How do I move a window without using the mouse?

Date: 17 Aug, 2008
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|linux, open source & software

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Updated 2010-10-18.

Moving windows with keyboard shortcuts

If your mouse is broken or your window has disappeared off-screen or for whatever reason …

  • Windows
    • Alt+Space, M, then use cursor keys, hit Enter to set position.
    • Note that Alt+Space, X will maximise a window to fill the current viewport; useful if your window is completely off screen and you don’t know where.
    • Microsoft’s page on Win7 keyboard shortcuts.

Alt-F3 / Alt-Space enters the “window menu” or “window configuration menu” for the currently focussed application / program.

M is the underlined letter in Move, this will then bring up the “compass” cursor over the window to be moved.

Cursor keys – up, down, left, right – then move the window around.

Enter key exits the window menu leaving the window in the newly set position.

  • Linux
    • Alt-F3, M, then use cursor keys, hit Enter to set position;
    • This should work on all the mainstream linux distros (Ubuntu and variants, Fedora, Debian, etc.), let me know in the comments if it does/doesn’t work for you.
    • Standard Ubuntu keyboard shortcuts.
  • Mac
    • The best I can do is to use Mouse Keys (I’m not a Mac user): press Option Option or Alt key icon (aka Alt) 5 times to activate|deactivate “mouse keys” then you can use your number pad (or number keys) as a mouse input. 4 moves left, 2 down, etc., 5 to click button, 0 to hold the button.
    • Apple’s page on other Mac keyboard shortcuts.

3 Responses to "How do I move a window without using the mouse?"

1 | Tristan O'Brien

April 16th, 2009 at 2:49 am

Alt + F3 does nothing in any program

2 | admin

April 17th, 2009 at 1:19 am

Sorry Tristan I must have been asleep when I wrote that .. it’s for Linux (Kubuntu defaults) only.

Updated teh post for Windows XP too.


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