Solaris Common Desktop Environment: User's Guide

Using File Manager Objects on the Desktop

The desktop lets you put any file or folder icon directly on the backdrop of the current workspace for quick access. Any icon you drop on the desktop stays where you put it.

File Manager provides a way to view all the objects in your file system. However, the object is only visible when you are viewing the folder it is in.

To make an object more accessible, you can put it directly on the workspace backdrop. The desktop is that area or surface on which windows appear to lie. When an object is placed there, it is called a workspace object. There is a separate desktop for each workspace.

Placing an object on the workspace does not alter the original file or folder. In fact, the icon that appears on the workspace is really just a shortcut for accessing the real file or folder. Any operation you perform on the workspace object is actually performed on the file or folder it represents.

Workspaces in the Desktop

You can have several workspaces on your desktop, so you can set up your working environment by putting the files and folders in the workspaces where you use them most, or in more than one workspace if needed.

Pop-up Menus

Each workspace object has its own pop-up menu, displayed with mouse button 3 or by pressing Shift+F10 when the icon is selected. This menu contains commands for manipulating the object, including all the actions that appear in the File Manager's Selected menu when the object is selected. The Workspace pop-up menu is similar to the pop-up menu available within File Manager windows, but contains a few different commands.

To Put a File or Folder on the Workspace Backdrop

This procedure creates a copy of the icon on the workspace backdrop. Any changes you make to the copy on your workspace backdrop will also be made to the original that is still in File Manager.

  1. Switch to the workspace where you want to display the object.

  2. Then:

    • Drag and drop the object's icon onto the workspace.

    • Or, select the icon, then choose the Put in Workspace command from the Selected menu or from the icon's pop-up menu (displayed by pressing Shift+F10 or mouse button 3).

    You can repeat these steps to put an icon on the desktop in as many workspaces as you want.

To Display the Pop-up Menu for a Workspace Object


  1. Point to the object's icon.

  2. Press mouse button 3.

  3. Choose a command from the menu by dragging to the command then releasing the mouse button.


  1. Move the highlight to the object's icon using Alt+Tab.

  2. Press Shift+F10.

  3. Choose a command from the menu by using the direction keys to highlight the command, then press Return.

    To cancel the menu without choosing a command, press Esc.

To Remove an Object from the Workspace

  1. Switch to the workspace where the object resides.

  2. Locate the object's icon on the desktop.

  3. Choose Remove From Workspace from the object's pop-up menu.

    Removing an object from the workspace does not alter the original object; that is, the object still exists in File Manager.