I have an Acrobat reader that does not zoom on Control+plus but rather on Control+acute (Control-plus annoyingly rotates the document).

I would like to fix this using xbindkeys and xdotool but the complication is that Control-plus is also used by other applications.

So the idea is to intercept Control-plus, check if Acrobat is the active window. If so send Acrobat a Control-acute, otherwise send the Control-plus.

Here my current attempt for the script that xbindkeys starts on Control+plus:

WM_CLASS=$(xprop -id `xdotool getactivewindow` WM_CLASS |awk '{print $4}')

if [ "$WM_CLASS" = "\"Acroread"\" ];
   sleep 0.1s;
   xdotool key --clearmodifiers ctrl+acute
   killall xbindkeys
   xdotool key --clearmodifiers ctrl+plus

This actually works but the problem is that if I would not kill xbindkeys than xdotool sending ctrl-plus would again trigger xbindkeys and so on.

But of course this means that every time I hit Control+plus in a non-acrobat window xbindkeys needs to be killed and restarted...

Is there a better way to do this?

Many thanks!

  • Unrelated crystal ball: you have a german-language keyboard and acroread thinks the layout is U.S., is that intentional? Feb 2, 2015 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


Based this answer on Ask Ubuntu, it would appear that killing and then restarting xbindkeys is not necessary.

  • If that AU link becomes deleted, would you please import the relevant bits here? Thank you!
    – Jeff Schaller
    May 5, 2019 at 12:02

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