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Ximian GNOME: Welcome to Your Desktop
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Configuring the Ximian GNOME desktop

Of course, the quick-launchers, the menus, and icons wouldn't be of any use to us if we weren't able to create, delete, and customize them ourselves. This isn't hard at all, and you'll only need to read this once!



Adding and removing quick-launchers

In this section, we'll learn how to move items on the panel to make room for a new one. Then, we'll add our own Quick Launcher icon. Everyone has a favorite application, and probably you have one too. So, let's make something useful out of this first test, and make a Quick Launcher icon to your personal "killer app"!

The desk guide pop-up menu.
Figure 6: This menu will pop-up if you right-click on one of the Panel-items (the desk guide, in this case).

Begin by right-clicking on the desk guide. This will bring up the menu shown in Figure 6.

From this menu, select "Move", and then drag the desk guide as much to the right as you can. Click once with your left mouse button when you're satisfied with the new location of the desk guide. Then move the Tasklist in the same way. (Note that you have to right-click on the dragging bar when you're dealing with the Tasklist. If you right-click on one of the application icons, you will see some options regarding that particular window.)

Now, your panel should look like in Figure 7.

The reorganized GNOME panel.
Figure 7: The GNOME Panel after a reorganization.

We now have some space left at the middle of the panel. Right-click on this empty area. From the menu that pops up, select Panel > Add to panel > Launcher, as in Figure 8.

Selecting the launcher.
Figure 8: Select this item to add a quick-launcher to the Panel.

Now, you'll see the window shown in Figure 9 on your screen.

The resulting dialog box.
Figure 9: In this window, you can fill in the correct values for the quick-launcher that you want to add.

Fill in the correct values for your Quick Launcher icon in this window (make sure you select the type "Application"), and then click "OK". A new icon should now be added to the Panel, and it should now look something like Figure 10.

The custom Quick Launcher icon.
Figure 10: We have now added a custom Quick Launcher icon to the panel!

As you can see, I added my favorite game, GNOME xBill (xBill comes with the Ximian GNOME games package -- check it out!).

Adding the icon.
Figure 11: This menu is used to add an icon to the desktop.

Adding a desktop icon

Adding a desktop icon is almost as easy as walking. Just right-click somewhere on the desktop, and choose Directory, URL Link, or Launcher from the New submenu.

To complete the job, you will be asked to fill in the exact same window as the one you fill in when you add a quick-launcher -- Simplicity, that's the key!

Editing the GNOME Menu

To edit the entries and menus on the GNOME Menu, you use a tool called the GNOME Menu Editor. You find this tool on the GNOME Menu by selecting Programs > Setting > Menu editor. See Figure 12 for a screenshot of the GNOME Menu Editor.

The menu editor.
Figure 12: The GNOME Menu Editor.

The menu editor is very user-friendly. You just select the part of the GNOME Menu that you want to work with from the left side, choose "new submenu", "new item", or "delete" from the buttons at the top, and then fill in the correct information in the fields at the right. When you're done, don't forget to click on "save"!

Customization Summary

You now have a basic understanding of how the different features of the Ximian GNOME Desktop are tweaked and customized. With this knowledge in hand, you are able to do any of the most important tasks that are needed the build a personal desktop environment. Sure, there's a lot of features we didn't mention in this section, but you will probably be able to figure them out yourself now that you understand how things basically work in Ximian GNOME.

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