How to Remap a Keyboard on a Mac

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta December 9, 2021
Updated 2021/12/09 at 8:15 AM

If you usually work with Mac computers, it is possible that on occasion you have been interested or curious to modify the behavior of your keyboard, reassigning keys to improve productivity or adapt it to execute your favorite actions easily. However, it is very likely that you cannot achieve that goal directly. Instead, if you can make use of custom shortcuts to make it easier to move around macOS using the keyboard. Today at BigSoftware we will teach you how to remap a keyboard on a Mac so that you can achieve your goal using shortcuts.

How to remap keys on a Mac keyboard?

It is important to know that the application System preferences within a computer with macOS it provides us with a whole arsenal of variants to add shortcuts, at the same time as it has other functionalities assignable to our keyboard. For the preparation of our article we use a MacBook Pro. However, the example we address is applicable to the traditional desktop Mac, always bearing in mind that different menu options may appear, but in essence the process will be basically the same.

  1. First, we will proceed to select the apple menu on your Mac and then we’ll click System preferences.
  2. Then select the option Keyboard.
  3. In case you are using a MacBook with a touch bar, you will see an important option on the first screen: Press the Fn key to:. You can then use the Function key to do various things using this menu – Expand Control Strip, Show Quick Actions and Show Spaces – but you need to keep it on. Show F1, F2, etc. Keys so that our next step works better.
  4. Then click Shortcuts to see more options.
  5. In the left column, you will have the possibility to see the different categories of shortcuts that you can configure. It will be convenient to browse through them to create and set shortcuts for screenshots, accessibility, and function keys.
  6. When you locate a shortcut that you want to modify, click the existing key combination on the right.
  7. With the keyboard command highlighted, press the new key combination you want to use. You add one or more modifiers like Fn, Shift, Control, Option and Command to create a unique shortcut.
  8. The previously created shortcut will replace the previous one and you can start using it immediately.
  9. Finally, repeat these steps for all the shortcuts you want to create or change. If a command is left without active shortcut it will say none on the right side of it.
  10. If you want to disable a shortcut without deleting it, click the checkbox next to your name.

What types of shortcuts can I create?

You can create various types of shortcuts, for this the tab Shortcuts includes several categories of commands that you can configure to your liking. Next, we will show you a quick summary of each of its contents for your reference.

  • Launchpad & Dock– Open the Mac Dock and Launchpad application.
  • Mission control– Will allow you to perform tasks such as opening the macOS Notification Center, toggling Do Not Disturb, and showing the desktop.
  • Screenshots: it will make it possible to establish shortcuts to take, save, copy and paste all or part of your screen.
  • Services– Provides the ability to quickly send emails, post to Twitter, search the Internet, and more.
  • Spotlight– will open Spotlight Search so you can search both the web and your computer.
  • Accessibility– Enable Zoom, enable VoiceOver, and adjust display settings to make documents and applications easier to see.
  • Function keys– Add applications to this window to display the F1, F2 keys, etc. on the Touch Bar of a MacBook instead of having to press the Fn key to display them.

Can I remap the keyboard keys?

In summary, you will be able to use keyboard keys such as letters and numbers in your shortcuts, but you will not have the possibility of completely reassigning them (an example could be when writing in another language). Instead of the above you could choose to go to the tab Input sources in Keyboard Preferences and here use the button plus to add a different design.

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