On OSX, Cmd + is supposed to move your cursor to the beginning of a line; Cmd + is supposed to move your cursor to the end of a line.

Some OSX apps (e.g. Firefox and Adium) do the wrong thing when you press Cmd + . e.g. Firefox treats Cmd + like the back button; Adium switches between open conversation tabs.

In these cases, I've done my best to try to reconfigure the individual apps to do the right thing, but I feel like I'm plugging a leaking dam with my fingers; each config file and settings hack creates new problems.

What I want is to somehow bind Cmd + /Cmd + at the OSX operating system level, so individual apps like Firefox and Adium can't see them; it'd be great if I could replace them with Ctrl + A/Ctrl + E instead, for example, which most apps seem to support reasonably well.

Is this possible in OSX?

4 Answers 4


Alternatively cocoa text fields also support emacs style commands, so you can use Ctrl + A to go to the start of the line. Ctrl + / also seem to work for start/beginning of line.

This works in Adium and Firefox (at least the versions I just tested it on).

  • Note that ^A and ^E are different from the cmd-arrows in how they treat a wrapped line; ^A and ^E treat it as a single line whereas cmd-arrows never move the cursor vertically.
    – Kevin Reid
    Sep 18, 2011 at 2:05

I don't think you can do that, but I'm not 100% sure. You can, however, try some of the 3rd party applications that provide more granular control over the shortcuts (among other things). For example:


Some basic Mac keyboard shortcuts can be customized from the Mouse & Keyboard preferences screen:

AppleCare How-To

You can also add additional shortcuts (perhaps including Cmd-Left?) at the OS level.


For Firefox this indeed can be a problem in dynamically generated rich-text editors like TinyMCE. Somehow Firefox then doesn't understand that you're in edit mode, while it understands perfectly fine in other setups of the very same editor.

The only solution I found so far is using the keyconfig add-on (download; instructions). For the latest Firefox one also needs the Nightly Tester Tools to enable it despite of the wrong version information.

See Disable Firefox's Command-Arrows page jump shortcuts on macosxhints.com for more details.

(For the same reason, one may want to learn to use Cmd-[ and Cmd-] to navigate backwards and forward in the browser history, instead of hitting Delete to go back to the previous page. In fact, one might want to disable Delete to function as the back button altogether. This not only saves you from loosing your edits when pressing Delete while the browser does not understand you're editing something, but also when you happen to press Delete while the cursor was not in the textbox you thought it was.)

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