Leveraging the power of the right-command key in OS X
By Josh Sherman
Not too long ago I was singing the praises of creating hotkeys to switch
between apps, a method I consider to be far superior to using CMD+TAB
and having to cycle through open apps. I mentioned taking things a step further
by utilizing the right-command (and/or right-option) key to reduce the number of
keystrokes to switch apps.
Recently I finally got around to doing it, and after a few days of fighting
against muscle memory, things have been glorious!
Since I had to use Karabiner to be able to utilize the right-hand
keys explicitly, I thought it would be a good idea to try to shorten my stack
and do everything with Karabiner instead of having Karabiner talking back to
Hammerspoon. Nothing against Hammerspoon, but since I am working towards speed,
I don’t want to be fighting with multiple abstraction layers.
For those that haven’t read the previous article, I created hotkeys to quickly
switch between my top 3 applications. Cmd + Ctrl + 1-3 would launch or focus
Terminal, Chrome or Slack (in that order). It worked, but my vision was to map
Right Cmd + 1-3 to simplify things.
Once simplified, I took it a step further and added some additional hotkeys that
leverage the right command button a bit more. Here’s a list of what I have going
Right Command launches Alfred instead of Command + Space
Right Command + HJKL to scroll around similar to how I move in vim
Right Command + 1-3 jumps to Terminal, Chrome and Slack respectively
It didn’t take much to pull off, in fact, here’s my private.xml file for
Still taking a bit of time to get used to, but the time saved is well worth it.
You may consider saving one keystroke to be trivial, but when it’s related to
somethng I am doing hundreds of times a day, it definitely adds up.
My Karabiner configuration is subject to change at any time, but you can keep up
to date with the latest by starring my dotfiles out on GitHub!