I like hacks. I like tweaks. I like setting things up just to my specifications. I mean, I use an Ergodox Infinity, a CST Trackball and I’m an avid Vim user.
But these hacks and tweaks are not without their disadvantages. When macOS Sierra came out, it severely broke support for a key app in my setup: Karabiner. I was using Karabiner for three very specific, very important hacks, all inspired by Steve Losh’s “A Modern Space Cadet” blog post from 2012:
ctrlkey would act as
escapeif short-pressed with no other key. Because I rebind
controlanyway, that puts both
escapein perfect reach of my left pinky. No more reaching up or down for either key. It’s amazing!
F19was mapped to
F19? Because it is on no modern keyboard, and has no default usage in modern operating systems. So I bound it to a key on my ergodox, and use it as a
hypermodifier key. However, I went a step further, and made short presses on this key input
cmd-space(the spotlight shortcut). Surprisingly convenient.
The left and right
shiftkeys would act as left and right parenthesis when short-pressed with no other keys.
These hacks have become second nature, part of my muscle memory. Losing them would be terrible for my productivity. So I waited for Karabiner to be updated to Sierra…..cut to today, 9 months after Sierra was released, and Karabiner still has not been updated.
However, I found out today that Karabiner Elements finally added support for short vs long pressed keys in their latest beta version.
If you want to check out my implementation, I host my dotfiles on
The section is under
complex_modifications. Remember that you need to be
running Karabiner Elements 0.91.3, which is in beta!
What hacks/tweaks can you not live without? Leave a comment or tweet at me!