8. Mouse usage

The mouse can be used to select (copy), and extend-select text, paste text from other terminals or applications, and also bring up control menus, as well as select (and move) other GUI components.

Note that some text applications may take complete control of the mouse. Multi Gnome Terminal's mouse handling features are not available in such cases.

8.1. Selection

The following assumes a standard three-button mouse that has not been made left-handed via the control center. Left-handed mice will of course work, but with the right button instead of the left one, and so on.

The LeftMouse button can be used to initiate a selection. If the mouse button is held down and dragged, then characters, words and lines are selected individually.


If you drag past the boundaries of the Window, the screen and selection will scroll to keep up. So, for instance, you can select into the non-visible part of the scrollback buffer, by dragging the mouse past the upper Window border and scrolling as the selection is extended.

If the LeftMouse button is double-clicked, then the selection will be by word-characters. Hold the mouse button down on the second click to drag the mouse and enlarge the selection. The word-characters are defined in the General options tab of Preferences dialog-box.

Finally, if the LeftMouse button is triple-clicked and held, whole lines are selected as you drag the mouse up and down.

The RightMouse button can be used to extend the selection. Simply scroll to where you wish to extend the selection to, and click the RightMouse button in the desired place. Again, single, double and triple clicks will result in by-character, by-word, or by-line selection.

For all cases, releasing the mouse button automatically copies the selected text into the clipboard, so that it may be pasted to other applications. Note that any screen output will clear the highlighting of the selection, but it will still be kept on the X clipboard.

If there is no URL match on screen beneath the pointer (see below), CTRL-MiddleMouse will reset the X selection mode.

8.2. Pasting text

If the middle mouse button is pressed, then the current selection is pasted into the Window. This can be used to transfer text from other applications, as well as from other locations within the same terminal Window.

If you only have a two-button mouse, then your X server probably has a method of emulating the middle mouse button. The most common method is to emulate the middle mouse button by simultaneous pressing of left and right mouse buttons. Refer to your X server documentation for further information.

SHIFT-INSERT can be used as a keyboard shortcut for pasting.

8.3. Wheel mouse

If you have a wheel mouse (which sends mouse button 4 and mouse button 5 events), then you can use the wheel to scroll up and down through the scrollback buffer. If properly configured for X, no additional configuration should be required.

8.4. Pop-up Control Menu

The mouse pointer can also be used to bring up the Pop-up menus, which can be used to open new Multi Gnome Terminal Windows, open new Tabs and to access many other Multi Gnome Terminal features. There are two such menus: the New Term menu which is accessed with CTRL-LeftMouse (see the New Term Section.). And the control Pop-up menu, accessed with CTRL-RightMouse (see the Pop-up Menu Section for more details).

8.5. Launching URL's

Gnome Terminal instituted the concept of "live URLs". These are URLs of various types that appear on the terminal window as text and that the application is able to discern just what they are, e.g. a HTTP style URL to denote a WWW document. This added quite a bit of additional functionality to the plain old terminal interface. Now, actions could be taken based on whatever appears as raw text in the window.

Multi Gnome Terminal, like Gnome Terminal, can be used to select URL's (Uniform Resource Locators; such as http://www.gnome.org, or file:///usr/share/doc/mgt/index.html, or cristiano@example.com) from the text displayed in the terminal Window, simply by moving the mouse over the URL text. The URL will be emphasized, by being redrawn with an underscore, and the mouse pointer will change to a pointing hand to let you know it is "live".

Multi Gnome Terminal also now understands email addresses and file path names, in addition to traditional http:// type URLs. Invoking the control-menu while over a highlighted URL will add a new option to load that URL into an appropriate application, for instance a mail client if the URL represents an email address. The menu selection text will reflect what the appropriate client should be.

CTRL-MiddleMouse is a shortcut to launching the URL with the appropriate application immediately.

Multi Gnome Terminal includes a script, mgt-helper which can extend this feature so that text based applications can be launched in their own Tabs or Windows. See the mgt-helper Section for more information on what this script can do in conjunction with Multi Gnome Terminal to greatly extend and customize URL handling.

8.6. Drag and Drop

Drag and drop can be used for a number of operations within the terminal.

Dragging Files and URLs

If files are dragged into the terminal, then their full filename is pasted into the Window. URL's can also be dropped in this manner.

Dragging Colors

A color can be dragged from another gnome application, or from the color selector into the display. If it lands on a character, it sets the foreground color, otherwise it sets the background color. Refer to the Tab Colors configuration section.