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10.4: How to swap pairs of Finder keyboard shortcuts Desktop
Tiger only hintOver in the Macworld forums the other day, a reader lamented the switch in functionality of Command-N between OS 9 (new folder) and OS X (new Finder window).

It's been so many years since I switched over that I'd basically completely forgotten about that change -- and I make new windows more often than new folders, so I actually prefered the switch. Nonetheless, I was pretty sure we must have run a hint on how to swap the existing shortcut keys, which became possible with the release of 10.4. But all I could find when searching was this old hint I wrote about other ways to easily create new folders. It seems I never documented the method of switching the New Finder Window and New Folder keyboard shortcuts. So I did that yesterday in this Macworld tip writeup.

In a nutshell, you can make Command-N create new folders by first assigning the New Finder Window command to another key combo, then reassigning the New Folder command to Command-N (all done in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel, of course). You can then switch New Finder Window over to Shift-Command-N, if you want to. If you need more detail, I went through the process step-by-step in the above-linked writeup.

But the more interesting version of this hint is the general one -- you can use this same technique to swap any pair of existing shortcuts. For instance, I swapped Command-I and Command-Option-I -- Command-I now gives me the Inspector window, and Command-Option-I brings up the Get Info window. I use the Inspector much more often than I use the Get Info window, and it's now but a simple Command-I away. To swap any existing combos, just do this, using my swap as the sample case:
  1. In the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, reassign the command (Get Info) whose shortcut (Command-I) you'd like to use to something else (I used Command-Control-I).
  2. In the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, assign the now-vacant combo (Command-I) to the command you'd like it to activate (the Inspector).
  3. Relaunch the Finder to activate the first swaps.
  4. Back in the Keyboard Shortcuts panel, change the temporarily-assigned command (Get Info, Control-Command-I) to the now-vacated shortcut from the other command (Inspector, Command-Option-I).
  5. Relaunch the Finder again to activate the change.
The last two steps are optional -- you only need to do them if you want to have the same two shortcuts as you had before.
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10.4: How to swap pairs of Finder keyboard shortcuts | 5 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: How to swap pairs of Finder keyboard shortcuts
Authored by: jacobolus on May 16, '06 09:37:59AM

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Finding the 'Show Inspector' menu command...
Authored by: jiclark on May 16, '06 10:19:32AM

I post this simply hoping to help others who might have trouble, as I did, finding where the menu command for 'Show Inspector' is hidden. It shows up when you hold down the Option key while viewing 'Get Info' in the File menu. So, to make the change under Keyboard Shortcuts in the Keyboard and Mouse System Preference pane, you simple need to type Show Inspector as the menu command you're modifying.

Hope this helps at least one other person who might be as dense as I am! (I'm so keyboard oriented that I never knew that's how the commands worked in the menu, since I'd always simply used the two keyboard shortcuts without ever even looking in the menu!)

Thanks for the hint Rob; I, too, use the Inspector way more than the regular Show Info…

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.4: How to swap pairs of Finder keyboard shortcuts
Authored by: hereward on May 20, '06 08:31:46AM

I'm missing something: my Keyboard Shortcuts menu (under System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse) doesn't list a shortcut for creating a new folder - I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, just don't know what - using 10.4.6.


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How about when 2 menu items share the same name?
Authored by: sweth on May 21, '06 08:28:54PM

Is there any way to disambiguate between menu items for shortcuts if the text of the items are the same but they appear in different menus? In Excel, for example, there's an "Insert->Cells..." and a "Format->Cells..."; the latter is bound to Cmd-1 by default, but if I try to create a keyboard for the former, that shortcut appears in the menus next to both items, and pressing it calls the latter.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Works in other apps too - like Mail for Paste and Match Style
Authored by: highphalutin on Jun 04, '08 12:05:56PM
I was so glad to find this, so I could change the default behaviour of Command-V in Mail to Paste and Match Style instead of regular Paste (which does preserve the clipboard contents' styles). Hooray for sensible keyboard shortcuts and the ability to remap them!

[ Reply to This | # ]