Leverage mouse gestures

KDE has built in support for mouse gestures enabling you to greatly increase your productivity by just drawing thing with your mouse on the screen. You can configure gestures under System Settings, Shortcuts and Gestures, Custom Shortcuts, then check the Gestures checkbox. The gestures you define can execute commands, call D-Bus API calls or emulate key presses.

Example: launching applications

You could for instance draw a plus-sign gesture with your mouse to activate kcalc.

Binding mouse buttons to keyboard shortcuts

You can use xbindkeys and xte to map custom mouse buttons to keyboard shortcuts, which KDE can pick up and leverage anywhere. Using this trick you can have Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V fired by pressing your 4th and 5th mouse buttons, or for instance firing the desktop grid and present windows effects.

How to take screenshots

KDE's ksnapshot is a deceivingly powerful screenshot application that opens when you press Print Screen. You can directly save the taken screenshot or send it to GIMP or any other image processor for further edits. With the Capture mode field you can select what exactly you want to capture, for instance a specific window or by drawing a rectangle right on the screen to cut the created image.

Learn these keyboard shortcuts and increase productivity!

Many of the keyboard shortcuts in KDE are similar to those in Windows and often follow the Ctrl + ... pattern as found in that operating system. Common operations like Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V and Ctrl + S work throughout every application, but there are many more to be discovered that speed you up.

Bind useful actions to screen corners and edges.

To increase your productivity you can assign actions to the corners and edges of your screen, which trigger when your mouse cursor touches them. KDE allows you to add at least 13 different actions to corners and edges, some examples you can do:

How to add a widget to the desktop

You can customize your desktop to great extent by adding, removing and/or moving around widgets. In Plasma - the KDE desktop - everything is a widget (also sometimes referred to as plasmoid) and therefore gives you great powers to alter things according to your liking. In order to add a widget to your panel or desktop, just click the cashew icon and select Add widgets.... If you had your desktop configuration locked, select Unlock Widgets first to be able to gain access to the widgets library.

Use ALT+F2 as calculator

One of the lesser known and more undiscovered features of the ALT+F2 run dialog is that - with the Calculator plugin enabled - you can do a fair amount of arithmetic's and math right from your fingertips. Just open ALT+F2 and type things like 1+1, 9/3 and 5*3 and the results will show immediately. If the calculator doesn't respond, prepend your expression with a =-sign like =1+1 to make sure the calculator plugin picks it up.

The sourced article shows more complex examples!

Get traditional files on your desktop

KDE 4's revolutionary new desktop approach turned plasma - the desktop shell software - into a highly modular architecture that works entirely on plugins. What that meant for end-users is that KDE on a default installation does not show files in a ~/Desktop folder full-screen on the desktop like it works on Mac and Windows. Although you can show your files through a folderview applet, you can also configure a full folder to be your desktop layout.

Leverage ALT+F2 and web shortcuts

One of the best hidden power features that KDE has are its web shortcuts, allowing you to jump to everywhere on the web from your desktop. Whenever you open your launcher by pressing ALT+F2 you can use shortcuts for various web services. For instance, you can search Google with gg:searchterm, Google images with ggi:penguins and Wikipedia with wp:kde. Using these abbreviations you can go to literally hundreds of websites, including those added yourself.

Disable started KDE services

When you log into your KDE desktop, there is a background service that starts - named kded and handles common infrastructural desktop activities. It may notify you of a usb stick you plugged into your USB port, or tell you that disk is running low. To help reduce some system cycles a thing you can do is to go through all the background services it loads, as your desktop computer might not have a touchpad or a wacom pad attached.

You can edit the list of desktop services by following these steps: