Cannot use Ctrl-Tab as keyboard shortcut in gnome-terminal

Bug #162000 reported by Mikael Ståldal
This bug affects 30 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Terminal
gnome-terminal (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: gnome-terminal

It is not possible to use Ctrl-Tab as keyboard shortcut in gnome-terminal.

I would like to use it to switch tabs.

Revision history for this message
Stoanhart (stoanhart) wrote :

I agree. It seems that the tab key can not be used, regardless of what the combo is. I would like consitent tab management between firefox and gnome-terminal.

Revision history for this message
Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for your report, that's known upstream:

comment from upstream:

"There are a couple of keys which are not candidates to be keyboard
accelerators, independently of the modifiers. Tab is one of those
keys, as it (with various combinations of modifiers) are reserved by
gtk for its own use and the window manager.

Note that validity is decided by calling gtk_accelerator_valid, but
the list of valid accelerator keys seems to be only in the source
(which you can find at, in case
you feel like it)

Changed in gnome-terminal:
status: New → Invalid
Revision history for this message
Mikael Ståldal (mikaelstaldal) wrote :

I posted this comment upstream:

"I think that is a serious limitiation to not be able to use Ctrl-Tab as a
keyboard shortcut in Gnome applications.

Elsewhere, it is a convention to use Ctrl-Tab to switch between tabs/subwindows
within an application. You use this in e.g. Mozilla Firefox, and I successfully
configured Eclipse for this behaviour.

Since you use Alt-Tab to switch between applications, it's quite convenient to
be able to use Ctrl-Tab to swtich tab/subwindow within an application."

Revision history for this message
Keith Hughitt (keith-hughitt) wrote :

I also think it would be great to be able to configure gnome-terminal to use (shift) Control + Tab.

Revision history for this message
LeviRosol (levi-rosol) wrote :

Agreed that this is a useful, and more and more commonly used keyboard shortcut.

Revision history for this message
Kyle Lin (luckysolar) wrote :

Agreed. I think it is important to me for using Ctrl +Tab to swith tabs when I write code by vim. Expect we can configure gnome-terminal to use this feature.

Revision history for this message
Paolo Milani (j-s-sebastian) wrote :

Agreed. I think most users learned about tabs from the firefox browser, so other applications should follow the conventions set by firefox: (shift) ctrl+tab to switch, ctrl-N for a new tab, ctrl-f4 to close a tab

Changed in gnome-terminal (Ubuntu):
status: Invalid → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Felipe Amado (amadinho10) wrote :

I agree. And I think all applications should use the same keyboard shortcuts for tabs management (Ctrl + T, Ctrl + W, Ctrl + Tab).

Revision history for this message
rusik3 (rusik3) wrote :

It is a really not usefull without ctr + tab and ctr+shift_tab

Revision history for this message
duncan mcnae (duncanmcnae) wrote :

Very much needed to get unity between different programs and their tab behaviour. It is this way in nautilus....

Revision history for this message
Loren Dias (lorendias) wrote :

I configure all my keyboard bindings to use Firefox style hotkeys,

Most of us grew up on Firefox first and Linux second, so it makes sense to cater to our existing workflow.

This problem is still fundamental, I'm trying to figure out if its possible to make the necessary edits here, or if the system prohibits it:

Revision history for this message
Jon (dotnetcarpenter) wrote :

Right, then it is past time to switch terminal.

Revision history for this message
Simon Law (sfllaw) wrote :

As a hack, you can still specify "<Primary>Tab" and "<Primary><Shift>Tab" as keybindings, directly using dconf-editor or gsettings.

For instance, gnome-terminal:

$ gsettings set \
  org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Keybindings:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/keybindings/ \
  next-tab '<Primary>Tab'
$ gsettings set \
  org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Keybindings:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/keybindings/ \
  prev-tab '<Primary><Shift>Tab'

Changed in gnome-terminal:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Joao Loureiro (joaofl) wrote :

This issue was reported back in 2007. Still no plans to get that fixed?

It is certainly not critical, but definitely makes usage more intuitive and user happier.

Revision history for this message
Benjamin Melançon (v-ben-h) wrote :

The solution in comment 13 and is a godsend and is justifiably popular on Ask Ubuntu stackexchange:

Most people, i am sure, just suffer without the most sensible shortcuts for switching tabs. Would be excellent to add this to Gnome or work around it proactively.

Revision history for this message
Yarma22 (yarma22) wrote :

Considering that the default shortcut to switch between tabs in some major Gnome apps, such as Files and Text Editor, is actually Ctrl-Tab/Ctrl-Shit-Tab (at least with recent versions), doesn't that make the upstream limitation obsolete and could this behavior be ported to Terminal?

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