Keyboard navigation brainstorming

zekopeko's proposal using key combination shortcuts

You press a key combo (lets say Super+W) to summon all the docks on screen and the screen gets darkened to put focus on them. You get something like this: 3docks-numbered.png

The bigger tooltips are there since we have space to display them and they are easier to notice. They are ordered in a clockwise fashion. Next the user can press Super+(number-of-the-dock) to focus that dock.

The dock gets a glow (or doesn't) and displays tooltips above each icon the user can interact in any way. Shortcuts2.png

Each app/plugins gets a number starting from 1,2,3-0 and the moves to Q,W,E,R.. until all apps/plugins have an associated number/letter.

Pressing Super+(number/letter-above-the-corresponding-application) will either focus that application or open it if it's not running. If we focus application and there are multiple windows we should focus to the most recent one.

Pressing Control+Super+(number/letter-above-the-corresponding-application) will open the menu for that application and the user can use the arrows keys to navigate the menu.

At any time the user can press Super+W to exit the mode.

Different take on menu navigation: (Should we perhaps add numbers/letter next to menu items?)

We could combine this mode with the arrow key approach so the user has a choice if she is visually impaired (does Docky work with a screen reader?)

Arrow key approach

Press a key combo to summon all docks like above and then focus by default the dock with the most launchers (best guess that it's the main dock the user uses). The user can use the arrows to move from dock to dock.

Once the user has highlighted the dock he want, he presses Enter/Space and only that dock is shown. The user can use the arrow keys to select the app/plugin she wants. Pressing the arrow key that is facing the direction the menu would open (e.g. on the left dock pressing right would open the menu; bottom dock pressing up would open the menu) and allow further navigation with the arrow keys and Enter/Space as a confirmation.

DanRabbit's Hybrid Approach

Press key combo to enter text mode (we're assuming Super+W)

focus by default the dock with the most items (not just launchers). Use the keyboard to switch between docks. enter to select. non-selected docks fade/darken/blur/something

Once we've selected our dock we do two things:

Glow the leftmost icon in that dock

Display a search entry field above/beside the dock.

Selecting an app goes one of two ways:

We can use the arrow keys to move between the items.


typing autocompletes/livesearches gnome-do style. entries without the match fade/blur/darken/something.

Enter launches. Arrow towards center of screen displays the menu.


How do we make the user know about this functionality? Perhaps a Help in the Docky icon's menu? Or a "Press Super+W to summon in keyboard navigation mode" in the Configuration Dialog with a link to a help file. This text would be in the part before you click on the dock to edit. There is room for some text and a link to this wiki or a help file.