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I just learned a cool little trick that the GNOME desktop environment offers Linux users. When you're working with an application, sometimes you want to see it in full screen mode.

Some apps can do this without any modification. They cause the GNOME menus and system panels to disappear while you are using the program. If the application supports it, the option should be available in the View menu.

However, some applications – even though they support full screen mode – don not offer it as an option in its menus.

Fortunately, GNOME can override the program and let it use full screen mode by using a user defined keyboard shortcut.

To set this up, open Keyboard Shortcuts (in System → Preferences). In the menu, find the item that says "Toggle Fullscreen Mode." Click in the shortcut column of that entry and set the keyboard shortcut you want to use. I prefer the combination of Control + Shift + F or Control + Alt + F. However, the combination you use doesn't matter – as long as it doesn't conflict with another keyboard shortcut you already have set up.

Go ahead and close the keyboard shortcut window and try out the shortcut. This should work in just about any application, but it doesn't work with every single one. Pidgin, for example doesn't tend to like being forced into full screen mode.

Also note that you may have to restart your computer for the new shortcut to take effect - although this shouldn't be necessary.

GNOME Desktop Environment