Enlightenment Settings: a dialog box roadmap
Enlightenment settings are customized by means of dialog boxes. They fall into two types:
- General settings, such as themes, fonts, and virtual desktops. The dialog boxes for these are most easily accessed by typing the first few characters of the dialog box name into the Everything launcher. (Alternatively, use the menu system or Settings Panel.)
- Object settings, such as settings for individual gadgets and windows. The dialog boxes for these are accessed by right-clicking the object and choosing the appropriate item from the context menu.
This article is a beginners’ guide to the general settings. It lists the names of the dialog boxes: you need the name in order to open the dialog box with the Everything launcher (rather than via the more cumbersome menu system or Settings Panel). To Run Everything, click its gadget or press Alt+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Space, then type the first few letters of the name.
Note that some dialog box names typed into Everything will offer you more than one choice. Type file, for example, and you may in error run the File Manager rather than open the File Manager Settings dialog box. To restrict the choice to just Settings, excluding other possibilities, set up a key binding to run the Settings plugin rather than the full Everything program. For example, you might set up Win+Space (the old E17 way to Run Everything) to do this, as shown in the screenshot below. From then on you can use Win+Space to give easy access to dialog boxes.
This article classifies the general settings dialog boxes as follows:
1. Look – controlling the appearance of your desktop (themes, colors, fonts, compositing, menus, etc.)
2. Apps – launching and displaying apps (application launchers, Favorites, window management, etc.)
3. Admin – productivity and housekeeping (bindings, shelves, file management options, virtual desktops, etc.)
4. System – managing your hardware and performance (power options, screen blanking, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
Note that some dialog boxes are not for beginners, and they are omitted from the list below; they will be covered in a separate article ‘Other Settings’ (to be written).
1. ‘Look’ dialog boxes: controlling the desktop appearance
Theme: Select themes, import themes, and for E17 an advanced section to mix theme elements.
Application Theme: Select the GTK theme, i.e. the theme that controls the appearance of application windows (scroll bars etc). Also select the icon theme (at the Icon section).
Wallpaper: Select wallpapers, import wallpapers, and, in the advanced section, specify the virtual desktop on which the wallpaper is to be placed.
Colors: Select the color for individual elements of a theme, including its outline and transparency. Click ‘custom colors’ to make a change, click this again to return to the default setting. The changes you can make depend on the theme capabilities.
Fonts: Set the font globally or, in the Advanced section, for individual elements of a theme. You must tick ‘Enable Font Class’ to make an adjustment. Tick this again to return to the default setting.
Borders: Set the default border style for windows.
Transitions: Set the transition animation for e.g. switching desktops. If you have a slow computer, you may wish to set these to ‘None’.
Scaling: Set the scaling for your desktop. The default is 1.2, but if you have weak eyes you may wish to set it higher.
Compositor: (E17 users must load the Composite module to access this.) This allows you to adjust composite effects, such as the way that windows and menus open and close. E19 users with slower computers may wish to enable fast compositing effects here, and E17 users may wish to turn off the bouncy effect (select ‘Still’ as the default style).
Startup: Set the splash screen to show on boot-up.
Menus: Control what information is shown in the menus and the menu scrolling behaviour
Dialogs: Set whether dialog boxes have title bars like normal windows, whether to remember their size and position, and whether to disable confirmation dialogs.
2. ‘Apps’ dialog boxes – controlling apps
Personal Application Launchers: Create .desktop files to execute commands or run applications and which can be added to menus.
Favorite Applications: Set up the Favorites menu – add/remove items, and arrange them in order.
iBar Applications: Specify the contents of the default iBar, and arrange them in order. (The contents of other iBars – assuming you have more than one – must be set by right-clicking them.)
Default Applications: Specify the default browser, email client, file manager, and terminal.
Note that there are a number of fairly advanced dialog boxes for controlling the appearance and behaviour of windows (within which apps run) that are not included here. You will find them at Main menu > Settings > All > Windows.
3. ‘Admin’ dialog boxes – productivity and housekeeping
Virtual desktops: Specify the number of virtual desktops and the animation when switching between them. You can also set their wallpapers from here.
Modules: Specify which modules are loaded on your system, including modules for gadgets. In the case of E17, the Language and Keyboard modules are not loaded by default, but you can load them here.
Language Settings: Specify the system language – if your language does not appear in the Basic section, select it at the Advanced section.
File Manager: Specify various settings for the Enlightenment File Manager, including managing desktop icons.
Edge Bindings: Specify the actions that occur when you click on (or move the mouse to) the various edges and corners of the screen.
Key Bindings: Specify the actions that occur when you press various key combinations.
Shelves: Add shelves, specify their contents and settings, and delete shelves.
Pager: Specify various options to do with switching between virtual desktops
Gadgets: Specify which gadgets appear on the desktop, and set desktop background options.
Profiles: Profiles store many of your settings, and this dialog box allows you to add a named profile and to switch between profiles.
Note that there are a number of fairly advanced dialog boxes for controlling the operation and appearance of the Everything launcher that are not included here. You will find them at Main menu > Settings > All > Launcher.
4. ‘System’ dialog boxes – controlling hardware and performance
Blanking: Enable/disable screen blanking, and set blanking options.
Backlight: Allows you to dim or brighten the screen.
Mouse: Set the size and appearance of the mouse pointer and its speed of movement.
Keyboard: Allows you to set the correct keyboard for your country – click Add if your keyboard is not shown.
Note that there are a number of fairly advanced dialog boxes for controlling various aspects of system performance that are not included here. You will find them at Main menu > Settings > All > Advanced.