Changing your Modifier Keys

AmazingHenry

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Jul 6, 2015
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So, this is post 2 of my series of informational posts about PowerPC software. Sorry for the delay, it's been a crazy past 2 weeks. But everything should be normal now! :) I plan to post every Wednesday, so this post does come one day late.
This post is something I didn't plan to do but I can't do Make Tiger Look Like Leopard yet (next Wednesday!) but I wanted to get something out there. Now, for our main topic!

The Ctrl key on my iBook G4 is completely broken. Just doesn't register. And that means I can't right-click! But I found a way to switch out what different keys do. I never use Caps Lock (I always just hold down shift), so the Caps lock key is my new Control key! When I want to right click, I hold down Caps Lock while clicking. The only keys this works for are Control, Option, Command, and Caps Lock. Here's how you can switch out what your keys do.

IMPORTANT: This guide is meant for Tiger and I have not tried on Leopard. I assume the procedure is similar. In my future posts I'll be writing for Tiger AND Leopard, using my Mac mini for Leopard.

To start you'll want to open System Preferences and click "Keyboard & Mouse". Make sure you are on the Keyboard tab, and click "Modifier Keys...".

Picture 2.png


Then you'll be presented with this screen:
Picture 4.png


This is where you can switch what keys does what. You can see my setup. The Ctrl keys does nothing as it doesn't work, and Caps Lock is taking its place.

I hope somebody finds this useful. I sure have! I constantly need to right-click and this saved me from having to get a new iBook. ;)

NEXT WEEK: Make Tiger Look Like Leopard
 

bunnspecial

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May 3, 2014
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This still works as of Sierra.

I do this all the time when I'm using "real" Model Ms on my computers. My usual habit on a 101 key Model M is to set the "Alt" key as command and the "Control" key as "Alt." I then map "Control" to the caps lock. Although that may seem a bit of a strange mapping, it comes down to muscle memory for me-Alt on a 101 key falls where command is on an Apple board, while Control is close enough to option. I use caps lock rarely enough that losing it isn't an inconvenience, and I use the control key infrequently enough that it's not a problem for me to have it off the bottom row. Granted, now that I primarily use a Spacesaver M with the correct Mac modifiers in the correct places, I don't have to bother.
 

eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Yeah, I was pretty sure that there would be 3rd party software for this. But I find that most of the time the build-in method works a lot better as it's from the same makers as the OS. :D
I won't argue that, it's just down to where it's being used. At work I've got too many apps competing for short cuts (and I NEED the CAPS lock key) that altering stuff via the built in methods can have unintended consequences. *not to mention the fact that if the CTRL key failed I'd be harassing my boss for a new keyboard* :D

But for personal use, yeah.

I just prefer searching for an app/prefpane as that usually makes it easier for me (I'm lazy). :D
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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Btw, thanks so much for telling me about FinderPop! It's really useful, especially the feature where you can click an empty menu bar space to see favorite items and your open apps.
No problem! FinderPop is cool. I used to use it a lot back in the day, mainly for file previews so I could see what a file was without having to open it.

The Leopard gave me that and I kind of stopped using it. But not enough to forget about it. :)
 
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Slix

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Mar 24, 2010
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I just wish there was a native way to change the Enter key next to the spacebar on some older laptops to be a Command key... :p
 
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