From Colemak


Description: Installation of the Colemak layout for Mac
Version: 1.0 (2006-01-01)
File size: 0.1 MB
OS: Mac OS X, version 10.2 or later
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Warning about passwords: If you have any passwords in your computer, either change them (e.g. with a password of numbers only), or learn them in the new layout!

Installation instructions

  • Download the keyboard layout file to the /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ or ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ directory.
  • Log out of OS X and log back in.
  • Open System Preferences, click on the International icon, and in the Input Menu tab enable the layout.
  • Make sure that the Show input menu in menu bar box is also checked.
  • To switch quickly between layouts you can press Command+Option+Space.
  • You can download Icons for the layout here. To install copy the files to the same directory where you copied the keyboard layout.
  • Learn the layout.

Remapping Caps Lock to Backspace

  • Using DoubleCommand:, download DoubleCommand. Enable the option to remap Caps Lock to Backspace.
  • In newer Apple keyboards, you need to hold the Caps Lock key for a while before it works. To prevent the delay install PCKeyboardHack.
  • Note: autorepeat for Caps Lock does not work. The Caps Lock indicator might still switch on and off when pressing Caps Lock. To prevent the issue install PCKeyboardHack.

Known problems

  • Command key shortcuts might not work as expected for applications use the Carbon API (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Eclipse). More information. KeyRemap4MacBook method below works correctly with Carbon API applications.

Alternative installation method: KeyRemap4MacBook

The KeyRemap4MacBook installation method is simpler, and works with applications that use the Carbon API.

  • Uninstall any conflicting keyboard mapping software (e.g. DoubleCommand). Delete the DoubleCommand, iJect, uControl, CommandandControl or PowerDelete folder in /Library/StartupItems on your Mac OS X startup volume.
  • Download and KeyRemap4MacBook].
  • Install by double-clicking the .pkg file. Restart the computer after installation.
  • Open the preferences pane and select KeyRemap4MacBook. Scroll down the "remapping" section, and open "Change Keyboard Layout". Select Colemak.

Generating the XML keyboard layout from source

Limitations of the online layout generator

  • The 102nd key (usually '<') can't be configured.
  • Firefox may take a long time to generate the layout. Try another browser if you're experiencing problems.
  • The Caps Lock can't be remapped to Backspace.

See also

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