As with Windows, most menus in Ubuntu show the keyboard shortcut of a particular function alongside it. For example, the File menu of Nautilus points out that Ctrl+N will open a new window.
You can redefine these shortcuts on the fly by simply hovering the mouse cursor over the menu option and pressing the new keyboard combination. However, first you need to activate this particular Ubuntu option. To do so, right-click the desktop and select Change Desktop Background. Then click the Interface tab in the window that appears, and put a check alongside Editable menu shortcut keys. Then close the program window.
The changes will take effect immediately, so try it out. Start your favorite application, highlight the mouse cursor over the menu option you want to change, and hit the new combination. You'll see that the menu instantly reflects the changes. To remove any keyboard shortcut, just hit the [Backspace key (not the [Del ete] key—that will cause [Del ete] to be the new shortcut).
If you define a keyboard that's already in use in that application, it will be "stolen" from that particular function and that function will no longer have a keyboard shortcut.
Note that this only affects GNOME applications, such as Nautilus, GNOME Terminal and Gedit. It won't work with non-GNOME applications like OpenOffice.org and Firefox.
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