Quasi-daily thoughts. No cute taglines.

Wednesday July 13

Mac Keyboard Hell

I recently resolved two nagging annoyances of Mac OS X that have plagued me since I switched from Windows.

Launching Files in Finder

I have been completely baffled when trying to launch files from the Finder with the keyboard. Hitting Enter does the trick on Windows - and this makes sense. In Finder, hit Enter, and suddenly you're renaming the file! I recently discovered, by accident, that hitting Command+Down is the magic combination, this is not documented in the menus like most other keyboard shortcuts. Thanks alot, Steve.

Terminal Navigation

The Mac OS X Terminal has its keyboard shortcuts all screwed up. Home, End, and Delete don't work at all, nor do Control+Left or Control+Right for moving by words. After years of hitting the arrow keys lots and lots of times, I finally got fed up and did some Googling. Turns out to be easy to fix, but I don't understand why this isn't the default:

Bring up the Window Settings > Keyboard panel. Edit each of the following entries to have the action "send string to shell:" and the following values:

  • home - \033[H
  • end - \033[F
  • control cursor left - \033b
  • control cursor right - \033f

The answers to this problem came from several sources.

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