From KDE UserBase Wiki


How do I move, rotate or resize an applet on the desktop?

First of all, hover over the applet you want to resize. The applet handle will appear.

The applet handle takes care of resize, rotate and move.

  • To move an applet: Click on the handle, then drag the applet around.
  • To rotate an applet: Click on the curved arrow then drag to rotate
  • To resize an applet: Click on the square icon and then drag to resize the applet. You can constrain the resize operation to the applet's aspect ratio by holding down the Ctrl key.

How do I remove widgets?

If they're on the panel, right click on the widget and select Remove this.... If the widgets are on the desktop, you have different options:

  • If you hover over them, clicking the X on the applet handle will remove them;
  • If you use the Add Widget dialog, you can click on the minus symbol icon next to the widget name to remove it.

How can I lock the positions of the widgets?

  • Method 1: Right click on an empty area of the desktop and select Lock Widgets from the contextual menu. If you want to reverse that, right click again and select Unlock Widgets. The same option is available if you right-click on the panel.
  • Method 2: Select Lock Widgets from the Plasma cashew on the upper right corner or from the panel controller.

My widgets are hidden under the windows. How can I show them?

You can bring all the widgets to the front by using Ctrl + F12, which will bring the Plasma Dashboard to the front. When you are done, you can either use the Esc key or select the Hide Dashboard option from the cashew.

How do I switch between Kickoff and the old style menu?

Right click on the menu icon and select Switch to Classic Menu Style (if using Kickoff) or Switch to Kickoff Menu Style (if using the classic menu). Alternatively, you can add either type of menu using the Add Applets dialog. You may also wish to explore the Lancelot menu.

Can the Dashboard show widgets other than those on my desktop?

Yes, it can. To configure it, go to systemsettings -> Desktop -> Workspace -> Dashboard , then choose Show an Independent Widget Set. Click on OK and you will have a different dashboard than your desktop when you access it.

Notifications take up too much screen - can I get rid of them?

For those who do not like it, there is a simple way to disable them. Right click on the system tray notification area (the "i" icon) and select System Tray Settings. There you will have the options of disabling notifications for applications or for jobs (such as file transfers) by unchecking the relevant check boxes.

How do I switch my workspace to Plasma Netbook?

To enable the Netbook interface, go to System Settings -> Desktop -> workspace -> Form Factor -> Netbook.
Read more at the The Plasma Netbook Interface page

Working with Activities

How can I add/remove an activity?

  • Adding an activity: Zoom out from your current desktop view by clicking on the desktop view cashew (the icon in the top right corner) and selecting Zoom out. You see a toolbar under your current desktop. Click on Add Activity to create a new desktop view.
  • Removing an activity: Zoom out from your current desktop view and select the red cross from the toolbar that will appear to remove the activity.


You must unlock widgets (Ctrl + L) before you can remove any activities.

How can I quickly move between activities?

The ZUI method is rather slow, so a better way is to use an Activity Bar. A short how-to here explains exactly what you need to do.

How can I use virtual desktops as activities?

Open systemsettings -> Desktop -> Multiple Desktops, then check the box Different activity for each desktop. Click on OK and you are done.


How can I add applets to the panel?

  • Method 1: Open the Add Widgets dialog in the Plasma cashew (upper right corner of the screen) then select the widget of your liking and drag it directly (don't double click or use the Add widget button) to the panel.
  • Method 2: Drag an applet from the desktop to the panel.
  • Method 3: Click on the cashew on the panel, and select Add widgets. Once you have selected the applet, it will be automatically added to the panel.

Can I move the applets on the panel?

To do so, open up the panel controller (by clicking on the cashew or by right clicking on the panel and selecting Panel Settings) and hover the mouse cursor over the applets. Its shape will turn into four arrows, and you'll be able to rearrange the applets as you wish by holding down the left mouse button to move the icon and clicking with the right mouse button to fix the icon on its place.

How can I change the height and the size of the panel?

Click on the panel cashew (the small icon on the right side of the panel) to open the panel configuration interface. By clicking on Screen Edge, you can position the panel on any of the edges of the screen. Clicking on height and dragging increases or decreases the size of the panel.

The arrows on the sides of the panel define its size: there are two, which define "minimum" and "maximum" sizes. The maximum size is the size at which the panel can expand when items are added, while the minimum size is the minimum size the panel can have. If they are set differently, the panel will readjust its size depending on the contents.

Under More Options there are additional options to align the panel and configure its behavior.

Can I auto-hide the panel?

Open the panel controller, select More Options, then click on the relevant option.

How can I remove a panel?

Click on the panel toolbox, click on More settings, then select Remove this Panel. Alternatively you can right click on the panel itself, select Panel options and choose Remove this Panel.

General Panel Configuration Help

This forum page gives an illustrated guide to configuring the panel.


I am using two screens, and I used to have kicker over the two displays. Can I do that with Plasma?

No. The reason is that having a panel over two displays adds a great deal of complexity, especially when the two displays have different resolution. As a result of this added complexity, this feature would not be guaranteed to work in all cases, hence it was not implemented.

Can I put the panel on only one screen?

All Plasma panels live in one screen. If you want panels on multiple screens, you can add panels and drag them to your preferred location using the panel controller you get when clicking on the Plasma icon in "Unlocked" mode.

On multi screen setups, the ZUI operates on all screens, the Dashboard just on one. Why is that?

The workflows are different. When zooming out, the user wants to get an overview, therefore activities on all screens are zoomed out. Whereas when using the Dashboard, the user usually wants to access specific functionality and might not want to interrupt his or her workflow on other activities.

Working with Keyboard Shortcuts

Are there any keyboard shortcuts for Plasma?

In addition to the mouse, there are a number of shortcuts available. The various combinations should be pressed in sequence, that is for example Alt + D, + means "press Alt and D, release and press +".

  • Lock widgets: Alt-D, L
  • Zoom out: Alt-D, -
  • Zoom in: Alt-D, +
  • Next widget: Alt-D, N
  • Previous widget: Alt-D, P
  • Add activity: Alt-D, Alt-A
  • Next activity: Alt-D, Cursor right
  • Previous activity: Alt-D, Cursor left
  • Widget settings: Alt-D, S
  • Remove widget: Alt-D, R
  • Run associated application (if applicable): Alt-D, T
  • Add widget: Alt-D, A

To change shortcuts, click on the desktop toolbox and select Shortcut settings.

How can I associate a keyboard shortcut with a widget?

Simply select a widget's settings (the wrench icon on the applet handle) and then click on Keyboard Shortcut. You will then be able to define a keyboard shortcut for your applet. Notice that unless the widget has defined some use for the keyboard shortcut, the shortcut itself will only give focus to the widget itself.