How to work in Dolphin

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Dolphin is a KDE file manager.

Getting started with Dolphin


When you launch Dolphin, it opens your Home folder.

1. At the top of the window you can see a Toolbar. It can be customized to satisfied your particular needs. In order to modify (add/remove) some toolbar item, click on it by the right mouse button.
In the window appeared select the Configure toolbar entry. The toolbar configuration window will be shown.

If you need to add something to toolbar, then select necessary item at the right side (Available actions) and click on the Right arrow to move it to the right side, Current actions.

If you need to remove some action, do exactly the opposite - move it from the right side to the left.

2. To launch a file or open a folder, click twice on it by the left mouse button.

3. To select a single file or a single folder, just click on it using the left mouse button. Selected file or folder will be highlighted with a blue square.
4. To select several files or folders at once, press the Ctrl key and while holding it click by the left mouse button on necessary files and folders.

5. To remove selection from a file or folder but leave other files or folders selected, click by the left mouse button on selected file or folder holding the Ctrl key. The blue square will disappear from that file.

6. To select all files and folders in the opened folder, press Ctrl+A.

7. To create a new folder inside the active one, press F10. A window will appear where you can enter the name of a new folder.
8. Dolphin supports tabbed view. To create a new tab, press Ctrl+T. Multiple tabs are allowed, just press that key combination to create one more tab.

9. To close active tab, press Ctrl+W.

Navigation bar

1. Dolphin uses a new concept of navigation bar. It doesn't display folder path as a single string, but shows a chain of folder names. Every name is clickable and opens corresponding folder.

2. Between folder names represented as buttons, an arrow button exists which is also a button. If you click on it, you will see all subfolders located at the same level as the current one and quickly change directory to one of them.

3. You can also use classical navigation bar that display the whole folder path. You can turn on classical view for the bar by pressing Ctrl+L. To switch back from the classical view, press that key combination again.

Dual-panel view

1. Dolphin supports dual-pane view, as in Midnight Commander. To activate this mode, press F3. In order to return to the single-pane mode, press the key again.
2. You can open different folders in different panes independently and copy or move folders and files between two panes. Active pane has white background; grey background is used for inactive one. Files and folders can be moved or copied only from active pane to the inactive one. For example:

View modes

1. Dolphin has several view modes: Icons, Compact, Details. Particular mode can be activated wither using corresponding toolbar icon or using hotkey combinations Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3.
2. Icons view mode; to activate it, press Ctrl+1 (this mode is used by default).
3. Compact view mode; to activate it, press Ctrl+2.
4. Details view mode; to activate it, press Ctrl+3. Note that consequent windows do not replace the view from the previous windows, but shows subfolders of every folder opened in the current window.


1. Dolphin contains several panels that can be activated using the Panels menu or by hot keys. Every panel can be placed either in the right of in the left dock of the window. To change location of a panel, you should click on its title using the left mouse button and drag it to a new place.
2. For example, to show or hide the Information panel, press F11.
3. To show or hide the Places panel, press F9.
4. To show or hide the Folders panel, press F7.
5. To show or hide the Terminal panel (console) in the folder which is currently active in the manager window, press F4.

To be continued in the part 2...