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How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac - PC - That’s a number of keys, which means that a number of potential for customize according

There are 78 keys for your Macbook keyboard; 109 if you’re the use of a keyboard with a numeric keypad. That’s a number of keys, which means that a number of potential for customisation according to your needs and utilization patterns. But, it’s no longer effortlessly done, and it’d appear too tough to some humans, although it’s now not. In this article, i’m able to let you know how you can create custom keyboard layouts on Mac and easily alter them. We’ll do this the use of  apps known as Ukelele, and Karabiner.

So, when you have ever secretly wanted you can map some of the keys on your Mac to a distinct feature (one that you, for my part, would possibly have greater need of), then those apps are supposed for you.

Ukelele: Create a Custom Keyboard Layout

Ukelele is an application that shall we users edit, or create custom keyboard layouts on their Macs. The app has a simple, easy to apprehend interface. you may create a format from scratch, by means of manually filling up the features achieved by way of various keys to your Mac’s keyboard. It’s smooth to pick out keys, due to the fact you can simply press the keys on your Mac and the corresponding keys on the Ukelele interface mild up.

When you first start up Ukelele, you’ll observe that some keys are already stuffed up with their corresponding moves. Those keys are the default function keys that you may edit if you need to, but it’s endorsed to preserve their default values. Fear not, you may tinker with these keys as nicely, and in case you mess something up, you can always revert them lower back to their widespread values.

Customizing Preset Layouts with Ukelele

Customizing Preset Layouts with Ukelele is easier than creating one from scratch, as it involves a lot less work, and you can simply edit the keys that you want to change. The best part is that you can switch between the edited keys and the default values in just two clicks, if you need to. To customize an existing layout, follow the steps below:

  • Launch Ukelele. Go to File -> New From Current Input Source. This will open up a window where you can set the name for the layout bundle, as well as the name of the layout that will be displayed when you select it in Keyboard Preferences.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Next,double click on the name of the layout that you just created, to open it in Ukelele. The app will display the default values of the keys in the layout.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Suppose you want to change the“b” key to type in “”. You can easily do this by double clicking on the “b” key in Ukelele, and entering the new output string as “”, and clicking on “Done”.
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How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Or, maybe your Tab key is busted, and you want to use the Escape key to perform Tabs. You can do this by double-clicking on the Tab key, to find out the Unicode value for “tab”.

Next, double click on the “Esc” key, and enter the value of the “Tab” key in place of the default value, and click “Done”.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Once you are done editing the keys that you want to change, simply save the layout by going to “File -> Save“, or pressing “Cmd+S“. The bundle that you created in Step 1, is saved in Documents by default. Go to Finder, and copy the bundle you created in Documents.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Next, press “Cmd+Shift+G“, and type “/Library/Keyboard Layouts/” to navigate to the Keyboard Layouts, and paste the bundle here.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

Activating The New Layout

To activate the layout, you will have to add it to the layouts in your Keyboard Preferences. You can do this by following the steps outlined below:

  • Go to System Preferences->Keyboard->Input Sources. Click on the“+” icon on the bottom left, and select your custom layout from the list in the sidebar.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Click on the Input Sources icon on the menubar, and select your layout. Now, whenever you press the keys that you changed, it will perform the functions that you mapped to it, instead of the default functions.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

Ukelele can assist you to customise the keys for your Mac simply, and shop them as layouts that you may switch to, at the fly. That’s now not all, the app additionally supports QWERTY, AZERTY (French), QWERTZ (German), Dvorak and Colemak layouts for creating new layouts, and you may even export your custom layouts to an installable disk photograph, so you can take your custom layouts to any laptop which you would possibly need to apply.

Install Ukelele: (Free)

NoteIf you edit your custom layouts later, you will have to go to System Preferences->Keyboard->Input Sources and add them again in order for the changes to take effect.

Karabiner: Change the Functions of Modifier Keys with Ease

Karabiner is an app, that can allow you to change the functions performed by the modifier keys on your Mac’s keyboard, should you need to do it. But, that’s not all; the app also allows users to permit a lot of cool shortcuts and make modifications to the keyboard behaviour that may be very useful. Read on to learn about some of the coolest things that you can do in Karabiner:

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Show Desktop by Pressing Cmd+D

Let’s face it, we have almost all of our recently created files saved on the desktop, and screenshots, especially, are saved to the desktop by default. This means that in order to drag and drop a file from the Desktop, you’ll have to make the four finger pinch-out gesture to show the desktop, then drag the file with one finger, and make the four finger pinch-in gesture to get back to the application you wanted to drop the file into; and that’s with a Force-touch enabled trackpad. On a normal trackpad, you’ll have to use two fingers to drag the file around, plus the four finger gestures. Karabiner can allow you to show the desktop by just pressing Cmd+D, and go back by pressing the same combination again.

Permit’s face it, we have almost all of our lately created documents saved at the laptop, and screenshots, mainly, are stored to the desktop by means of default. Which means that so as to pull and drop a document from the computer, you’ll need to make the four finger pinch-out gesture to show the computing device, then drag the report with one finger, and make the four finger pinch-in gesture to get returned to the application you wanted to drop the report into; and that’s with a pressure-touch enabled trackpad. On a regular trackpad, you’ll should use  arms to drag the report round, plus the 4 finger gestures. Karabiner can permit you to reveal the laptop with the aid of simply pressing Cmd+D, and pass returned via pressing the identical combination once more.

To enable this shortcut, simply launch Karabiner; and search for “Desktop”. Then, click on “For Mission Control, Dashboard”. Check the checkbox next to “Show Desktop by command-D“, and you’re done. You can now press Cmd+D to show and hide the desktop.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

Toggle Bluetooth and WiFi with shortcuts

Karabiner also allows users set their Bluetooth and/or WiFi to be toggled by pressing fn+b, and fn+w respectively. This feature is definitely useful, specially for people who use the keyboard a lot, because switching between the keyboard and mouse can be a lot of problems. To enable one, or both of these shortcuts, simply follow the steps below:

  • On Karabiner, search for“Shortcuts”,and click on “Custom Shortcuts“. Scroll down a little, and you will see the options to toggle Bluetooth by pressing Fn+B, and WiFi by pressing Fn+W.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

  • Check the checkboxes next to the shortcuts that you want to use, and you can start toggling Bluetooth and WiFi directly from your keyboard.

Hold D for Dashboard/Shift+D for Dashboard

Even as Apple might not be paying a number of interest to Dashboard anymore, the fact remains that it’s far a completely useful a part of the macOS environment. but, the use of three, or 4 finger swipes to get to the dashboard may be tedious, specifically if you have quite a few computers open for your Mac. Karabiner can assist here, as properly. you may installation a shortcut (long press D, or Shift+D) to take you at once to Dashboard.

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To set this up, search for “Dashboard”, and under “For Mission Control, Dashboard“, check the checkbox next to “Holding “D” key to Dashboard“, or “Holding Shift+D key to Dashboard“.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

Change the Behaviour of Command + Q

Command + Q is infamous for getting accidentally pressed when you’re truly only trying to use Command + W. Fortunately, Karabiner can modify this default behaviour to make it more accident-proof. You can make it necessary to press Cmd + Q twice, in order to quit an application, or you can set it up to only quit applications on a long press. Both of these options can save you from a lot of problems.

To set these up in Karabiner, search for “Custom Shortcuts”, and under “Custom Shortcuts”, check the checkbox next to the behaviour you want from Cmd + Q.

How to Modify or Create Custom Keyboard Layouts on Mac

Karabiner can let you personalize lots extra on your Mac, and help you get more out of your keyboard. The various custom settings supplied via Karabiner aren’t all, the software also gives the choice to create more than one profiles, that you may transfer among by using keyboard shortcuts, so you are always prepared to head, in each software which you use. other than that, Karabiner also lets you export profiles, quite like Ukelele, besides that Karabiner profiles are exported as shell scripts, that you could import from the Terminal. For more assist on using Karabiner, you may read the Karabiner manual.

Install Karabiner: (Free)

Custom Keyboard Mappings: Make Your Mac Keyboard Yours

Not everyone uses their keyboards in the exact same way as the others, and apps such as Karabiner and Ukelele can let users customise their keyboards to work exactly the way that they want them to. You can even use these apps to map a keyboard designed to be used with Windows PCs to work properly with Macs. When you consider the fact that Apple keyboards are a lot more expensive than other Windows keyboard options, it might be a better idea to go with a keyboard designed for a Windows PC, and use apps like Ukelele and Karabiner to customise it to function properly with a Mac.

About the author

Wikitechy Editor

Wikitechy Editor

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.