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Custom actions

Thunar allows users to add custom actions to the file and folder context menus (by the use of the thunar-uca plugin, part of the Thunar distribution, in the plugins/ subdirectory). You can setup new actions in the Custom Actions dialog, available via the Configure custom actions... item in the Edit menu.

This page serves as an introduction to the Custom Actions plugin, and includes a list of useful examples.

Adding a custom action

This section provides a step-by-step introduction to the Custom Actions plugin, demonstrating how to add a Print File action, which uses xfprint to print text files. We start by opening the Custom Actions dialog as explained above. In the dialog, click on the first button in the list of buttons (the one labeled with the +). The Create Action dialog will appear, as shown in the screenshot below.

On the first page, enter Print File as name and Print the selected using xfprint as description. Enter xfprint4 %f as command (the %f will be replaced with the path to the selected file, as explained in the dialog), and select an icon for the icon (in the screenshot the xfprint.svg icon was used). NB: Thunar seems to do the sensible thing when passing file/folder names with spaces in them, so don't worry excessively about putting single or double quotes around the ”%” placeholder.

Now, continue with the second page (the Appearance Conditions page).

We want to create an action that is only applicable to text files, so select the Text Files options and unselect the options for the other file types. Next you can specify a File Pattern to display the action only for text files that match a certain pattern. In the example, we set the file pattern to * (which matches all filenames) to indicate that the action should be displayed for all text files.

That's all. Click OK to close the Create Action dialog. The new action, labeled Print File will appear in the Custom Actions list.

Now close the Custom Actions dialog, select a text file in Thunar and open the context menu (right-click on the file icon). The newly created Print File action will appear in the context menu, as shown in the screenshot below.

You can use the thunar-dev mailinglist to get in touch with the developers, if you have questions about this short tutorial or custom actions in general.

Examples

Here are a few useful examples of custom actions. Feel free to extend this list.

Finding files in the current folder

  • Name: Search…
  • Command: gnome-search-tool –path=%f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Note: For this action, you'll need to have gnome-search-tool installed, which is part of the gnome-utils package. This program also has a lot of other nice command-line options which you could use to create even more specialized actions.

Finding files in the current folder with catfish

  • Name: Search files…
  • Command: catfish --fileman=thunar --path=%f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Note: For this action, you'll need to have catfish installed, which is part of the catfish package.

Finding files inside the selected folder with catfish

  • Name: Search files inside…
  • Command: catfish --fileman=thunar --path=%f%d
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Note: For this action, you'll need to have catfish installed, which is part of the catfish package.

Working with archives (tar, gzip, etc)

  • Name: Extract here (bzip2)
  • Command: tar xjf %n
  • File pattern: *.tar.bz2;*.tbz2
  • Appears if selection contains: Other Files
  • Name: Extract here (zip)
  • Command: unzip %f
  • File pattern: *.zip
  • Appears if selection contains: Other Files
  • Name: Create tar.gz from folder
  • Command: tar czvf %n.tar.gz %n
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Hint: You may prefer the Thunar Archive Plugin, which does pretty much the same thing with less manual setup required on your part. It's either included with your distribution (in the case of Xubuntu), or available as a separate package (thunar-archive-plugin in Debian Etch). You might also need the xarchiver or “squeeze” package for things to work quite right.

Playing music files

  • Name: Play with XMMS
  • Command: xmms %F
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories, Audio Files
  • Name: Enqueue in XMMS
  • Command: xmms -e %F
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories, Audio Files

Hint: Works exactly the same with Audacious.

Burning an ISO file to a CD

  • Name: Burn with K3B
  • Command: k3b --cdimage %f
  • File pattern: *.iso
  • Appears if selection contains: Other Files

Viewing images

  • Name: View with GQview
  • Command: gqview %f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories, Image Files

Note: This tip also works just as well with GThumb

Converting PNGs to JPEGs

  • Name: To JPEG
  • Command: convert %f -quality 75 %f.jpg
  • File pattern: *.png
  • Appears if selection contains: Image Files

Hint: `basename %f .png`.jpg (be careful–those are backticks) will strip the old .png extension off of the original filename.

Losslessly Rotating JPEGs

  • Name: Rotate Clockwise
  • Command: for file in %F; do tempfile=$(mktemp); (jpegtran -copy all -rotate 90 $file > $tempfile); mv -f $tempfile $file; rm -f $tempfile; done
  • File pattern: *.jpg;*.JPG;*.jpeg;*.JPEG
  • Appears if selection contains: JPEG Image Files

Note: jpegtran is available as part of the libjpeg or libjpeg-progs packages of most distributions. Unlike using “convert”, the complicated loop structure is necessary with “jpegtran”: “jpegtran -rotate 90 -outfile %F %F” will produce a 0kb file.

Opening a terminal

  • Name: Open in a terminal
  • Command: terminal --default-working-directory=%d
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Note: You might need to type xfce4-terminal instead of just terminal for some distributions.

Opening a root terminal

  • Name: Open a root terminal here
  • Command: gksu “xfce4-terminal –default-working-directory=%f”
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Note: You should rewrite the command with normal straight quotes.

Opening a root Thunar

  • Name: Open a root Thunar here
  • Command: gksu thunar %f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories

Editing as root

  • Name: Edit as root
  • Command: gksu put-your-favourite-text-editor-here %f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Text files

Note: You'll need to replace put-your-favourite-text-editor-here with your favourite text editor (e.g. mousepad or geany).

  • Name: Create symlink
  • Command: ln -s %f ”%n (symlink)”
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories, other files

Saving the selected file/folder's pathname to the clipboard

For fans of the Windows “SendTo Extensions” power toy. This tip requires the xclip program, which you may need to install using your distribution's package manager.

  • Name: Copy Pathname to Clipboard
  • Description: Copies file's full pathname to the X PRIMARY selection
  • Command: echo -n %f | xclip -i
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: any

Setting an image as the desktop background

  • Name: Set as desktop background
  • Command:
    xfconf-query -c xfce4-desktop -p /backdrop/screen0/monitor0/image-path -s %f
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Image Files

Viewing the disk usage of the current directory

  • Name: Disk Usage
  • Command: baobab %d
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Tick all the boxes

Note: The idea is to get a visual picture of the current directory and any subdirectories. You could also use fsview or filelight, but the visuals are crisper in baobab.

Using 'nano' text editor

  • Command: terminal -x nano %f

Since nano isn't a GUI app, you must start it in a terminal window.

Comparing selected files/directories

  • Name: Compare
  • Command: meld %F
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Directories and Text files

Note: You will need meld package.

Changing OpenOffice.org supported formats

Note: You will need unoconv package for all following actions.

  • Name: Convert to ODT
  • Command: unoconv -f odt %F
  • File pattern: *.doc;*.docx
  • Appears if selection contains: Other files
  • Name: Export to PDF
  • Command: unoconv -f pdf %F
  • File pattern: *.doc;*.docx;*.odt;*.odp;*.pps;*.ppt;*.xls;*.xlsx;*.ods;*.pptx
  • Appears if selection contains: Other files

You can go on, try man unoconv for details.

Download subtitles with periscope

  • Name: Download subtitles
  • Command: periscope -l en %F && zenity –info –title “Done” –text “Subtitles downloaded successfully” || zenity –error –title “Error” –text “Subtitles not downloaded successfully”
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Video Files

Note: You will need python-periscope package. Get it here. You'll also neeed zenity package. This command will try to get the English subtitles, change -l en to something else (fr, de, pt-br, …). You should rewrite the command with normal straight quotes.

Rename subtitles easily

  • Name: Rename subtitles
  • Description: Select video and subtitles file. Subtiles will be reanmed based on the video name.
  • Command: subrnm %F
  • File pattern: *.avi;*.mp4;*.crdownload;*.srt;*.sub
  • Appears if selection contains: Video Files, Text Files, Other Files

Note: You will need subrnm script. Get it here. You'll also neeed zenity package.

Resize and email images

  • Name: Resize Images then email them
  • Description: Select Image files and resize them before sending in email. Leaves originals untouched.
  • File pattern: *
  • Appears if selection contains: Image files

Note: You will need the script here (which I name thunar-resize-sendto and place in /usr/local/bin), “zenity”, and “imagemagick” packages. I used the xfce-newmail icon. Use the following command line:
/usr/local/bin/thunar-resize-sendto %F

Not sure why this isn't part of Thunar plugins, since it's pretty sweet. Tested on Xubuntu Lucid.

NOTE!: This uses /tmp/thunar-pics0 & /tmp/thunar-pics1 as temp directories, and will completely remove anything in these directories. I doubt there's a conflict, but you've been warned. You can see the list of files it creates below in /tmp.

#!/bin/bash
#input to this is a list of files to send.
# depends on thunar, ImageMagick and Zenity
TMP=/tmp/thunar-pics
LOG=/tmp/thunar-resize-sendto.log
MARKER=/tmp/thunar-resize-sendto.marker
SENDTO="/usr/lib/thunar/thunar-sendto-email"
SIZES="320x200 640x480 800x600 1024x640"
DISCMD="zenity --list --text=\"Select Size\" --checklist --column=Select --column=New --hide-header --print-column=ALL"
# Find unused tmp dir
if [ -e $MARKER ]; then
  CUR=$(cat $MARKER)
else
  CUR=1
fi
if [ 1 == $CUR ]; then
  CUR=0
else
  CUR=1
fi
echo "$CUR" >$MARKER
TEMP="${TMP}$CUR"
mkdir -p $TEMP
rm -rf $TEMP/*

for s in $SIZES; do
  if [ -z $COLS ]; then 
    COLS="$s "
  else
    COLS="$COLS 0 $s"
  fi
done
SIZE=$($DISCMD $COLS)
echo "CUR=$CUR SIZE=$SIZE" >$LOG

for f in "$@"; do
  n=$(basename "$f") 
  echo "item '$f'->$TEMP/$n" >>$LOG
  convert $f -resize $SIZE "$TEMP/$n"
  FILES="$FILES $TEMP/$n"
done
$SENDTO $FILES
xfce/thunar/custom-actions.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/04 11:13 by nick