I've seen several screencasts (recorded on Mac OS X) which show a nice little "toast" indicating which shortcut key is being pressed by the screencaster, typically in the middle of the screen. Is this a feature of the screencasting software? Is there an app that does this that stands alone?

I regularly do presentations for programming classes, and I want a way to show my audience what shortcuts I'm activating.


Screenflow has an option to display the pressed keys, but they will only be shown in the recorded screencast.

There are also standalone apps that display the keys in real time like Keycastr and Mouseposé.

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    KeyCastr had been abandoned, and it needed a little modernization love, so I forked it here: github.com/bignerdranch/keycastr – lyricsboy Apr 1 '12 at 17:17
  • @lyricsboy nice to see the sources, but where I can download the binary.. ;) – jm666 Apr 23 '15 at 15:10
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    @jm666 You can install it from brew: brew cask install keycastr – Sasha Goldshtein Oct 16 '16 at 16:02
  • Keycastr is not show "shift" key pressed in Default visualizer. But shows in Svelte. – byJeevan Dec 23 '18 at 10:49
  • Keycastr currently appears broken on Mojave and Mouseposé has been broken/abandoned (?) for years as per App Store comments. Visualize also hasn't been updated in years, but it still works fine on macOS 10.14 – maxheld Jan 8 '19 at 17:39

At least on macOS Sierra, there is a way to natively show keys on-screen. However there are a couple limitations/things to be aware of:

  • it piggybacks on the "Sticky Keys" accessibility setting, which changes the way modifier keys work (you just press them, and don't have to hold them)
  • it will only show modifier keys; it won't show the final character (Ex: for CMD+P, it will only show CMD, and once you press "P" it disappears)

To enable this:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility
  2. In the categories along the left, select Keyboard
  3. Select Enable Sticky Keys
  4. Next to Enable Sticky Keys, click the Options... button
  5. Select Display pressed keys on screen (and alternatively change where it appears). Click OK.

This fit my use case, and with Mouseposé at $9.99 (at the time of posting this) and KeyCastr crashing on startup for me, I thought I'd share. Hope this helps some people!

Sticky Keys - Display pressed keys on screen

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    The limitations you mentioned kind of defeat the purpose – Miguel Mota Apr 19 '18 at 1:51
  • not showing function key been pressed – Bastet Jul 9 at 4:01

I’m recording lots of tutorials / screencasts too and was very unhappy with existing solutions for macOS (most of them seem broken or just ugly). So I’ve decided to make my own keystroke app:

Download: https://ixeau.com/apps/keystroke-pro/

Video: https://youtu.be/3koqaw99uKA (30 seconds)


  • Animated keystrokes look gorgeous in light and dark
  • Works great with macOS Mojave
  • Individual designed keys for common ISO and ANSI keyboard layouts
  • Localized for 23 languages

enter image description here

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    It sure is beautiful, but also quite expensive :/ – Ev0oD Dec 10 '19 at 14:03

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