Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Option key as meta key System
After scouring the net for a way to swap keys around on my keyboard, I stumbled across an even better solution!

I already have my capslock and control key swapped by editing the IOUSBkit, but I wanted easier access to my escape key for tcsh, emacs, and vi. The solution I found? The option key works as the Meta character!

The way my hand rests on the keyboard, the lower right portion of my right palm rests gently on the option key, all i have to do is press down slightly and I have INSTANT access to the Meta character! Its MUCH faster and easier than reaching for escape, even on a *real* keyboard layout!

One note, you have to hold down the option key while pressing the next key, unlike with escape where you press it once. Again, to me, this is a feature, as now I needn't go back and forth between escape and "f" to jump forward by word, I just hold option and keep hitting "f".

[Editor's note: I had mixed luck with this during my testing. Sometimes emacs would see ESC-f, other times I wound up with a backwards search request. I couldn't quite tell what I was doing differently each time, but the behavior was definitely changing. So I can't say that I was able to verify this tip, but I thought others might find it useful if it works for them.]
    •    
  • Currently 4.00 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (2 votes cast)
 
[9,928 views]  

Option key as meta key | 6 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Option key as meta key' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
FYI: typical behavior
Authored by: brandonlgolm on Aug 13, '02 09:34:29AM

FYI, this is typical behavior for UNIX (and emacs under windows). Even telnetting from windows to UNIX you can use the 'Alt' key (equivalent to option) as a meta key. When you run X-windows, one 'Alt' key IS the meta key and the other is just an 'Alt' key. In fact, the ESC-(pause)-key sequence is just a workaround for systems that can't convey the meta key properly.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Standard option for Terminal.app?
Authored by: jaacob on Aug 13, '02 10:38:00AM

Isn\'t this just one of the options for Terminal.app? In the Inspector or Preferences, there seems to be an option listed until Emulation. I can\'t recall if its on by default, but this is where to turn it on and off.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Indeed, Terminal.app handles this
Authored by: Stereo on Aug 14, '02 09:51:34PM

In Terminal.app's Preferences' Emulation section, check "Option (alt) acts as meta key". The ESC key still sends META if this is unchecked. It's unchecked by default.


I'd love being able to configure Terminal.app so that the alt key would work as an alt key and the Apple key act as META. Selecting text should copy, right-click should paste. Anything else is, IMHO, a waste of time.



[ Reply to This | # ]
IOUSBkit?
Authored by: SeanAhern on Aug 13, '02 05:00:45PM

Can you give some details about how you swapped your CapsLock and Control keys? I did a quick search here on OSXhints and didn't find any information on IOUSBkit.



[ Reply to This | # ]
IOUSBkit?
Authored by: SeanAhern on Aug 13, '02 05:04:16PM

Heck! Google, Yahoo, Excite, and AllTheWeb all return nada when I search for "IOUSBkit"!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Swap CTRL and Caps Lock
Authored by: Stereo on Aug 14, '02 09:37:10PM
Have a look at this guy's webpage. He has solutions for any mac. Each section on the page would probably make a good macosxhints article :)

[ Reply to This | # ]