Efficiently Using the Ubuntu Launcher
Learning some basic methods to navigate and customize the launcher can make it an efficient tool that is used to complete daily tasks. With several icons located in the launcher, reordering the applications may reduce your time searching for your desired program to execute.
The images above show the steps involved in changing the order of the icons in the launcher. First, click and drag the icon you would like to move off of the launcher. In the example above, Banshee is being moved from below the System Monitor to below the Calculator application. Once the icon to be moved is off of the launcher, a horizontal white line displays its new proposed location. Place the icon in the desired position, and release the left mouse button.
If there are many icons in the launcher, it may not be possible to display them all at the same time due to space constraints. In this case, there are two ways to scroll through the icons in the launcher. The first method is done by clicking on an icon and dragging it up and down. This action will ‘grab’ the launcher until you release the mouse click. The second method involves using the built-in scroll functionality which is automatically added to the launcher when it is not possible to display all icons.
The image to the far left shows that there are too many icons in the launcher to display full size. The launcher shown in the image is scrolled to the top, which means the bottom icons are compressed. The Brasero, Workspace Switcher, and Trash icons are angled back to save space in the launcher.
In the next image, the launcher is in the process of scrolling down. This is accomplished by simply placing the cursor towards the bottom of the launcher to scroll down, or towards the top to scroll up. While scrolling down, the bottom icons expand or angle up to their original size and orientation and the upper icons angle back. Some users may prefer a less cluttered launcher that does not require scrolling to use any particular icon. This can be accomplished by not relying exclusively on the launcher to start programs.
In order to reduce the number of icons present in the launcher, it is straightforward to add icons to the desktop that will launch applications. The image below shows that AisleRiot Solitaire has been filtered in the Dash Home. Instead of clicking on the icon to launch the application, the icon is dragged to the desktop. Note that the icon is passing over the Music section of the Dash Home in this image.
Once the icon is over the desktop and completely out of the region covered by the Dash Home, releasing the mouse button will create a launcher on the desktop. Launching applications from the desktop requires two clicks, while executing programs in the launcher requires one click. Although you can launch applications using the icons on the desktop, all running applications will appear, at least temporarily, in the launcher.