GULYÁS, Gábor György, Ph.D.


From Win to Mac: home, end keys and other issues

2015-11-05 | Gabor

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Recently I started working on a Mac, and I had to move my stuff from Windows. As I've been working on Windows ever since before, I thought it would be harder. Fortunately, most of the programs I used also exists for OS X and can use the data/profiles/settings that I used earlier. For the rest, I could find alternatives that would do a similarily good job freely, such as DoubleCommander (substituting Total Commander), MacPass (as an alternative for KeePass, that is not listed on the official page), or KomodoEdit (instead of Notepad++).

However, I could not find an easy (and free) way to tackle a couple issues. Such as: how could I alter the behavior of the home and end buttons to work similarly as on Windows? (Hint: by default, these buttons jump to the top/bottom of the document/page.) Using keyboard configuration files or different keymapping programs, would not work on El Capitan as proposed in forums. As finding a proper workaround was not quite trivial, I thought this issue really deserves to be posted. So, here we go.

The tool that finally worked for me is called Better Touch Tools. This free utility allows to create global hotkeys for a miriad of actions and a lot more. Of course, simulation of keypress events could be set as possible actions. After installing the program, you only need to register two new hotkey combinations to solve the home-end misery fially: register home as a hotkey to CTRL+LEFT, and end as CTRL+RIGHT. That's it – check out the screenshot below.

Another interesting and handy feature of BTT that it can be used to snap windows, which you might also miss from Windows. You can snap windows by dragging them to the sides or to the top. But hotkeys are also welcome here, too.

In addition, as I write sometimes texts in Hungarian, I also wanted to use a Hungarian keyboard layout. While there is a system setting for that, it is not nearly perfect. For instance, there is no mapping for 0, which I'd be missing quite often. (For the knowsy: CTRL+ALT+[US 0] would type a 0 for you on that layout, but for some reasons that did not work for a couple of programs.) I could also circumvent this limitation easily but adding a hotkey for CMD+í, which is just left to the key of 1.

Tags: mac, win, home, end, keys, osx, el capitan, hungarian keyboard layout

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