Quicker launching from MATE-Menu search

This is completely asinine but here I go anyway… So literally the ONLY thing that “bothers” me about UM is the way MATE-Menu handles searching for a program and launching it. If you use Whisker Menu in XFCE and the start menu in Windows, you can hit super_l, start typing the name of the program you want to run, and hit enter to launch the program. MATE-menu (and it’s parent, mintmenu) requires you to press the up arrow to highlight the program you want, sometimes this means going up through a list to get to the program you want.

My question: does anyone know if there is a way to make the menu highlight the first option in the search results list? I know I’m only talking about a couple extra keystrokes at most, but the action of typing a query and hitting enter has become such a muscle-memory function that I would love the ability to make it work that way in UM.

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You can use Mate run dialog with ALT + F2 keys

Yeah I know about that feature as well. The problem with doing it that way is you have to type out the whole command (at least that’s the way I recall it). If you just installed something and you’re not sure what the command is you could have a hard time.

No need to type the full command .

Ah okay, but do you still have to tab down or something to launch the program or will it launch if you just hit enter like that?

The run dialogue has autocomplete feature . Start typing a command and it will autocomplete to the most recent one

I get that. But to run the program once it’s in the list on the bottom part of the dialog, can you just hit the enter key to run the program or do you have to mouse click/tab down/arrow down to highlight it to run it?

Rob, I’m with you 100%. It’s my biggest gripe with that menu. I partially type a name, hit enter and it #$%#$%#$%!! searches instead of just lauching the @#$@#$@$#@ app.

Sorry for my @#$#%#$% :smiley:


Exactly. Every once in a while it throws me for a complete loop.

FWIW, if you go into the menu properties and delete everything in the “search” field, it won’t search if you hit enter before selecting an item… it’ll just sit there. That’s better than launching mate-search, if you don’t actually use it :smiley:

If you actually type the full name of the item, it’ll launch.

Another idea that was brushed on earlier, you can re-map “Run Application” from the default Alt-F2 combo to something easier to hit, like Alt-Space (what I use). When it comes up the first time toggle “list of known applications” open, if you want. It auto-completes and launches applications much like Whisker Menu.

If you’d rather invoke it with a click, add the “Run Application” panel applet to your panel, to invoke the same thing.

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Gotta try this remap to alt + space would feel just like OSX when I have to use it. Wish spotlight was open source haha

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See this guide

It will tell you how to add a feature like spotlight :wink:

Yes we could haved forked it then before they 'improved' it for Yosemite.

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Yea that would have been nice. Really useful feature that made the update to tiger well worth it

Ah Tiger!! My goodness that OS was a thing of beauty.

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I was going to suggest forking the Whisker Menu and rebuilding it into something more at home on MATE until I looked at the code on Github and my eyes started to burn like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark when I saw it was C++

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I was wondering if a port of Whisker Menu would be worthwhile… maybe someday…


Why not use synapse ?

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If anyone still wants this functionality, here’s a patch.
You can just edit the python file and kill usr/bin/python /usr/lib/mate-menu/mate-menu.py then have the panel reload it.
Not sure how to send a pull req to the actual project.

applications.py should be in /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/mate_menu/plugins

--- applications.py.backup      2015-10-15 13:41:47.788297811 +1300
+++ applications.py     2015-10-15 14:33:08.116927510 +1300
@@ -704,7 +704,8 @@
                 for i in self.categoriesBox.get_children():
                     i.set_relief( Gtk.ReliefStyle.NONE )
+                shownList[0].grab_focus()
                 allButton = self.categoriesBox.get_children()[0];
                 allButton.set_relief( Gtk.ReliefStyle.HALF )
                 self.activeFilter = (0, text, widget)

Awesome, now MATE has the same quick search usability of every other OS.