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Spotlight search is activated by Ctrl+Space.

Unfortunately, this collides with code completion in Eclipse.

I could change the shortcut for either function, but I'd like to stick with the defaults.

Is there a way to disable the Spotlight shortcut when a given application is active (in this case Eclipse)?

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It's actually cmd+space and, granted, I know there is a solution for this answer, but I couldn't find it right now. –  Cawas Apr 30 '10 at 0:00
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4 Answers

I don't think it is possible to disable the Spotlight shortcut just when a specific application is in focus. The closest thing for you to do would be to re-map the shortcut (either Spotlight's or Eclipse's).

To change the keyboard shortcut systemwide for Spotlight:

  • In System Preferences, go to Keyboard, then Keyboard Shortcuts.
  • In the column on the left, select Spotlight.
  • Double click the shortcut (in this case ⌘ Space) and hold down the new shortcut. I suggest something similar, such as option + Space.

enter image description here

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Follow these steps:

  1. System Preferences
  2. Spotlight
  3. Untick Spotlight menu keyboard shortcut
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Change the keyboard shortcut for showing the Spotlight menu to something like control-command-space:

Then use a private.xml like this with KeyRemap4MacBook:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<root>
  <appdef>
    <appname>ECLIPSE</appname>
    <equal>org.eclipse.eclipse</equal>
  </appdef>
  <item>
    <name>test</name>
    <identifier>test</identifier>
    <not>ECLIPSE</not>
    <autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::SPACE, VK_COMMAND | ModifierFlag::NONE,
    KeyCode::SPACE, ModifierFlag::CONTROL_L | ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L</autogen>
  </item>
</root>
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Sounds like a job for Autohotkey. Use the ifwinactive or ifwinexist functions. Can't yet work out the exact code, but shouldn't be too hard with a bit of time.

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Umm… Spotlight is for OS X. Autohotkey is for Windows... –  David Pearce Oct 8 '09 at 6:32
    
Whoops. Should have read closer sorry. –  outsideblasts Oct 8 '09 at 6:44
    
Think I read Spotlight as Silverlight. –  outsideblasts Oct 8 '09 at 6:47
    
There is an autohotkey for mac tho: Iron AHK code.google.com/p/ironahk and there's also an automator alternative that you can drag n' drop commands that resembles AHK, but I can't remember its name. –  Cawas Apr 29 '10 at 23:59
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