I am using Pidgin 2.7.1 on Windows XP and I noticed that if I am in a conversation window and I press Ctrl+L, it clears my conversation history and there is no easy way of getting it back (as far as I know). I think this keyboard shortcut is very annoying. I never do this on purpose. It usually happens if I think I am in Firefox and try to focus the address bar by pressing Ctrl+L, but instead end up clearing my Pidgin scrollback.

I have no use for such a quick and easy way of triggering a feature that I will rarely, if ever, have any reason to use. Is there any way of disabling the keyboard shortcut?


GTK 2 applications support "live" changing of menu keyboard accelerators.

  1. Add this line to your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 (on Windows - %USERPROFILE%\.gtkrc-2.0):

    gtk-can-change-accels = 1


    Edit 2: Do not modify the one in Pidgin's directory.

  2. Restart Pidgin.

  3. Open an IM window.

  4. Open the Conversation menu and select Clear scrollback: move the cursor over it but do not click.

  5. Press the new shortcut. (Delete should erase the shortcut completely.)

  6. Close the menu.

The changes will be live immediately.

Accelerators are stored as a plain text file in the program's settings directory; on Windows, that would be %APPDATA%\.purple\accels.

| improve this answer | |
  • It's here in the 2.7.1+ release: C:\Program Files (x86)\Pidgin\Gtk\etc\gtk-2.0 (of course if you havent got 64bit OS, then Program files simply.) – Apache Jun 10 '10 at 20:22
  • @Shiki: That one is Pidgin's own gtkrc, yes, but I prefer editing the one in my user directory, so that I would get consistent behavior among all GTK programs, and that my changes would not affect other users. (The latter is the most annoying thing ever. It's not 1998 anymore... #include <rants/windows-lua-bugs.h>) – user1686 Jun 10 '10 at 20:24
  • Okay okay I know what you mean but pidgin doesnt use this config method since 2.7.x. At least not here. It was OK until 2.7.x. | (Maybe it works if you put it here, but dunno why it wont create a file like it did. Still, your answer worth my +1. :)) – Apache Jun 10 '10 at 20:36
  • @Shiki: If you're talking about ~/.gtkrc-2.0 -- all GTK2 programs use it. Some have their own, but all read the global configuration. (FWIW, Pidgin also reads ~/.purple/gtkrc-2.0.) – user1686 Jun 10 '10 at 20:39
  • 1
    @mikez302: It will not damage anything, no. It's just not the right way. Your own settings should stay inside your own directories (%USERPROFILE%), because: 1) Editing the file in Pidgin\Gtk\etc requires administrator privileges by default. Editing your own doesn't. 2) Editing Pidgin\Gtk\etc will affect other users, who may not want the changes. (I'm a Linux user, so I always consider this.) 3) All files in Pidgin\Gtk\etc will get overwritten whenever you upgrade Pidgin. On the other hand, the one in %USERPROFILE% will remain untouched: it belongs to you. – user1686 Jun 11 '10 at 18:24

Found on flynsarmy.com.

Open ~/.purple/accels under Linux, %APPDATA%\.purple\accels under Windows

Add at the end
(gtk_accel_path "<main>/Conversation/Clear Scrollback" "")

Maybe be sure not another line containing Conversation/Clear is there.
(Lines starting with a semicolon ; are comments and don't count.)

You may need to restart Pidgin.

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ALT+C + L brings up the log instantly if I ever need it.

About the key... maybe you can modify the source, remove the shortcut and recompile it, make a binary.
(I only know a person who does such binaries. Maybe I'll also build up a build environment.)

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