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In Windows you can right click on a file, icon next to the URL address from a browser, an application, or a folder and then drag to the Desktop to create a quick convenient shortcut to opening/launching those. On my Mac I can do similar with "aliases".

Both above solutions are simple mouse gestures.

How can you do the same with Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10?

I've already searched (below) but I either don't think these are going to work (can't try out at moment, not on Ubuntu machine) as they refer to middle mouse button (but this is purely the scroll wheel, right?) or using a command line - I don't want to have to do that every time I want to create a shortcut.

Searched superuser.com too but no answers - though I would be very happy to be corrected if there is a answer.

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Depressing the scroll wheel should be (that is, it's dependent on your actual mouse, but 99% of scroll wheel mice are like this) the middle mouse button, yes. –  Roger Pate Oct 15 '10 at 10:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just drag any icon while holding middle mouse button (or scroll-wheel) pressed. You can drag it to the desktop, Nautilus window (default file browser) or top icon bar. When dragging to desktop or nautilus window a context menu will appear where you need to choose "Link here".

You can also drag applications with left button from Applications menu.

To copy icon from top panel to the desktop you must drag with left mouse button.

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+1 for the tip. Thanks. –  therobyouknow Nov 4 '10 at 23:25
    
Accepted because it's the easiest answer to follow and most familiar - having used windows it is a similar procedure. –  therobyouknow Nov 4 '10 at 23:35
  • Open Nautilus: Places > Home Folder
  • Navigate to the directory where the file is
  • right click the file/directory
  • select Make Link
  • right click the created link
  • select Move To and select the location where you would like to move the link (e.g. Desktop, Home Folder, etc.)
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Thanks - I'll give it a try when I can get to my Ubuntu machine over the weekend. What about URL shortcuts and to applications as well? –  therobyouknow Oct 15 '10 at 9:41
    
applications -> same thing. regarding URLs -> would be a similar thing, but in my opinion to complicated... -> get Google Chrome and enable sync ;) that will keep your bookmarks synced on all computers you are using Google Chrome. –  udo Oct 15 '10 at 13:43

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