Opening a file without saving on desktop

I wish to know how to create a program shortcut that is on the desktop and open a file that is saved in another folder. At present I a using Fedora 37 and sometimes if create a shortcut but more often will copy file to the desktop and launch from there and save to the desktop.
Here is the progression

  1. Click shortcut on desktop (name of file)
  2. The shortcut is actually a link to a program that loads a named file somewhere on the disk.

Here is what I am doing now from the desktop I open the file program change the directory to where I have the file saved an click the file I want to work on and then it loads into the program. Then I save the to the file in that directory
As it stands now it creates and save the file to the desktop…

Are you using Fedora Workstation?

If yes you need a .desktop file that you can click on it to start a software.

What kind of software do you want to start? A shell script? A binary?


What program are you talking about? If you’ve used the file before in that program, is it listed in the program’s “recent documents” list (or similar), if there is one?

Based on your first paragraph, I assume that if you navigate the file structure to where the working file is and double-click it (launch it), it opens in the desired program. Is that correct?

Are the working files for the program you’re running typically in one directory or a few directories, or are they scattered all over your file structure? Perhaps you could configure the program to look for the working files in a certain location. Or, if there are just a few directories where the working files are kept, you could add shortcuts to your file explorers to those directories.

More info would be helpful.


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Maybe you are talking about links to other files (in Windows’ world those are a bit different and
called Shortcuts).

What desktop environment are you using? When dragging and dropping files you can usually modify the action by pressing CTRL or ALT, or right click to select from a context menu.

in case this is what you are asking about.

To all:

Yes like windows shortcut…
Example have shortcut on desktop (like windows), double click it and a specific file made in calc and will open the file for editing. And save it back to file in its original location.

Yes exactly! I want to launch the program and file I am to work on from the desktop directory that is 3 deep into sub directories. An yes similar to the loading process from windows (that which I have scrubbed. Got fed up…uhh moving on). Linux for the standard user need pre-written methods to simplify work progress as opposed to to high programming skills. After all they are not writing programs for the space shuttle…

You don’t say which DE you use, so I’ll tell you how it works in Xfce, which is what I use. If you right-click on the desktop, one of the options is Create Launcher. If you select that, you get a new window, where you can give the launcher a name, add a comment, specify a command, working directory, icon and so-on. After you’ve saved this, you can right-click on it, go to the Permissions and make it executable. No need to go to the work of creating a .desktop file yourself, as this automates the progress. If you’re not using Xfce, try this anyway because the worst thing that can happen is that your DE doesn’t have this feature and nothing happens.

Please copy and paste the command in the terminal and execute it:


Then there copy the line “Operating System” and paste it here like
Operating System: Fedora Linux 37 (MATE-Compiz)

So we can give you answer for your Desktop Environment (DE)

As written above, what you seem to need is symbolic link (shortcut).

Follow the guide to use a simple command (ln), see ln(1) - Linux manual page and

… Or use you file manager (how depends on which one you are using but all of them can modify actions between copy/move/create shortcut)

I am using Fedora 37. The link is a simple link to a file (created in a word processor for example). So Link on desktop → Double click → opens the word processor with the file opened for editing in from a specific directory and save back to the file in the specific directory where it was started. and yes = to the others Shortcut…

This is the Fedora-Linux Version. This in parenthesis is the Desktop In my case (MATE-Compiz)
If you have (Workstation), while open the terminal and type hostnamectl or just copy and paste it, you have Gnome desktop.

Here just a list of all desktops you can have (beside Gnome):

Thank you for your help ilikelinux.

Thank you for your response augenauf…I a have solved the problem. I have going through 3 doors to get to the kitchen when there is a back door…LOL.

Just to ease your mind there are different files in different directories needing different programs and I have found a way. thank you!

Please share with us. That is the idea of a forum.