How to remap Windows XP keyboard shortcuts to standard Apple shortcuts
February 28, 2008 8:48 AM   Subscribe

I'm used to the keyboard shortcuts on OS X, but I have to use a Windows PC at work. What are some ways that I can remap the keys on XP to get as close to Apple's as possible?

I recently set up one of the new Apple Aluminum keyboards on my PC. The drivers are set up fine, so the default windows keyboard shortcuts work on it (Ctrl+alt+del, Command => the Windows key, etc.). I've tried searching google, but many of the options are only partial solutions, and I'm not sure how well they'll work together.

The specific keyboard mappings I'm most interested in changing are:
  • The ability to use Apple's accent and diacritic shortcuts (e.g. option+e for acute accent, option+c for cedilla). I find the US-International IME on Windows to be a pain.
  • Some of the OS X shortcuts borrowed from emacs, like Ctrl+A for beginning of line, Ctrl+E for end of line, Ctrl+K for delete to end of line.
  • Some other text navigation shortcuts, such as option+→ for move forward one word, option+← for move back one word.
I don't really much use the windows key, and I miss the ability to use alt as a meta key (Just using it for menus seems like a waste of a good key). Can any of this be done, or do I just have to deal with using different shortcuts at work and home?
posted by Frankieist to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Some of the OS X shortcuts borrowed from emacs, like Ctrl+A for beginning of line, Ctrl+E for end of line, Ctrl+K for delete to end of line.

Not sure if you're aware, but that is what the "Home" and "End" keys are for. And Shift-End will highlight to the end of the line then you can hit delete.
posted by Grither at 8:53 AM on February 28, 2008

Ctrl+ Left or Right arrow = Jump forward/backwards one word
posted by mphuie at 9:03 AM on February 28, 2008

Also, you can try printing out this list of ALT codes to print non common symbols.
posted by mphuie at 9:05 AM on February 28, 2008

Best answer: I will agree that Windows sucks for entering text with diacritical marks. You can adjust the way it does this with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. Probably someone has already created a good mapping this but I don't know where.

You might be interested in XKeymacs, which will at least take care of some of the motion shortcuts for you. When it works, that is.

As for other shortcuts, you might be able to hack something together with AutoHotKey.

All that said, I advise learning the factory-configured interface for most of these things. I have learned through hard experience over the years that trying to configure one program or operating system's interface to appear more like another is disappointing. It's a hassle, and it usually can be done only inconsistently. Sometimes things will work in one program and not in another. Then you sit down in front of someone else's Windows box and realize they don't have it set up that way. Or you try to follow some instructions on the web and you can't because you've changed things around.

It's not hard to learn that Ctrl+Right moves right a word instead of Option+Right, and I think you'll find it easier than trying to "fix" it.

(An exception to the above advice is for the international keys which are too brain-dead to consider, and because you have a documented and supported interface to change them.)
posted by grouse at 9:32 AM on February 28, 2008

Try experimenting a bit with AutoHotkey.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 9:44 AM on February 28, 2008

Oh yeah, another reason not to change your keybindings at work is it will screw up any co-workers or IT people who are trying to help you on your computer.
posted by grouse at 9:49 AM on February 28, 2008

AllChars will give you the accented character facility, though it's more like the Sun compose key that the Mac accent method.
posted by scruss at 10:11 AM on February 28, 2008

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