Yet Another 3 Useful Desktop Utilities

11 September, 2023

Here’s a quick look at yet another trio of useful little tools for the Linux desktop that can help you quickly and efficiently tackle some simple tasks.

The utilities I’m about to look at are ones that you might not always use, but they are handy to have around when you need them.

Let’s jump in, shall we?


Sometimes, we all just need a break. It doesn’t have to be very long — only a minute or two, but that’s enough time to refocus ourselves and relax a bit.

That’s where Breathing comes in. It does one thing and one thing only: helps you reset by getting you to breath slowly and regularly for a short period.

When you start up Breathing, you get the button shown below:

Breathing, when you first start it up

When you click Go, a countdown starts and you breath in and out at the cadence Breathing dictates, like this:

Breathing making sure that you’re exhaling

Desktop Files Creator

Not all software comes in a nice package. Sometimes, you download an Electron app or an AppImage. But when you do that, the launcher for that application doesn’t automatically appear in your applications menu.

Sure, you can create a desktop file but that’s a bit of a chore. You need to know the structure of that file, then have to save it in a hidden folder in your /home directory. It’s a bit more work than it’s worth.

Why not let Desktop Files Creator do the heavy lifting for you? As its name states, it creates that file I mentioned a paragraph ago. All you need to do is fill in a few blanks, as shown below:

Desktop Files Creator waiting for information

Those blanks include the name of the application, where it is on your hard drive, and the location of its icon. All of that looks something like this:

An example of a desktop file

Click Create and then click OK. You’ll need to log out and log back in before you see the icon in your application menu.

Paper Clip

You probably don’t need to do it very often, but there might come a time when you need to modify the metadata of a PDF file. Information like the title, the author, the date the PDF was published, keywords, and more.

Sure, you can try to regenerate the PDF or pull it into a PDF editing application to make those changes but why grapple with that bulk when you can use a lightweight tool like Paper Clip instead?

Using it is pretty simple: fire up Paper Clip, then open a PDF file. The PDF’s metadata displays, as shown below:

Paper Clip, with metadata loaded

In the example below, I’m adding some keywords to the metadata and I’ve changed the Modification Date:

Modifying metadata with Paper Clip

Once you’ve made your changes, click the stacker menu in the top-right corner of the window and then click Save.

Scott Nesbitt