OS X Home and End Key Equivalents?
June 23, 2006 1:50 PM   Subscribe

I recently made the switch, and bought a nice, shiny Macbook. I'm loving it, but the keyboard shortcuts are giving me some trouble. Are there equivalents to the Home and End keys on a PC keyboard?

Windows and linux both use these keys to move to the beginning or end of a line. I've tried command - left & right arrow, but it behaves slightly differently. It also doesn't work in vim. Thanks in advance for the help.
posted by phr4gmonk3y to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Try Fn-left arrow and Fn-right arrow... Also, you'll find that option-left and option-right move one word at a time..

(Warning: No idea if this works in XP via Boot Camp, but it works in OSX)
posted by ranglin at 1:54 PM on June 23, 2006

Ummm... on my Powerbook it's OpenApple+Left/Right (or Command, if you prefer), not Fn. Fn, IIRC, takes you to the begining/end of a document, not line.
posted by sbutler at 1:59 PM on June 23, 2006

Fn doesn't seem to do it for me, upon initial testing.

Sbutler, as for OpenApple+Left/Right, it's very close to what I want, but it doesn't work on unix programs (i.e. Terminal, Vim, gVim, etc.) and doesn't quite behave like End or Home on a pc.
posted by phr4gmonk3y at 2:05 PM on June 23, 2006

doesn't quite behave like End or Home on a pc

What's different about it?
posted by jjg at 2:08 PM on June 23, 2006

Well, for Bash you can use ctrl+a/e, for vim use ^/$.
posted by sbutler at 2:08 PM on June 23, 2006

Anything that uses gettext (which is a lot of unix things) support Ctrl-a/Ctrl-e for beginning/end of line. In Vim, I've always used ^/$ to get to where I'm going. These avoid all the problems that terminal emulators between platforms experience, so it's a good habit to get into if you ever use a non-local system.

Also, you can change the keymap in Terminal to whatever you want in Terminal -> Window Settings -> Keyboard. If you want Cmd ->/<- to send Home/End, it shouldn't be hard to accomplish.
posted by revgeorge at 2:12 PM on June 23, 2006

Ctrl+a/e does it for me. Thanks guys. I'll get into the habit of using it instead.

jjg, the main difference is that if, for example, you have wordwrap on, and a line takes up more than one line on the screen but is physically one line Home/End or Ctrl+A/E will take you to the end of the physical line, whereas Command+Left/Right will take you to the end of the line that's being displayed.... That's the best way I can articulate it. I apologize if my explanation is a bit convoluted.
posted by phr4gmonk3y at 2:19 PM on June 23, 2006

Ahh, perfect question—I've been trying to figure out how to quickly get to the beginnings and ends of URLs on my Mac for so long! I actually have a full Mac keyboard that has "home" and "end" keys, since it's a Power Mac G4—but for some reason, home and end do pretty much nothing. I used to just hit Cmd-A and then an arrow to get to the beginning of end of the line—but that only works to get to the end of the line.

Thanks for the question, phr4gmonk3y, and thanks for the answers, everyone else.
posted by limeonaire at 2:51 PM on June 23, 2006

If you're using them a lot, you may want to just get a keyboard that has home and end keys.
posted by scottreynen at 2:52 PM on June 23, 2006

The problem you were having was not that there were no Home and End keys -- it's that the keys didn't behave the way you were used to.

Here's a handy list of text editing shortcuts that work in many OS X apps (the Cocoa ones, anyway).
posted by jjg at 2:52 PM on June 23, 2006

In firefox and safari, command+up arrow is home and command+down arrow is end. That's at least a one handed solution for those two.
posted by frecklefaerie at 3:00 PM on June 23, 2006

For what it's worth, you will find that some apps (e.g. Microsoft Office) use the actual Home and End keys as they would function in Windows, rather than using the Apple standard of Cmd+arrow.
posted by chrismear at 4:48 AM on June 24, 2006

It’s been Uparrow and Downarrow since early system versions. I’ve been using these things since they came out and cannot recall a time when those keystrokes did not work.

Now, if you need to get to the extreme end of one line inside a paragraph as opposed to e.g. the beginning or end of a line in the Google search box in Safari, you indeed will need a different keystroke, which may be application-dependent. Command-leftarrow/-rightarrow is the first one to try.

You can’t expect “classic” Macintosh cursor keystrokes to work in Unix terminal windows. You have to use Unix keystrokes, as mentioned above.
posted by joeclark at 8:40 AM on June 24, 2006

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