Desktop Configuration & Basics
The Plasma 5.2 desktop, like the 4.x desktop, is composed of widgets and panels which can be Lego’d together to form a desktop tailored to your needs. If you have used Plasma 4 the process of customising your desktop is familiar: You ‘unlock’ your desktop granting you access to the customization tools, and from there open a drawer to drag widgets onto various surfaces, or hover over a widget to reveal its toolbox. Plasma 5.2 takes some extra steps beyond this, and several new features have been added to the desktop easing customisation.
Cross it, Crack it, Switch Update it
The first new feature is the ability to right-click on any widget and select alternatives if there are any available, so tasks like replacing your launcher has gone from “remove old launcher, open drawer, sort through widgets, drag/drop new launcher” to “right-click, alternatives, that one”. As more widgets are made for Plasma 5 this menu will become increasingly handy as you replace clocks, pagers, task managers, and other parts of the desktop with your preferred alternatives in a snap.
Snap it, Work it, Quick, Erase it
Next is an “undo” button. Seriously. When removing panels or widgets an ‘undo’ option will be presented as an actionable notification which will alert you to the change that occurred, offering a button which takes back any mistakes. If you do restore a widget, settings will be retained, and restoring a panel will bring back all the widgets which were embedded. The system itself is a notification, and notifications last for at least a minute until they are removed – so you won’t need to rush to the undo button. Undo is a simple feature, but many desktops don’t let you ‘take it back’ if you misconfigure them and it’s very welcome. This also means you can queue several undo notifications, and you can restore settings in any order you want; removing several widgets doesn’t mean you must restore several widgets if you want only the first back.