I use a Stinkyboard Footboard to enter shortcuts with my feet on my Mac.

This works fine, the Footboard is recognized as another USB keyboard and the shortcuts are working. One thing that is not working is to assign two keys like ALT + SHIFT to the foot pedal and then add another key like 1 with the keyboard I use with my hands.

Is there a way to make these two keyboards combine their inputs into one shortcut?

  • What was your experience with the stinkyboard? Are you still using it? I'm looking for a solution for emacs to replace the Control & Alt keys. Thanks for any info.
    – mwal
    Mar 21, 2019 at 15:58
  • 1
    The problem with the Stinkyboard is that the configuration of the board with the official software is only possible on a Windows machine. At some point this got so annoying that I didn't use it that much anymore.
    – Janusz
    Mar 29, 2019 at 16:21
  • 2
    @Janusz even though my answer didn't help you, seeing that it helped a lot of other people, would you be so kind to accept it?
    – DelGurth
    Dec 4, 2020 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


New answer

For macOS Catalina (10.15.6) and Big Sur (11.0) Karabiner Elements can help with this, as posted by Jeremy Blalock.

There is no explicit setting for it, as stated by chrismarx, but in Karabiner Elements->Devices, ensure "Modify Events" is checked for all your keyboards/devices that you wish to share modifier keys for, as posted by Digicrat.

When you like this solution, please consider donating something to the authors of Karabiner as requested by GenericJam.

If you need a solution for macOS Sierra (10.12) till Catalina (10.15), you can try an older version of Karabiner Elements as provided on their Github repository. v12.10.0 is latest with support for 10.12 till 10.14.

Let's see if this answer is found if I put the search terms of blast_hardcheese in this answer: modifier keys on one keyboard doesn't change other keyboard

Disclaimer: I'm not involved in developing Karabiner Elements and not using it to combine multiple keyboards. The external keyboard I had broke because of battery leaks and I've never bought a new one. I just updated this answer after getting yet another upvote on it (thanks upvoters!).

Original answer

I know I'm gravedigging here, but I think I've the solution for you. It's called Karabiner.

I've a Belkin Yourtype Wireless Keyboard and I wanted to use that one combined with the keyboard of my Macbook pro, and by just installing Karabiner I'm able to do that.

This is possible since one of the implicit functions of Karabiner is to share modifier keys over multiple keyboards:

Share state of modifier keys with all connected keyboards:

When you are using multiple keyboards, modifier keys are shared with all keyboards.

For example, pressing "shift key on keyboard1" and "space key on keyboard2" sends shift-space.

  • 3
    Update for macOS Sierra users: there is a limited version of Karabiner called Karabiner Elements that has been released, since the full version was never released. Sep 6, 2017 at 5:55
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    For those wondering where this setting is, afaik, there is no setting for this, it's just the default once you have Karabiner Elements running. This is working for me in Mojave with two mac keyboard, one usb and one bluetooth
    – chrismarx
    Jun 24, 2019 at 16:38
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    This turned out to be the solution for my cheap as chips split keyboard which is essentially just two compact keyboards beside each other. Go throw this guy some money if you like - pqrs.org/osx/karabiner/pricing.html
    – GenericJam
    Feb 12, 2020 at 13:13
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    The setting may be implicit, but you do need to explicitly enable your devices. In Karabiner Elements->Devices, ensure "Modify Events" is checked for all your keyboards/devices. Once I did this, my cheap USB foot pedal started working as expected.
    – Digicrat
    Mar 16, 2020 at 18:24
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    I wish I could upvote this twice. Trying to search for "modifier keys on one keyboard doesn't change other keyboard" ended up with a sea of unrelated results. The worst part was I had Karabiner on my old laptop for an unrelated reason, I had no idea why the behaviour was different between the two. May 21, 2021 at 5:50

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