Please let me type these darn characters..
October 17, 2011 7:30 PM   Subscribe

How can I reassign one of the character keys on my macbook to type a different character?

This should be straightforward, and easy, and I am having far too much trouble with it, or it is impossible (but I hope note!)

I would really like to reassign that `/~ key in the upper left to type ´, instead of `, to enable easier typing of accented letters. Is this possible?

Alternatively, is there a way I could tell my computer (or just word) that alt+a is á, or something like that? I know I can do alt+e+a, but I always click command instead of alt and it isn't ending too well.

posted by R a c h e l to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Hm, just to make sure: you are trying to hit alt (and command, for that matter) with your thumb, right? I've never had any issues doing the option + e + a routine before, but I could see how my Windows friends, who scrunch up their hands all weird to hit those keys with their pinkies might have trouble...

Otherwise, hm, I don't know how to do either of your ideas, sorry. One thing that might help a tiny bit is remapping Caps Lock to Option, so at least you won't get it confused with command. You can do that in System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys.
posted by losvedir at 7:40 PM on October 17, 2011

You can make your own custom keyboard layout using a free program like Ukelele.
posted by D.C. at 7:41 PM on October 17, 2011

I can hit the key fine, it's just an issue of memory, and the frequency with which I hit ctrl+e instead is really frustrating (and it doesn't seem to be improving, either.

I think I'll try the caps lock trick, and if that doesn't work, then I'll try Ukelele! Hopefully having it in a different place will make enough of a difference, but we'll see. Thanks so much!
posted by R a c h e l at 7:48 PM on October 17, 2011

If you are running Mac OS X 10.7 you can easily type accented characters by holding down the letter and waiting for a menu to pop up showing the alternatives you can pick from. This is much like how it works on iOS devices.

For me, it's still easier to use the Option key because that's been my routine for ages, but if you're new to the Mac (and you might be, considering how you're referring to the Alt key instead of the Option key) then this method might be easier.

Hope that helps!
posted by emelenjr at 7:54 PM on October 17, 2011

Oh, another idea is to use Word's autocorrect feature. Word -> Preferences -> AutoCorrect. You could, for example, replace ` with é, and then whenever you hit the former key the latter expression will appear. If you have a few letters, you could come up with some personal mapping scheme, like e$ -> é, a$ -> á, etc.
posted by losvedir at 7:55 PM on October 17, 2011

I use KeyRemap4Macbook to make the British keyboards act like US ones. It was easier for me to configure things to my liking with this that Ukelele and DoubleCommand. More options too than DoubleCommand, IIRC.
posted by hariya at 2:22 AM on October 18, 2011

2nding KeyRemap4Macbook .
posted by gregglind at 8:12 AM on October 18, 2011

« Older Looking for tights that feel more like leggings -...   |   Is that how they say it down under? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.