How to export keyboard shortcuts to another mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Stevee00, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Stevee00 macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2008

    I have created a lot of application-specific customized keyboard shortcuts in the system preferences on my iMac. How do I transfer all my shortcuts to my Macbook Air? I assume there's a pref file somewhere, but I don't know what to look for and I don't want to screw something up.

    I have the latest 10.8.3 on both.

    Related question: is there a way to make a keyboard shortcut to open Keyboard Shortcuts? I tried just entering those words and it didn't work.


  2. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I think the file is in ~/Library/Preferences. (Normally hidden from Lion onwards.)

    You can check which plist stores which data by changing a setting and seeing which file is modified at the same time. (Sort the folder by date order; it will rise to the top.)

    If you are "big" on keyboard shortcuts, you might want to consider software like iKey or KeyboardMaestro, which are much more flexible and offer much greater range of capabilities than the OS alone.
  3. Stevee00 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 13, 2008
    Benwiggy, thank you. That's what I was looking for. I do know how to find the plist flies, and I hadn't thought of the change it and sort trick.

    Do any of the utilities you know automatically synch across Dropbox, as Textexpander does?

  4. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    You mean sync the shortcuts using Dropbox? Not that I'm aware of.

    I use iKey, and you can export some or all of the settings into a file that can be imported. That's how I keep the same actions on both Macs.
  5. bachelorbob macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2009
    I ran 'fseventer' to see what files changed while altering my keyboard shortcuts via the Keyboard preference panel. The only relevant changes were directly to the plist files of the applications I made changes to. Ergo, there is no one file that can be easily exported or copied to another Mac to transfer keyboard shortcuts assigned in this manner.

    Now, the Keyboard preference panel must keep a cache of your custom settings somewhere. Surely it does not look through every application for custom setting when launched. I looked in the panels contents and did not find anything obvious. The hunt continues.

    And, yes, I am still using OS X.8.5 (Mountain Lion), because 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11 are progressively worse, slow, and childish GUIs.
  6. chsweb macrumors newbie


    Oct 8, 2015
    Charleston, SC
    Same question here, for Mac OS Sierra. I have a ton of keyboard shortcuts that I have set up over the past 3 years that I need to migrate a new Mac.

    I am taking screenshots of the system pref pane for my shortcuts now… one small shot at a time.

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