Keybinding problem on a mac
July 22, 2008 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Why did one of my key combinations stop working on my MacBook Pro?

It's not hardware, because System Prefs -> Keyboard shortcuts can register the keypress to map it.
This issue affects several programs which were using that combo to change tabs. (cmd-opt-left-arrow works fine)
Even if I map that combination to a mouse button, it does nothing. It's like something is swallowing the keypress event, but I have no idea how to determine what it could be.
I tried looking at the keybinding files, but that combination doesn't seem to be in the standard places.
It's a minor thing, but really annoying - anybody got any hints for me?
posted by bashos_frog to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What is the keystroke? You mention that cmd-opt-left-arrow works, but not what doesn't work.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:05 PM on July 22, 2008

oops! bad edit on my part - cmd-opt-right arrow is not working.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:08 PM on July 22, 2008

Are you sure this key combination hasn't been mapped to another command or programme? (Not necessarily by you - have you installed anything new recently that might have implemented non-programme-specific key triggers?) When you said it seems like the keypress event is being swallowed, it occurred to me that maybe this key combination is doing something subtle somewhere, or even trying to run an invalid command, and so it looks like nothing is happening when you press it.

Do you have Quicksilver installed?

Also, do you play World of Warcraft? I posted a vaguely-related question here a while back and was told that playing WoW has a tendency to muck up keybindings on Macs. (I don't play it myself, so that's not my problem, but I thought I'd mention it.)
posted by badmoonrising at 8:18 PM on July 22, 2008

I do think it is mapped to something else, since it was working the other day. I just don't know how to find out what.
I was fooling around with mouse drivers, and this was one of the keys I was binding to mouse buttons. THe drivers were Steermouse and USB Overdrive X, because Logitech's LCC was conflicting with TextMate.
Warcraft has never caused me a problem before, so I don't think that is it.
This link seems to describe something close, but has not yielded a fix for me.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:24 PM on July 22, 2008

Are you sure this key combination hasn't been mapped to another command or programme?

That would be my bet. So as to narrow down what it could try looking in System Preferences / Keyboard & Mouse / Key Shortcuts then way at the bottom Application Keyboard shortcuts. Failing that, look in the Services menu for an item with a shortcut.

Presuming you find it, you can then alter that shortcut with the application or via something that will edit the Services menu.
posted by outlier at 12:32 AM on July 23, 2008

The only mappings in System Preferences / Keyboard & Mouse / Key Shortcuts for that key are the ones that I put there, which don't work. Is there any program out there that can list out all the active system keybindings?
posted by bashos_frog at 3:41 AM on July 23, 2008

Things that grabbed my key settings: Spaces, and Adobe software. Of course if you aren't running Adobe when you try the command then the keys should work, but no idea whether having Spaces turned off will disable the associated key bindings. Check with all programs / login items shut down and/or disabled, if the binding works than it is a program-specific conflict which you can narrow down one at a time, if it doesn't work it's an OS X issue which you can hopefully resolve by checking any settings in the Pref panels.

Quick search on my part shows that cmd-opt-right arrow = OS X default for recursively open folder in Finder. Check vs. that setting and see if anything changes.

Other defaults are here:
posted by caution live frogs at 7:31 AM on July 23, 2008

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