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I am using a Mac Mini for both everyday tasks and developing software. I don't feel the original keyboard layout to develop on Mac is the right one.

For instance, typing in '[' involves 3 keys: Alt + Shift + 5.

I know, it's not a big deal. But I'd like to know your opinion on the question.

  • Did you change the layout of your keyboard?
  • Which keyboard do you use to develop on your mac?
  • How to switch the layout from one application to the other? (from Safari to XCode for instance)

Personally I am using the Apple wireless keyboard:

apple wireless keyboard

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closed as not a real question by Daniel Beck, Nifle, random Sep 27 '11 at 2:53

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What is your default layout? –  Troggy Aug 16 '09 at 19:24
    
My default layout is the French one –  yves Baumes Aug 16 '09 at 19:34
1  
Personally, if I was to use an apple keyboard, enjoy the full size wired version of the keyboard. I currently use a Logitech MX wireless keyboard, but it is currently about to get replaced. I find programming on OS X to be a pleasant experience as long as I have a decent full size keyboard and keypad. I would consider the apple wireless keyboard, but the lack of keypad and reduced size makes it not ideal for my situation. –  Troggy Aug 16 '09 at 19:46
    
Using a French layout is your fail. I (Swiss) use an Apple Wireless Keyboard with US layout. There is a layout called "US international" which you can use if you still need access to the French accents. –  Nils Mar 3 '11 at 18:47
    
@Troggy got rid of my Logitech keyboard since it clutters up the whole table. –  Nils Mar 3 '11 at 18:47
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Perhaps you should change the keyboard to "US English" for the time you are writing code. The key to the immediate right of the "P" gives me "[". The same key gives me "^" in the French.

You can go to "International" in the system preferences, and check keyboard layouts that you wish to use in the "Input Menu" tab. Make sure "Show input menu in menu bar" is selected.

You can then switch between layouts by selecting the layout in the toolbar. (The flag in the toolbar has a dropdown menu to choose.)

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My only tweak to is to disable Caps lock and turn it into another Ctrl key. I would rather hold Shift with my pinky any time (rarely) I need to type in caps, than accidentally hit and switch into caps inadvertently (frequently).

In Leopard System Preferences, under Keyboard and Mouse, hit the Modifier Keys button. You can remap ctrl, option/alt, cmd, and caps lock (not Shift or fn on the notebook keyboards).

By the way I use US English for programming and punctation is all rather straightforward, although typing accents are a mystery to me. Sorry I not so cosmopolitan!

The keyboard I use is the default, built-in (US English) Aluminum MacBook Pro 2006 with silver backlit bevelled keys. It's great to type on. At work on my Windows machine I use a Goldtouch split ergonomic keyboard. The keyboards have a surprising lot in common, especially the arrow keys cramped into the bottom right corner, which I'm rather used to.

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