Shortcuts xournal

  • Matthias Günther


    really like this tool but I'm switching between certain functions frequently and a shortcut for that would save me a lot of time. I know it's difficult to implement the wishes of the users but just let me know if you can do something about this issue.

    Thanks for the great work of this nice piece of open software!

  • Denis Auroux

    Denis Auroux - 2010-04-11


    If you mean switching between tools - assuming you have a side button on your tablet pen (or several buttons on whichever device you are using), you can assign different tools to buttons 2 and 3 (see in the Options menu).

    Otherwise, there are keyboard shortcuts for switching between tools, though they are not very good. You could make better shortcuts for switching tools, but it'd require recompiling from the source code - sorry!


  • Matthias Günther

    Hi Denis,

    thanks for your reply. As far as I know you are the only person who still maintain xournal so I only can express my gratitude for this work. I was a bit blind - but it works if I'm hitting Shift-Ctr-L but this is complicated if I want to work quick.

    But how can I activate the defined buttons on example on Button 2 mapping? I'm using still a keyboard and no tablet.

    Matthias Günther

  • Denis Auroux

    Denis Auroux - 2010-04-11

    Oh, I see.

    1. If you need the ruler shortcut to become something easier than Shift-Ctrl-L, I'm afraid there's no solution other than to recompile from the source code. I can provide instructions if need be - it's easy if you're used to compiling things, might be a steeper learning curve otherwise. Roughly: (a) get the source from the sourceforge CVS server; (b) modify src/xo-interface.c (e.g. line 895 for the Shift-Ctrl-L shortcut) either directly or via "glade-2", editing the menu, and re-generating the source; (C) recompile and reinstall.

    2. Now, you're presumably using a mouse (or touchpad or whatever) to draw, and my "button 2 / button 3" suggestion was that, if you have several buttons on your mouse, you could make it so that, for example, left-click uses the highlighter, and right-click uses a red pen with the ruler option; or anything like that. (By default, the middle and right buttons are mapped to the eraser, which is maybe not so useful to you). (Button 2 = middle button, Button 3 = right button).

    To set these up, the easiest is: first select the tool and options you'd like to assign to a given button. For instance, if you'd like the right button to be a thick red ruler pen, select: pen tool, ruler mode, red color, thick; then "Options -> Button 3 mapping -> Pen" (so that the right click will always give you a pen tool from now on), and "Options -> Button 3 mapping -> Copy of current brush" (if you'd like to keep the ruler/red/thick settings regardless of what other pen color you decide to use later for the left button).
    Repeat with Button 2 if you have a middle button. Then choose the tool you'd like on the left button. Finally, "Options -> Save preferences" if you're happy with the settings.

    The process for changing the button 2/3 settings is quite complicated as you can see - sorry for that too! But if you're not using the eraser and instead always switching to the same tool, then I think it's still useful to map it to the right button.

    Ideally, in the not-so-near future, it'll be easier to modify keyboard shortcuts and to assign different modes to different buttons, but I haven't figured out a good way to make these user-configurable yet.


  • Matthias Günther

    Evening Denis,

    thanks for your detailed answer and yeah I'm still familiar with my apt-get install, adding repositories to the source list and so on. But to say the truth I don't like to compile manual programs under linux.

    The second method you mentioned worked perfect. Maybe someone find the time to write some wiki-like manual for this great piece software (I'm a wiki-evangelist so please let me know if there is the need for this).

    Best regards Matthias Günther

  • Taka

    Taka - 2010-06-27

    helex and possibly others,

    Compiling xournal on an debian-based OS is especially easy:

    $ sudo apt-get build-dep xournal
    $ apt-get source xournal
    (cd into xournal dir, make necessary changes, and run ./ && make)

    A software masterpiece like xournal deserves recompilations.

  • Aaron Scoble

    Aaron Scoble - 2012-04-17

    I know this is a long time after the last post, but as this thread was useful to me I'd like to comment.

    I have tried several apps for annotating pdf's under Ubuntu (foxit, acrobat, okular), and the features of xournal cover my needs almost perfectly.
    The main shortcoming of xournal was the lack of user-definable shortcuts, but the previous posts helped me to configure my own and now there is no question of me needing to try another app.

    It took me less than half an hour to modify the source (most of that was trial-and-error with the actual keys used for  shortcuts). Once the xo-interface.c file is modified, it takes a few seconds to run autogen and make, meaning the whole trial process is very fast and easy to test key configs.

    I have bound the colours to <alt>0-9, as well as <alt><space> for the ruler. I'll probably keep redefining these keys as I work with it some more, and as they were somewhat arbitrary.

    Thanks for the help and for the excellent tool!

  • Gertjan van Zwieten

    Hi, here's another one that recently discovered the powers of xournal. Great work!

    I would just like to chime in with the others that user configurable keyboard shortcuts are my #1 wishlist item. I use a tablet and would prefer to work with my right hand holding the pen and my left hand at the keyboard changing tools without changing grip. The current ctrl-shift-* shortcuts often require two hands, so I would simply drop the modifiers.

    To make a practical suggestion: a modifier toggle on/off under options, or, more powerful, a modifier submenu (ctrl, shift, alt), would be perfect for my needs.

    Thanks again for an otherwise excellent tool!


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