Using Ubuntu's heads-up display (HUD)

The Ubuntu 12.04 Unity interface includes a heads-up display (HUD) that gives you an alternative to navigating through menu paths. If you remember a command (or part of it) that is the path target, you can use HUD to search for that command and execute it directly.
Using HUD to execute commands - You can use HUD to search for and execute commands, which you can also access through traditional menus. To use HUD, do the following:
  1. Press Alt to display HUD as the "Type your command" search field.

  2. Start typing the command you want (or part of it) until HUD displays it as an item in a menu path.
  3. To execute a command, such as for opening a window, click on the command. Alternatively, you can scroll to it and press Enter.

Note: Executing a command closes HUD automatically. To close HUD before you execute a command, press Alt.
Example system commands - System actions you can perform through Ubuntu HUD commands include:
  • Launching the Update Manager by typing u and then clicking Device > Software Up to Date.

  • Displaying the User Accounts window by typing ac and then clicking Users > User Accounts.

Example GIMP commands - The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is an application that lets you perform actions through its associated HUD commands.
Note: HUD works only with applications that use the Unity global menu bar, such as GIMP, Chrome, and Image Viewer.
GIMP actions you can perform through HUD commands include:
  • Displaying the Scale Image window by typing sc and then clicking Image > Scale Image.

  • Displaying the Brightness-Contrast window by typing br and then clicking Colors > Brightness-Contrast.

  • Converting an image from RGB (full color) to monochrome (black and white) by typing gra and then clicking Image > Mode > Grayscale.

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