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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintIn 10.6, the behaviour of input language switcher (Command-Space) has changed. Before, it would change the language immediately upon keypress. Now it waits until you release Space, and if you don't rekesae it for some time, the system will display a HUD with a list of input languages (see this hint about that behavior).

The problem is that not only this is absolutely useless, it's also irritating. First of all, sometimes the system switches to a language you didn't want to switch to (those who have encountered this problem will understand). Second, this behavior conflicts with Photoshop's Command-Space modifier, which is used to temporarily activate the Zoom tool: when you try to select the portion of image to zoom in on, the stupid HUD appears and obstructs the image. Third, it feels sluggish and unreliable.

The solution came to my mind when I found out that old input switcher behaviour was triggered by using the Shift-Command-Space keyboard shortcut.

I was able to make the switcher work as well as it did in 10.5 with a help of Spark, which is, by the way, a great tool for assigning keyboard shortcuts to various things. Here's how I did it:
  1. Disable the Command-Space shortcut in the Keyboard & Text Input section of the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard System Preferences panel.
  2. Open Spark and create a new Text/Keyboard action.
  3. For a shortcut, type Command-Space.
  4. For a keystroke, press Record and type Shift-Command-Space.
  5. Make sure Spark Daemon is running (see Spark's status bar).
  6. Re-enable the Command-Space shortcut the Keyboard System Preferences panel.
This method has been working great for me so far.
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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: kyngchaos on Dec 01, '09 08:34:24AM

Maybe a little annoying, but not useless. I think that the HUD is easier than the old behavior, because of the same "unpredictable" nature. If you have a long-ish list of keyboards and input methods (as few as 3 is enough), with the HUD you don't have to wait for each to activate and show its icon. And, since the order is not always the same as shown in the menu (most recent is next - this may be the unpredictable nature you mean, which is not really unpredictable), with the old behavior you'd have to see each icon to know when you reach your desired input/keyboard.

I got used to the Adobe issue long ago and always hit space first, then Apple, when I want to zoom. It's not really a "command" shortcut, so it doesn't matter which order you press the keys.



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: iCaci on Dec 01, '09 09:44:23AM

Upgraded from 10.5 and the language switcher behaves exactly as in 10.5 - no need to release space and no HUD if I keep cmd+space pressed.



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: mmnw on Dec 01, '09 11:32:47AM

I never understood why Apple assigned command-space to language switcher. For most people it will conflict with Spotlight. I changed it to Shift-Command-Space.
But I actually like the HUD, it could be a little "fancier", or graphically pleasing. But in general it's a good idea. You don't need the menu bar icon. But even if you use the menu bar icon, you don't have to move your eyes up from whatever you're doing to see which language you're on.
But I guess it's all a matter of habit.

Edited on Dec 01, '09 11:34:01AM by mmnw



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: Uncle Asad on Dec 01, '09 02:26:08PM

Just FYI, the Cmd-Space shortcut for keyboard layout switching was used as far back as System 7 (maybe earlier, but I didn't use multiple scripts before then), so it long predates Spotlight.

The first thing I do on a new Mac is switch the Spotlight shortcut off so that keyboard switching works like it should ;-)



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: Abel on Dec 01, '09 12:12:37PM

I think the new hud menu is far from uselessÖ quite the contrary; the old behavior was what was useless for me, because I canít stand colored icons in the menu bar and therefore I donít like that indicator lurking up there. Now I always know which layout Iím switching to.

Edited on Dec 01, '09 12:13:21PM by Abel



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 02, '09 06:09:09AM

But without the flag you don't know in which layout you are at the moment.



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: atassaad on Dec 01, '09 12:27:53PM
It's just a run-of-the-mill global keyboard shortcut conflict and a systematic approach is called for, IMHO. Personally I try to change the System's (or global) keyboard shortcuts out of the applications' way, or away from more specific shortcuts, because
  1. They might clash with one or more other global shortcuts, and that needs to be resolved.
  2. They might clash with shortcuts within one or more applications without the facility to reassign shortcuts.
  3. They might clash with an application with so many shortcuts that you might not be able to modify them successfully within the application or remember your own modifications.
  4. Since I might have to talk to others about app behavior I don't need to make the exchange harder.
So I just went to keyboard shortcuts and assigned the Select Previous Input Method to F13 and disabled the Next (one-key shortcut: nice for when I'm switching languages as I end up doing that a lot in bilingual contexts. F13 through F15 are unused by default).
A user can choose otherwise based on their circumstance: I ended up with Spotlight on Cmd-option-H, LaunchBar on Command-H, and Photoshop can fend for itself (I don't have it on this machine).

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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: Nimf on Dec 01, '09 08:17:35PM

I figured out that there is a simpler way to do that.
I just switched shortcuts for "Select the previous input source" and "Select next input source".
So "previous" is now Opt-Cmd-Space. And "next" is Cmd-Space.
And it works. When I press Cmd-Space input source changes immediately. And when I press Opt-Cmd-Space and hold id I can see HUD menu.



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Exactly, only 'previous' brings up the HUD
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 02, '09 06:13:20AM

'Next input source' does not bring up the HUD.



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Exactly, only 'previous' brings up the HUD
Authored by: iCaci on Dec 02, '09 01:56:48PM

That explains why I've never seen the HUD :)



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: sgtoh1919 on Dec 02, '09 11:15:28PM

Thank you so much for this tip. This is a lifesaver!



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10.6: Emulate input language switcher from Leopard
Authored by: Brian A. Weeks on Dec 04, '09 06:45:48AM

Is switching the language input command-space, or is invoking Spotlight command-space? Do they both default to the same thing?



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