Pidgin Key Bindings

August 17, 2009

First, for those of you that don’t know what key bindings are.  Basically they are keyboard shortcuts.

Well Pidgin has one that I find rather annoying, it clears the scroll back history of a conversation.  The default key binding for this is <Control>l (the control and l key pressed together).  Now anyone that uses firefox and just about any other web browser knows that this allows you to edit the URL.  Naturally, I have Pidgin running I tend to also be using firefox.  So when I mistakenly think that firefox is the selected window and I want to change the URL I hit <Control>l.  Only to find that the Pidgin conversation window was selected.  This happened often enough for me to learn how to fix this.

The file that contains the key bindings for Pidgin are located at ~/.purple/accels.  All you have to do now is find the key binding that you want to change and change it to whatever you desire (or delete it if you so wish).  Time to introduce a new text editor (well new in the sense that I haven’t talked about it before on this blog), pico.  The format is just pico file, and the file’s contest will be displayed in the terminal. At this point you proceed as you would with any other text editor. Also there are additional commands at the bottom of the screen if you ever feel the urge to use them.

So let’s assume that you changed <Control>l to <Control>e, then saved the file.  Well this won’t work and here is why.  The line that you edited started with a ‘;‘ (semicolon), and GTK+ interprets this as a comment.  So your change has no effect.  Thus in addition to changing the key binding, you also need to remove the semicolon from the beginning of the line.