Perm url with updates: http://xahlee.org/kbd/Mac_OS_X_keymapping_keybinding_tools.html
Mac OS X Keyboard Layout, Keymapping, Keybinding, Tools
Xah Lee, 2011-06-05
This page is a collection of methods and utilities for keybinding, keymapping, for Mac OS X.
The list are from most simple to more advanced.
This is builtin. See: Mac OS X: How to Swap Control, Caps Lock, Option, Command Keys.
For more advanced modifier remapping (e.g. distinguish left Control vs right Control, remap Esc key, map Menu key, …), see: KeyRemap4MacBook @ Source pqrs.org.
Adding/Changing Keyboard Shortcut in a Specific App
Mac OS X since 10.4 lets you do that. Just go to System Preferences, Keyboard ＆ Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts. Then click the + sign at button. See: Mac OS X 10.5 Help: Creating keyboard shortcuts for applications @ Source docs.info.apple.com
Note: This mechanism is not very flexible. For example, it only lets you create a key for a action that has a menu. Also, once you created a hotkey, the original shortcut will be lost. You can't create a shortcut from any key on the numerical keypad. (that is, if you don't use the number pad to enter numbers, you can't turn them into extra function keys.)
App Launchers, General Key Macro Utilities
• Free: Quicksilver (software). A app launcher. Assign hotkey to launch/switch/open apps or files. The hotkey can be single key (e.g. F1) or combo-key (e.g. 【Cmd+F1】).
• Keyboard Maestro @ keyboardmaestro.com A basic key macro software. Good, but a bit expensive.
• QuicKeys @ startly.com. (for Mac and Win). A comprehensive automation software, with key macro features, and also key macro recording abilities. I used it in 1990s for 10 years and find it the best. It was the number one most touted productivity enhancement software in Mac community. The company changed hand a few times over the years. The first Mac OS X version released around 2001 is not so good. Since then i haven't used it. Don't know how good it is today.
Buy a Microsoft keyboard then use the bundled IntelliType Software. Note: depending on what keyboard model you buy, not all features of IntelliType will be available. But basically, if the keyboard cost $30 or more, or has many special keys, most features will be there.
Highly recommended. With this solution, you get a functional keyboard, and with a software that does all launcher/shortcut common needs. No need to spend hours tweaking keymaps or config files.
See Microsoft IntelliType Hacks for some advanced config hacking of IntelliType for Windows.
Setting Up Text Editor Keybinding Behavior; Hotkey to Insert Text
You can use Mac OS X's system-wide mechanism by creating a key config file DefaultKeyBinding.dict. See: Creating Keyboard Layout in Mac OS X.
Setting Up Key Layout for Typing Math Symbols, APL Keyboard, Unicode Characters
Use DefaultKeyBinding.dict. See: Creating Keyboard Layout in Mac OS X.
Keybinding, Keymapping, in Emacs
If you use emacs on the Mac, see:
- Emacs: How to Define Keyboard Shortcuts
- Emacs: How to define Super ＆ Hyper Keys
- Emacs Unicode Math Symbols Input Mode (xmsi-mode)
- Emacs: Remapping Keys Using key-translation-map
- Emacs: Add Custom Keys to Enhance Productivity
- Using Emacs's Abbrev Mode for Abbreviation
Advanced Key Interface Mapping; Low-Level Tools and Utilities
- “Key Codes” By Peter Maurer. Source manytricks.com
- “Bindings Editor” By Gerd Knops. @ Source www.cocoabits.com
- “ControllerMate” @ Source www.orderedbytes.com. Commercial. USB interface mapper. Seems to let you remap any USB input device's signals in flexible ways, including mouse.
For Microsoft Windows, see: Keyboard Layout ＆ Key Macro tools for Windows.
- Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 (review)
- Apple Keyboards
- Difference Between Apple and PC keyboards
- Kinesis Contoured Keyboard
- Logitech G13 Advanced Gameboard (Review)
- Ergonomic Keyboards Gallery
- How to Increase Your Computer Operation Efficiency
- Backspace key; Computer Keyboard Key Label's Influence on Key Purpose
- Best Input Devices (Jog/Shuttle, Touchpad, Cyborg Mouse, Pen Tablet)
- Why You Need a Jog-Wheel and Shuttle Control?
- Mathematical Models of 3D Inputs Control