Ubuntu, other than most distributions as well as MS Windows, decided to move its window menu buttons to the left side of the top window panel. This brings along many accustomization problems for people who are used to rush their mouses to the top right instinctively.
If you want to, you can revert this change with the help of gconf-editor.
Open it by entering gconf into Dash or
into a terminal. Browse the left pane for /apps/metacity/general and look for the value of button_layout which should be close,minimize,maximize: . This value defines where the buttons are positioned and in which order - the commands stand for the appropriate button whereas the colon determines on which side they will be. You can also add a menu button by including menu.
To move the buttons to the right and adjust their order, a value like
would be appropriate. Don't forget to set the colon or metacity will crash as soon as you have entered and confirmed your value!
The Cinnamon desktop's menu text is changeable through dconf Editor which you can find by entering the name into the menu's search bar (don't confuse it with gconf Editor, that's something else, even though it looks nearly the same). Browse the directory tree on the left for org > cinnamon and search for the menu-text item on the right pane.
By clicking onto the field's value (Menu) it is selected and you can enter your own text into it. Remember that the main menu pops up at the center of the name label by default, so don't choose too long texts, otherwise it'll look awkward:
Apart from installing third party software to replicate the Start button, the menu you get when pressing Windows key + X is the closest you may get to open things on Windows 8 the old way - but to come by without a Start button replacement, it lacks a few features.
This is where Winaero's WinXEditor comes in which makes it remarkably easy to add and remove groups and items to the menu:
Download WinXEditor from the Winaero homepage here: http://winaero.com/comment.php?comment.news.30
If you get an error on a missing dll file, try out this article: Fix msvcr100.dll error
Operating systems are full of hidden features which are left to us users to explore, which is best done by right-clicking everything you see (or not see, in this case).
Windows 8 provides us with a rather hidden menu which had better been more visible, since it actually is quite useful. To get to it, point your mouse to the bottom left corner (where the Metro switcher pops up) and right-click.
The menu gives you quick access to many functions you might use frequently such as opening a new explorer window, the Task Manager, Control Panel, the Run prompt and even a direct link for an elevated Command prompt (and with it, the option for an elevated PowerShell). The menu also works from the Metro UI.
The context menu you gain by right-clicking the desktop is a powerful tool to open any kind of data and program. If you have a folder that you need to access regularly it might be a clever idea to simply pin it to that right-click menu to shorten the access time.
To achieve that you need to add a few keys to the registry. Open it by typing regedit into a run prompt which you get by hitting Windows key + R. In the registry, navigate to the Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\background\shell key and right-click it to create a new key (New > Key). Give it the name of the command that shall later appear in the menu (Custom Folder in the example above). Afterwards right-click the created key and create another one called command. Left click the command key and change the (Default) value by double-clicking it. It has to be something like
Replace the path I used with the one to your folder (embrace it in double-quotes if it contains spaces) and put the explorer.exe in front of it, so the system knows which program to use to open the command.
Windows 8 does no longer provide you with an obvious button to shut your machine down, put it to sleep or restart it. You now have the optoins to either shut down with the Ctrl + Alt + Del screen or to find your way through some hot-corner menus to do so. If you choose to try the latter, move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen to activate the appropriate menu, then move the mouse down to the Settings option:
Then click the Power button to open the shut down menu and choose the action of your choice:
Though Cinnamon comes with a settings tool you can not yet customize it to the fullest. This is because it still is under heavy development and it is even not yet recommended to create super-creative themes, since it is likely that functions will be altered or added in the near future.
Nevertheless I have searched the cinnamon.css file (the file that is responsible for most stylistic issues of cinnamon) of the current version 1.3.1 for the classes that have to be altered to change the basic interface elements, the panel and the menu. The file you need is /usr/share/cinnamon/theme/cinnamon.css. Color values are given in hexadecimal codes (e.g. #FF0000) or in RGB values plus transparency (e.g. (255,255,255,0.5). A color can easily be converted to the other format using graphical software such as Pinta - just use the software's color picker to choose a color and then copy and paste the code, or insert a code to get the other. If two colors are given in the form of a gradient, there is a color flow between the two given colors.
Note: Before you make any changes to your cinnamon.css, make sure you have made a backup copy and know how to use it without a proper user interface since one faulty character in the file could render cinnamon completely unable to start. The best way to save yourself then is to have another desktop such as GNOME 3 installed to be able to switch to it in worst case (use ctrl + alt + backspace to log out)
Note2: Changes only apply after restarting Cinnamon.
- To change the panel's color, search the file for the #panel class and change the background-color value.
- To change the unfocused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the focused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box:focus class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the button border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the menu's color, search for the .popup-menu-boxpointer class and edit the arrow-background-color value
- To change the menu border's color, search for the arrow-background-color class and edit the arrow-border-color value
- To change the category menu's selector box, search for the .menu-category-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application menu's selector box, search for the .menu-application-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application submenu's selection box color, search for the .popup-menu-item:active class and edit the background-color value
- To change the border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the favorites menu's background color, search for the .menu-favorites-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the favorites menu's border color, change the border value in the same class as above
- To change the favorites menu's selection box color, search for the .menu-favorites-button:hover class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the scrollbar handle's color, search for the StScrollBar StButton#vhandle class and change the background-color value
- To change the scrollbar border's color, edit the border value in the same class as above
To change the menu's texts, there is usually a value called color inside the appropriate classes which handle the text color. Also, the other possibilities can easily be identified by the classes' and values' names.
Since it takes a relatively long time to browse the Windows Control Panel to find the items you are in need of, here is a workaround for one of the items you probably use or should use most, the defragmentation of drives. This guide describes how you use the Windows Registry to add the defragment-command right into the drives' context menu appearing on right-click.
To do so, open the registry by entering regedit into a Run... prompt. What appears is a window parted into two frames, a large arrangement of directories (keys) on the left and their contents on the right. Browse the following key in the left frame:
Now right-click the shell key, select New > Key and name it runas. Runas (run as...) defines a new entry in the context menu which lets you open a file, in our case a drive, with a certain application. Look at the contents of runas and double-click the (Default)-value. Change it to the name you want to be displayed in the menu, e.g. Defragment Drive.
Now right-click the created runas-key and create another key inside of that, call it Command. The value inside of that key determines which action should be run upon using the option.
Now you basically could enter any command you can enter in a Windows command line. For defragmentation, the command is defrag followed by the drive and a number of possible switches. To look up which switches are possible, enter defrag -? into a command line. The switch characters are then added to the command lead by a hyphen, as the question-mark before. I think defrag %1 -Uv is basically a good option, so I change the (Default)-value to defrag %1 -Uv. After that, close the registry and right-click a drive and use your newly created defragment-command:
There is a feature in Windows 7 that allows access on more options on right-click with any file, just by holding the Shift key while clicking.
The shift option alters the menus of nearly every file to open. For example, it adds the Run as different user and Copy as path options to executables, the Open in new process, Open command window here and Copy as path options to folders and many different new options such as the libraries to the Send to option.