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I'm connecting to my Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6) from my Windows XP work computer using both TightVNC and RealVNC, and both of those don't give me access to the Option key. So to work around that, I tried using Keyboard Viewer, but that doesn't respond to clicks through these VNC clients. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted


Keyboard viewer cannot be used to simulate alt, even without VNC. It shows mapping of local keyboard. Keyboard mapping in VNC protocol is a mess.

  • Try using different VNC server (VineVNC instead of built-in sharing or vice-versa).
  • Try swapping modifier keys in System Preferences.
  • Try keyremap4macbook.

Differnt VNC client won't affect sharing in any way. VNC server might collide with OSX's built-in one, but not necessarily – you can configure 3rd party server to use different port.

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I'm using the RealVNC OS X server and XP client, and was able to get the right ALT key to correspond to Option by assigning LeftOptKey to ExtendedChars in the RealVNC Server's expert settings. – Dov Jan 5 '10 at 14:06

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