The Many Ways to Copy, Move, Rename, and Archive in KDE 4

In my last post, I covered some of the features in Dolphin that I find particularly useful. In this post, you will learn about some very basic features that everyone uses, but you may not know all of the various easy methods of accomplishing them. In KDE, there are several ways to copy, move, rename, and archive files. Let’s take a look at a few them.


KDE is a typical graphical interface, and lends itself to dragging and dropping.  If you want to copy or move a file quickly, just drag it from one folder to another. With Dolphin, press F3 to bring up a split window, Control-N to open a whole new window, or Control-T to open a new tab. You can also drag files to any point in Dolphin’s breadcrumbs, to a folder on the Places panel, or to a Folderview on your desktop.You can also drag images from your web browser to a folder, if your browser supports it (both Konqueror and the latest Firefox do).


When you let go of the button after dragging, KDE gives you an options window: Move here, Copy here, Link here, Cancel.  You will also notice shortcut keys listed beside each.  If you hold the shortcut key while dragging a file, it will automatically choose the corresponding action.  “Link here” creates a symbollic link to your file, rather than copying or moving it.

Another way to copy or move is to use shortcut keys. Simply select the files you want to copy and press Control-C, or select the files you want to move and press Control-X. Then, paste them in the new location, just like pasting text in a word processor, by pressing Control-V.

Another feature that many found useful in KDE 3 is the “Copy to…” context menu.  To enable this:

1. Click “Settings” and “Configure Dolphin”
2. Click “General”
3. Click “Context Menu”
4. Check “Show ‘Copy To’ and ‘Move To’ commands.

Now, when you right click on a file, you will notice the “Copy To” option in the menu. Navigate through the menu to the place where you want to copy the file and click “copy here”. The same method will work for “Move To”.


There are three easy ways to rename a file:

1. Select the file and then click “File” and “Rename…”.
2. Right click on the file and click “Rename…”
3. Selet the file and press F2.

Batch Rename

There are times when you might need to rename multiple files at once. KDE makes it easy.


1. Select all the files you want to rename.
2. Press F2.
3. It will ask for a new name:  “New name # (# will be replaced by ascending numbers).
4. Leave the “#” and enter the prefix you want for each filename.


To create an archive in KDE:

1. Select the files you want to archive.
2. Right click and click “Compress”.
3. Select the type of archive:  ZIP, RAR, or  ZIP/TAR


By default, when you click on an archive, Dolphin will open it in Ark archive manager. In previous versions of KDE, you could navigate into the archive as if it were a folder. To enable this feature:

1. Click “Settings” and “Configure Dolphin”.
2. Click “Navigation”.
3. Check “Open archives as folder”.

To extract an archive:

Right click and click either “Extract Archive Here – Autodetect Subfolder, Extract Archive To, or Extract Archive Here.”

The “autodetect subfolder” will create a subfolder for the archive if one is not already present inside of it.  This will keep your archived files from mixing in with your other files.

As you can see, KDE makes it easy to manipulate your files, and there are many methods to get work done. If there are any methods that I missed, feel free to add them to the comments section.

Tavis J. Hampton

Tavis J. Hampton is a freelance writer from Indianapolis. He is an avid user of free and open source software and strongly believes that software and knowledge should be free and accessible to all people. He enjoys reading, writing, teaching, spending time with his family, and playing with gadgets.


  1. > Muy buen aporte, muchas gracias
    In Spanish that meant: “A very good contribution, thank you very much”

    > 4. Check “Show ‘Copy To’ and ‘Move To’ commands.
    This hint saved a lot of time to persons I know. God bless you!

  2. Hey ~
    How do you set the default action when you drag and drop a file? I'd prefer that KDE didn't ask me every time and I set move as the default action.

  3. Hey! nice tutorial.
    In KDE3, I'm sure you used to be able to set a default option of move or copy when dragging and dropping a file from one location to another. Is there are way do do this in KDE4?
    Dave Brain.

  4. I would like to extract a folder which contains a lot of subfolders containing different type of rar files like .rar .ro1-ro19 part1 -part9 part1.rar part2.rar etc.  When finished to delete the rar files

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