Changing "switch between spaces" shortcut key to option-tab?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by takeablake, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. takeablake macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2010
    Hi all,

    I've been searching in vain around the internet for a few days now for a way to change the hotkey for switching between spaces (by default, option-arrow keys, though I have changed it to command-option-arrow keys) to option-tab and shift-option-tab. To be more specific, I'd like option-tab to switch to the space to the right, and shift-option-tab to switch to the space to the left.

    I have downloaded BetterTouchTool (, and it can assign any shortcut key to the simple option of bringing up the spaces interface itself, but I can't find a way to assign a different shortcut key to actually switching spaces. Interestingly, using that app, I was able to assign a five finger swipe (which blew my mind, by the way) in the corresponding direction for which space I wanted to switch to by assigning the gesture to the shortcut key for switching spaces (so, five finger swipe to the right is assigned to command-option-right arrow).

    Barring an explicit way to change this shortcut key to anything but the basic options System Preferences gives me, it might be useful to know of an application out there that can let me assign a shortcut key to...another shortcut key, if that makes sense. In other words, if I could assign option-tab to command-option-right arrow, and shift-option-tab to command-option-left arrow, that would be perfect.

    Hope this wasn't too confusing, haha - thanks!
  2. dissolve macrumors 6502a

    Aug 23, 2009
    First of all, since there is no system-wide command for "move to the next space," I don't think there's a simple answer. But, I've got an idea that works, although it's not very elegant. You'll use an Applescript to switch spaces, invoked with a keyboard shortcut.

    Create the following script:

    tell application "System Events"
    	keystroke (ASCII character 29) using {option down}
    end tell
    The ASCII character is the "right arrow" using the option modifier. I can't figure out how to combine modifiers, unfortunately. You'd need to figure that out or return to the default Spaces shortcut.

    Now, read through this link to assign a keyboard shortcut to execute that script:

    You can use the built-in Keyboard Shortcuts in System Preferences, but I think that must be application specific. There are a few 3rd-party options to provide system-wide shortcuts, but I haven't seen any free ones. Hope that gets you on the right track.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention a key step. You must "Enable access for assistive devices" in the Universal Access pane of System Preferences for that script to work.

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