keyboard: alt-F doesn't open File menu

Bug #1734817 reported by John Pye on 2017-11-28
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

In Ubuntu 17.10, something seems to have gone wrong with the keyboard bindings for the application menus (File, Edit, View, Insert, etc). Specifically, the first menu item cannot be opened using its assigned shortcut alt+key combination.

In LibreOffice, I can use alt-E, alt-V, alt-H, alt-A (for tAble). All of them work EXCEPT alt-F, which is the first one in the list.

In Gedit 3.22.1 and Evince 3.26.0, it is the same. I can't use alt-F, but I can use all the others.

Interestingly, in Pluma 1.18.2, everything is fine. Also, in Firefox 57.0 everything is fine. Also in Synaptic 0.84.2, which doesn't integrate correctly with Unity, alt-F and the others work fine.

It seems that the 'modern' GNOME 3 applications are all failing, and then also LibreOffice as well, which maybe is using GTK3 just like GNOME3. Otherwise, I don't know.

I think this bug is not the same as bug #790687. That bug is just about the case where the desktop is focussed, not other applications in general.

Khurshid Alam (khurshid-alam) wrote :

For me, Gedit and Evince are working fine. Do they show horizontal menu-bar? Gnome apps doesn't usually have menu-bar. Ubuntu patches few to show menu-bar (file, edit etc) under unity. But if a app doesn't have file menu, naturally ALT+F won't work.

Also there is this bug, LP: #1683383 which happens because Ubuntu removed a 5-year old patch from xorg. As a result lots of binding shortcuts are not working under Unity.

John Pye (jdpipe) wrote :

Updating this report for Ubuntu 18.04.

I made a new install of Ubuntu 18.04 and switched to the Unity shell.

LibreOffice: can't use ALT+F to access the File menu. ALT+E (etc) work fine; just not ALT+F.

Terminal: nothing seems to allow me to enable the ALT+F etc mnemonics in Gnome Terminal. Seems to be a separate bug.

Synaptic: works perfectly; it is not integrated with the Unity menu.

Thunderbird: works perfectly; it is integrated with the Unity menu correctly.
Firefox: also works perfectly.

Rhythmbox: as with LibreOffice, all the shortcuts work except for ALT+F (the first menu is not responsive, even though the 'F' in 'File' is underlined, just as for LibreOffice.

Gedit: as for Rhythmbox, LibreOffice: ALT+F doesn't work.

Pluma: works fine, except that ALT+F menu appears in the wrong place!! Appears in the top-left corner of the window instead of near the menubar.

@kurshid-alam: note, all of these apps *DO HAVE* menubars, all of which *DO APPEAR* when I type ALT. The only issue here is whether the displayed mnemonics are actually enacted or not.

@kurshid-alam: This issue was not present in Ubuntu 16.04, so I don't think it can relate to the 5-year old patch that you mentioned.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Khurshid Alam (khurshid-alam) wrote :

Gedit: Alt+F works for me (I am on cosmic using 3.28.1)

LibreOffice: Not sure

Terminal: Teminal ported to gmenu from gtk menu and after that they removed ubuntu-specific stuff.

So it may be related to that because it works in gnome-flashback session, and it compiles with mnemonics enabled.

Rhythmbox: It is also showing shell gmenu. May be unity menubar patch needs to be updated.

Synaptic: It runs as root. So no global menu

John Pye (jdpipe) wrote :

I re-checked, indeed on my system, the ALT+F doesn't work for me. This is on Bionic 18.04 LTS, which I hope to stick with for some time.

If there is a fix for the problem of missing first-mnemonic actions, then I hope it can be backported! That seems the be the main theme here, with the issues of Pluma and Terminal as secondary issues.

Khurshid Alam (khurshid-alam) wrote :

Note, Alt+F10 will still work.

Egmont Koblinger (egmont-gmail) wrote :

gnome-terminal is a long complicated story (see the link from comment 5 if you care), BUT one of the 3 or so reasons we removed the global menu mnemonics was that even if we enabled them, Alt+F didn't work. I can no longer recall for sure, but I think Alt+F stopped working for us when we ported to GMenu (the first link here from comment 3).

18.04, Unity 7, gedit: Alt+F does not work for me, Alt+E etc. do work.

John Pye (jdpipe) wrote :

Sure is a complicated story.

But this Alt+F issue is larger than just gnome-terminal. As you can see, it also breaks LibreOffice, which is a core desktop app for basically ALL users. So that bug need to be fixed, and so becomes no longer a reason to remove the mnemonics from gnome-terminal.

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