The problem you describe is almost always caused by the window manager 
intercepting the keystrokes.  I realize you said above that you verified 
KDE wasn't interfering, but can you try a different window manager?  That 
will at least let us know if the problem lies elsewhere.

James Rich

It's not the software that's free; it's you.
      - billyskank on Groklaw
  

Thanks for replying James - and now it's time for me to eat some crow. 
While I did indeed go through the Regional & Accessibility sections I
failed to do so carefully enough.  Sure enough the Shift + F12
combination was defined in the "Input Actions" section to do something
with voice settings - presumably so that a person could speak a command
and KDE would know what to do.

Sorry for wasting your time!
Benny


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