Do you want your Mac's function keys back?Does the Caps Lock key seem like a waste of space?Do you prefer to put the idle right Shift key to a more useful place?
If you're looking for a way to customize basic keyboard behavior, add new shortcuts, remap keys, or navigate quickly without using a mouse, a few (mostly free) apps are all you need Make it all happen.
Carabiner element is the most popular keyboard customization tool on MacOS.It offers extensive customization support and includes features that other tools lack.
With Karabiner-Elements, you can remap your entire keyboard, whether it's your MacBook's built-in keyboard, Magic Keyboard, or a third-party USB keyboard.It can make simple modifications like remapping one key to another, or complex modifications based on your own rules.Many of these rules are available for download, so you don't have to create them yourself.
Plus, you can bring back the function keys by disabling special features like brightness and volume controls.You can also assign these media keys to completely different functions, and apply special functions to plain old keys like the Caps Lock key or the right Shift key.
Karabiner-Elements lets you set up configuration files, apply your changes on a per-keyboard basis, or create blanket rules that affect all input devices.You don't need this app until you realize what it does and the productivity you're missing out on.
Download: Carabiner element (free)
Thor is a simple tool to switch to the correct application with a dedicated shortcut key.The app's beauty lies in its simplicity: Select an app, click "Record Shortcut," and assign a key combination.When you trigger the shortcut, Thor will instantly switch or launch the app of your choice.
You can also double-click a modifier key of your choice to quickly disable Thor.The worst part is deciding which shortcut to use.We've found the Control key to be the most useful since it's not in the way like some other modifiers.Also, shortcuts like Control+S (for Safari) or Control+E (for Evernote) are easy to remember.
While other apps do what Thor does, they're usually much more complex and built around other features.
Download: thor launcher (free)
Keyboard Maestro is one of the most powerful apps of its kind on macOS, offering a dizzying array of customization features for those who need it.It is based on triggers and actions, and its use is not limited to key triggers.
Arguably the app's biggest selling point is the ability to create as many shortcuts as you want.An example is using a keyboard shortcut to type a piece of information, such as your name or email address.It can also be used as a text expansion application, allowing you to replace trigger phrases (such as myname) with longer strings (such as John Doe).
That's only a fraction of what Keyboard Maestro can do, and hence its list price of $36.You also get a full-featured clipboard manager, application launcher, AppleScript and XPath support, window and mouse cursor manipulation, MIDI control, action-based macros, and more.
Luckily, you can download Keyboard Maestro and try it before spending your hard-earned money.If you're an automation freak, or just looking for a way to trigger scripts, macros, and other desktop events, Keyboard Maestro is the ultimate app for you.
Download: Keyboard Maestro ($36, free trial available)
rcmd is a very simple Mac application.It lets you use the right Command key and letter keys on your keyboard to access different apps installed on your device.
For example, with rcmd, you can press the right Command key, such as F, which is the first letter of the application you want to switch to, or open the Finder on a Mac if it's not running.If it's already running and in focus, you can switch to another application whose name begins with the letter "F."
Setting up a shortcut in rcmd takes only a few seconds.For your convenience, the software guides you through operations in the macOS menu bar.Additionally, you can change the right Command trigger to a modifier key combination.Also, in order to prevent accidental triggering, the registration of specific letters can also be prohibited when the program is running.
Over time, as you use rcmd, it learns about your usage behavior and starts recommending more related apps.If an application is on another desktop, pressing a keyboard shortcut will take you to that desktop.
Download: rcmd ($5.99, free trial available)
5. Better Touch Tool
BetterTouchTool is a powerful application that helps you customize the different input devices on your Mac, including the keyboard.So, you can use it to create custom keyboard shortcuts for different app functions, launch apps, set text triggers, remap keys, and more.
Besides keyboard customization, BetterTouchTool has some other useful applications.For example, it can act as a clipboard manager, helping you manage your clipboard history, or as a window manager, helping you pin apps to different areas of the screen for better multitasking.
If your MacBook has a Touch Bar, BetterTouchTool lets you customize it to make it even more powerful.You can add widgets and shortcuts, or set up gestures for things you do often.Likewise, if your MacBook is equipped with a notch, you can customize some of its behavior for even more functionality.
Download: BetterTouchTool ($10, free trial available)
It's no secret that taking your fingers off the keyboard slows you down.Shortcat It's all about fixing that so you no longer have to reach for a mouse and trackpad.You simply activate Shortcat with a keyboard shortcut and start typing the name of an element on the screen.
Shortcat will highlight anything that matches the query you enter.Then, you can control-click and "click" the correct element, and the associated shortcut key will appear on the screen.You can also tab between elements and click, double-click, or hover using the associated shortcuts.
If you're willing to take the time to learn how to use Shortcat, you'll be able to browse your Mac like a pro without pointing at the device.It works system-wide and with apps like Skype, but not every third-party app you come across.
Download: Shortcat ($18, free trial available)
Easily Boost Your Mac's Productivity
These applications help to improve the efficiency of Mac operation and make work more efficient and convenient.They cover multiple areas, including productivity as well as creative tasks, greatly improving the overall user experience.
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