[MlMt] Keybindings for non-US keyboards

Charlie Clark charlie at begeistert.org
Thu Oct 1 09:46:55 EDT 2020

On 30 Sep 2020, at 21:24, Bill Cole wrote:

> My point is that 'cmd' and 'alt' are usually not the same key. Maybe a 
> picture of the left-side modifier keys (other than shift) of my old 
> MacBook explains what I mean better:

I never said they were or thought they were.

> [ "IMG_1660.jpg" ]
> Note that 'option' is also labeled 'alt' and 'command' is marked '⌘' 
> (an ancient artifact descended from the "Open Apple" key on Apple ][ 
> keyboards) and on newer Mac US-English keyboards, option is marked 
> '⌥' to match the symbols used in menus.

But the problem is that Apple, in their infinite wisdom decided not to 
label non-ascii keyboards with such key symbols. So, while it's less of 
an issue for me as someone used to programming, other people will have 
no idea where [], {}, etc. are.

> The indentation menu commands are ⌘-[ and ⌘-] so on a keyboard 
> with a ⌘ (command/cmd) key and an alt (option/⌥) key where you 
> need alt-5 to get [, 'decrease indentation' would be ⌘-alt-5

Right. And this appears to be standard in other applications. For 
whatever reason, however, I struggle to remember most of these keyboard 
combinations, which is why if there is some kind of library that expands 
such shortcuts to the current key-mapping.

But how am I supposed to enter ⌥-⌘-[ if I need to use ⌥ to get [ ?

> Some keyboards have "Meta" or "Windows" keys that might get mapped to 
> ⌘. Mapping BOTH ⌘ and ⌥ to a single 'alt' key would be 
> intrinsically broken, because they have always served distinct 
> purposes.
> Will the alt key be recognized doubly, once to produce the bracket and 
> then to produce the shortcut? I gather he has to remap these shortcuts 
> to completely other keys.

No, see above.

> It is essential that you have distinct mappings for the distinct 
> modifier keys.

I do have. But seeing as some of the shortcuts depend upon using the 
same modifier twice, I think I'm just screwed.

I guess it would be the same for you if a shortcut required ⌥-⌘-ß!


Charlie Clark
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Tel: +49-211-938-5360
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