2. Configuring the KDE Panel

You can configure the KDE Panel itself to alter how some aspects of it look and work. You can also add application and applet launchers, utilities and tools to the KDE Panel. Some of the utilities and tools you can add to your KDE Panel are simply fun and others allow you to control various aspects of your Desktop. You can also rearrange the items on your Panel to suite your own needs, placing each item exactly where you want it.

Moving the Panel

By default the KDE Panel is located at the bottom of your screen. You can easily move it to any one of the four edges of your screen. Click and hold the left mouse button on any empty section of the Panel and drag it to the top or left or right side of your screen. You will see an outline of where the Panel will be located and when it is situated where you want it just release the mouse button.

The location of the KDE Panel can also be configured using the Panel menu of the Control Center as I will describe later in this chapter.

Adding Applications to the KDE Panel

Adding an application launcher to the KDE Panel is very simple. Right click on some empty space on the Panel and choose Add Application to Panel and you are presented with a menu structure that is identical to the menu structure you see when you click on the KDE Menu icon. Simply navigate through the menu structure and click on the application you wish to add to the Panel.

To add OpenOffice Write to the KDE Panel, for example, click Add Application to Panel => Office => Word Processor. Other programs can be added in the same way.

Adding Non-KDE Applications to the Panel

Adding an application to the KDE Panel is not as easy if the application is not automatically added to the KDE Menu when it is installed.

Adding Applets to the KDE Panel

Applets are small programs that provide information about your computer, or binary, analog and digital clocks, and many others. Some of these applets are very useful like the Math Expression Evaluator, or the Print System manager. The Lock/Logout buttons are an applet and can be added to the KDE Panel using the Add Applet menu.

To open the Add Applet menu, right click on an empty spot on the KDE Panel and select Add Applet from the menu. You can scroll through the applets in the list and add the ones you want by clicking on the ones you want to select and then clicking on the Add to Panel button. You can then move the applets around on the KDE Panel to wherever you want them using the technique in the “Moving Panel Items” section below.

Selecting A Different Icon

If you don’t like the icon for a particular launcher you can change it easily. Sometimes newly installed applications have no default icon. In this contrived example I will use a program called VMWare which is third-party commercial software. After adding the launcher to the KDE Panel the icon is

To change the icon for a launcher, simply right click on the launcher icon and select the Configure

Remember that the icons you select may be part of an icon set, or theme. In general, if you change icon sets the icons you have selected for individual launchers will also change to the equivalent icon in the new set. The exception to that is if you have selected an icon provided with the application. Such an icon would be located in a folder (directory) installed with and in the directory hierarchy of the installed application. For example, the icons for RealPlayer® are found in the /usr/local/RealPlayer/share/icons directory and are installed with the RealPlayer application not with Fedora Linux.

Removing Items from the Panel

Removing Applications and Applets

Moving Panel Items

Any launcher, applet or other object on the KDE Panel can be moved, including the Desktop Pager and the Task Bar.

Managing the Desktop Pager

Configuring the Task Bar

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