk_accel_path "<Actions>/ThunarWindow/new-tab" "<Primary>t")

My question is:

  1. what is the keyword for changing tab that should replace new-tab in the above example?
  2. Ctrl -> <Primary>. So how about Tab -> ? and PageDown -> ?
share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Thunar doesn't actually have a keybinding for changing to the next/previous tab, but instead the underlying GTK control, in this case GtkNotebook, has some key bindings.

GtkNotebook defines previous tab as both Ctrl+PageUp and Ctrl+Alt+PageUp (and similarly for next tab/page down), however in Thunar's case the Ctrl+PageUp/Ctrl+PageDown keybinding is blocked by the fact that the pane you're viewing (the icon and details view) is of type GtkScrolledWindow and has its own usage of Ctrl+PageUp/Ctrl+PageDown decribed here: https://developer.gnome.org/pygtk/2.24/class-gtkscrolledwindow.html#signal-gtkscrolledwindow--scroll-child

The last time I installed an OS with Thunar on it, it didn't even have tabs so I immediatelly discarded it and used PCManFM, which although it doesn't define a next/previous tab key, doesn't use a GtkScrolledWindow for the viewing of the files and therefore the built-in Ctrl+PageUp/Ctrl+PageDown for the tab widget works.

IMO both programs (and all file managers) should define these, and use reasonable defaults, in addition to supporting move tab left/right like many browsers do (Ctrl+Shift+PageUp/Ctrl+Shift+PageDown).

For Thunar, I have a patch I made to at least define all 4 of these events as keybinds explicitly (which would make them overrideable in the way you described in your original post) that I hope to post soon in this bug report: https://bugzilla.xfce.org/show_bug.cgi?id=9585

Unfortunately while it does let you change the keybinds for those events, it doesn't let you override existing keybinds from child widgets (such as GtkScrolledWindow), so you'd have to use and bind something like Alt+PageUp/Alt+PageDown or equally messy. If I figure out a patch for that, I'll definitely post it to the bug, but that's proving harder to figure out.

* *Edit **

You can move to a specific tab using Alt+N, where N is a number 0-9, but I find this to be of very limited use.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Any chance I can have a peak at that patch? :D – JunkMechanic Jan 14 '14 at 7:41

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.