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MacBook Keyboard Annoyances

May 20, 2008 by

Being a native Windows user, I really dislike the layout of the keyboard on the MacBooks. In particular, I dislike the lack of delete, home, end, page up, and page down keys. While all of these can still be achieved using key combinations, I would still prefer to hit just one key. Another annoyance is that Mac OS X uses the command key for almost all the same shortcuts that Windows uses the control key. Since I dual boot my MacBook and use both operating systems regularly, my fingers tend to move faster than my brain and hit the wrong key all the time.

Fortunately, there are a couple of tools that have made my life a bit easier. DoubleCommand and SharpKeys are key remapping utilities for Mac OS X and Windows, respectively. They allow you to customize the layout of the keyboard and switch keys around using software. Using them collaboratively, I successfully switched the control and command keys in Windows and mapped the right alt/option/enter key to the delete key. It does not solve all of the annoyances, but now I do have a delete key and do not have to worry about different key combinations for copy and paste in the different operating systems.

Now, if only Apple had two mouse buttons on the MacBook instead of one…

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Comments

Nick Little wrote...

June 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm

I also found a way to simulate a right mouse click in Windows. Using AutoHotkey (http://www.autohotkey.com/) keystrokes can be remapped to mouse buttons. After installing it, I created a script file that would run on startup and remap my right command key to a right click. At last, I have overcome all the quibbles I have with running Windows on a Mac. Now I just need to remember what keys I have changed!

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Alex wrote...

November 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm

What I really dislike is the non existence of the trackpoint in the keyboard, so one needs to use an external mouse…
BTW, how one disables that annoying touchpad anyway ?

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Chris wrote...

March 9, 2014 at 6:25 pm

They keyboard on these things is what kept me away from MacBooks altogether. I cannot shake the sense that it is not that easy to type on a keyboard with what I call “buttons” rather than keys. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I cannot type on those keyboards. I disliked it so much I didn’t even try the mouse or shortcuts, I turned straight for the Asus isle.

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