I’ve got a hankering for keyboard shortcuts.
I’m all about pressing a key without having to worry about which application I’m in and my computer doing something useful.
This noble pursuit has taught me one thing: there’s never enough keys™.
Good old Vim has demonstrated the value of a trusty leader key in the war to get more keys. So, I undertook a holy mission to find the mythical macOS hyper key, and along the way found the deep well of keyboard customisation that is Karabiner-Elements.
I’ve set up Karabiner-Elements so that if I combine the backslash key with other keys, it acts as the hyper key 1.
I use this hyper key as a prefix to bind global shortcuts without having to crush my fingers, and soul, into a ball.
Here’s a selection of the shortcuts I keep behind this hyper key prefix:
\+tbrings my time tracking app into focus.
\+slocks my screen.
- A bunch of shortcuts move windows around via Moom.
- A couple of shortcuts switch my audio output between my headphones and speakers via an Alfred workflow.
macOS doesn’t natively recognise the extra buttons on my new mouse which sucks because: there’s never enough keys™.
So, I was chuffed to find that Karabiner recognises these extra mouse buttons and can bind them to key sequences.
Here’s a look at my bindings:
I miss the sideways scrolling of the Magic Mouse, but I’ve set up Karabiner so that if I hold down my scroll wheel button, I can scroll left and right. It works reasonably well and means I don’t need to reach for
shift while spinning the scroll wheel to side-scroll.
I map button 4 of my mouse to play and pause my music. The media keys on my keyboard are a chord away, but usually, it’s easier to press a single button instead.
So there you go. Maybe you’ll find something useful in my Karabiner-Elements config file that you can steal.
And may you never run out of keys.