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I'm not really sure what to make of this. The key combination of ^← and ^→ have stopped working for one of the two users on my OS X installation. I use these keys all the time (switching tabs in terminal, IntelliJ primarily), and it's driving me crazy.

On one user account, it works fine. On the other, it doesn't.

This happened today and nothing significant comes to mind that would have caused some weird keybinding issue.

If anyone has heard of or experienced anything like this, I would very much appreciate your advice!


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I've noticed from time to time my Spaces settings get reset to blank values. I'm not sure what causes it, but it's quite frustrating that I have to go back into the System Preferences and reset the settings for Expose and Spaces. – Kio Dane Mar 14 '10 at 18:07

First, what version of Mac OS X? That's quite important...

For example, my setup is under Snow Leopard (10.6)....

But Check your keyboard settings in system preferences...

  • Check Modifier Keys settings, and make sure that your ^ hasn't been remapped...
  • Check Keyboard Shortcuts, and make sure that ^+Left ^+Right hasn't been remapped...

Check under Language & Text, and ensure that your home region is set correctly...

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Thank you for replying! I am running Snow Leopard as well. My modifier keys in keyboard settings are all mapped appropriately, and there are no other mappings for those shortcuts as far as I can tell. Also, it's not just terminal (where I map the action w/system preferences), but also in IntelliJ, which manages it's own keyboard shortcuts. Everything looks right under Language & Text. Any other ideas? I'm considering just deleting this user account and starting over, but that will be a massive undertaking. Especially if it could happen again in the future... – user31122 Mar 14 '10 at 23:39
Before you delete the user, create a new user and test to see that it actually works correctly... What type of keyboard are you using? Is it an Apple keyboard, or a Windows keyboard? Did you check the keyboard settings in terminal? Cntrl-Cursor Left = \033[5D, Cntrl-Cursor Right = \033[5C – Benjamin Schollnick Mar 15 '10 at 11:47
how can i check the settings in terminal? i know for sure that my other user can still cntrl-left and cntrl-right, but i haven't tested a new user out yet. actually let me do that now...yup. a new user is able to utilize these keyboard shortcuts. i'd really like to nail down what it is about this user that is preventing it, so any other insight you can offer would be thoroughly appreciated. – user31122 Mar 16 '10 at 9:55
Open Terminal, Go to the Terminal menu, and choose preferences. From the Settings button, choose the keyboard tab. – Benjamin Schollnick Mar 16 '10 at 10:42
No dice. They're mapped the same way as the account that works. Oh well, thanks for your help Benjamin. I guess I'm just going to make a new user account. – user31122 Mar 18 '10 at 3:20

These are used in Mission Control. Go to

System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Mission Control

And untick or change the keystrokes for Move left a space and Move right a space

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