Two quick OSX newbie questions...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by gjarold, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. gjarold macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Recent switcher to OSX after 16 years on a Solaris/CDE desktop. As you can imagine, things are a bit different :)

    Two quick initial questions:

    - How do I detect and remap keys ? I am using a non-mac keyboard which does not, of course, have the "eject" button. So I want to measure what OSX thinks the "context menu" button is, and then remap that key to "eject".

    So this is sort of two questions, namely:

    a) what is the OSX equivalent of 'xev' (so I can press a button and receive confimation "I think you just pressed this button")

    b) what is the OSX equivalent of 'xmodmap' (so I can remap whatever OSX thinks the "context menu" key is to "eject")

    Second question is, how do I get command-tilde switching to return-to-last instead of always going forward ?

    If you have, say, 10 Safari windows open, and you press command-tilde, you go to the next window. So far so good. But if you let go completely, and then press command-tilde again, instead of going BACK to the previous safari window, it actually continues going forward in the stack.

    This is the opposite of how OSX treats command-tab, and I'd like their behavior to match. At first I thought this was a "mac-ism" but since I see command-tab works the way I expect it too, I think it is just a bug or an oddity.

    So, how do I get command-tilde to behave the same way as command-tab ?

    Many thanks.
  2. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    command - shirt - ~ Cycles you back through Windows.

    I know of no way to make it behave like command-tab.
  3. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    Yes, I know that - but that's not quite what I am asking.

    In BOTH command-tab and command-tilde, you can alter it with shift to make it go the opposite direction. Sure.

    But the difference is, in command-tab, you go to the most recently used app. So if I am in photoshop, and I command-tab over five spots to get to Safari, and then use Safari a bit, when I command-tab again, I go RIGHT BACK to photoshop.

    That is, I don't have to cycle forward through everything to get back to photoshop.

    BUT, in command-tilde, I can never "go right back" to the last window - whether I go forward or backward, I have to go sequentially. This means I either have to always hit shift to go back and forth, or I have to cycle all the way through.

    Hitting command-tilde once will NOT give you back the last window.

    Is there a way to "fix" this ? Since it is the opposite behavior of alt-tab, one of them must be "wrong" :)
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    As to browser, use tabs instead of windows. Use Command{ and Command} to go through the tabs.
  5. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Same problem.

    If I am working in tab #2 and tab #8 and need to quickly move between them, I can't. Regardless of whether I go backwards or forwards to get there, I still can't flip back and forth between 2 and 8.

    Or, in more general terms, I can't go to "the previous item".

    (never mind the fact that this is a two handed keystroke :)

    I wouldn't be looking so hard for the answer here if command-tab didn't already behave this way. It's not like what I am looking for is "not the mac way" since it clearly _is_ "the mac way", since command-tab DOES allow you to move to "the previous item".

    So ... no ideas ? Everyone just moves their mouse around all day and this isn't an issue for anyone else ?
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Welcome to the Mac.

    You appear to be making the same mistake that many Windows users make when they switch the to Mac. You are trying to turn MacOS X into Solaris. This is a mistake and will impede your progress. Learn your new OS on its own terms rather than trying to turn it into your old OS.

    When asking for help, don't lead by asking about a Solaris-specific command. Very few people here are familiar with those commands. Each Solaris-specific command accomplishes a task. Ask how to accomplish the task using MacOS X.
  7. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    you can just mess around in

    sys prefs -> keyboard and mouse -> keyboard shortcuts
  8. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007


    You missed the part, above, where I show that OSX _already does_ what I am looking for in its command-tab switching.

    I am just looking for consistency between command-tab and command-tilde switching.

    One works one way, the other works another way, and this is confusing since they are closely related functions. This has nothing to do with any other OS.

    Maybe the correct thing to do is file a bug report and Apple can decide which behavior is broken, since they behave differently. I hope they decide that the command-tilde behavior is broken, since the current command-tab behavior is more flexible.
  9. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    Never mind - OSX just uses F12 for eject on a non-mac keyboard, so there is no need to either identify keys with an xev-style app, or remap them.

    Your point _is_ well taken though - I was browsing through the desktop pictures thread and not one person had the Terminal app in their dock ... that should have clued me in about the technical level :)
  10. Josh396 macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2004
    Peoria/Chicago, IL
    That's could be because many people, like me, either use Spotlight or Quicksilver to launch their applications. I don't like having my dock cluttered on my MacBook Pro, so whenever I want to launch an Application I just press Command + Spacebar and I launch my application that way. In all honestly I think it's a hell of a lot quick to launch Applications that way than navigating to the dock. The only Applications I have on my dock are the ones that friends and family need whenever they're using my computer.
  11. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Sorry for hijacking my own thread. Cheers to you if you don't need to use commands like traceroute and nmap and lsof, etc. - you're probably happier than me without them.

    So, back to the behavior...

    What say ye ? Is command-tab broken or is command-tilde broken ?

    Since there can only be one "mac way" and these very closely related functions behave differently, which one is "wrong" ?
  12. Josh396 macrumors 65816


    Oct 16, 2004
    Peoria/Chicago, IL
    I really can't say for sure which is "broken". I'm guessing commad-tab was made the way it works right now in a recent OS update, and for some reason they forgot to implement the changes into command-tilde. Maybe you'll see what you're looking for in SL. Maybe someone with some more information can help you more than I am.
  13. andrewlevitt257 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2010
    Same gripe

    I agree that Command-Tilde behavior should be the same as Command-Tab behavior. It's great that we get Most-Recently Used (MRU) for Command-Tab, but I can only imagine that it's oversight that MRU is not used for Command-Tilde (Command-Apostrophe? Command-Single quote? What's that character called?).

    Is there any slim chance of requesting attention from Apple to this?
  14. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
  15. handyman5 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2011

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