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1.3. Launching applications from the Desktop Menu

Applications can also be opened from the menu system provided by the desktop environment in use. While the presentation may vary between desktop environments, the menu entries and their categories are provided by the individual application and standardized by the freedesktop.org Desktop Menu Specification. Some desktop environments also provide search functionality in their menu system to allow quick and easy access to applications.

1.3.1. Using GNOME menus

The GNOME menu, called the overview, can be accessed by either clicking the Activities button in the top left of the primary display, by moving the mouse past the top left hot corner, or by pressing the Super ( Windows ) key. The overview presents documents in addition to applications.
Selecting an item from the menu is best accomplished using the search box. Simply bring up the overview, and begin typing the name of the application you want to launch. Pressing enter will launch the highlighted application, or you can use the arrow keys or mouse to choose an alternative.
Using the GNOME search box
Typing the name of an application into the overview search box will display matching menu entries. The search also matches descriptions, so that typing browser will display installed browsers.
Figure 1.6.  Using the GNOME search box

The overview can also be browsed. The bar on the left, called the dash, shows frequently used applications and a grid icon. Clicking on the grid icon brings up a grid in the center of the window that displays frequently used applications. The grid will display all available applications if selected using the All button at the bottom of the screen.
Browsing GNOME menu entries
The GNOME menu has a bar on the left for frequently used applications, which includes a grid icon that brings up a grid in the center of the window. Users can then use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to display either a larger list of frequently used applications, or to view all available applications.
Figure 1.7.  Browsing GNOME menu entries

To learn more about using GNOME shell, visit https://wiki.gnome.org/GnomeShell/CheatSheet