Author's note: This walkthrough was originally written 11/13/2015, but vaious keyboard shortcuts have been updated since then.
Updated 9/4/2016: Including the Linux process for this.
Inspired by this reddit thread.
To give you an idea of how you would use this setup, here's the shortcuts I'm currently using.
The general idea is to not stray from the home row as much as possible. Less movement = more effiency!
caps + t: open a terminal
caps + r:
caps + f:
caps + F:
caps + qe: home and end
caps + space: escape key
caps + wasd: arrow keys
caps + hjkl: also arrow keys
caps + delete: delete, not backspace
caps + enter: to actually turn on capslock
All directions given for navigating through Seil and Karabiner are current as of the time of writing. Use these instructions at your own risk, I am not responsible for you remapping ' to ` . This tutorial works for OSX and my specific linux setup, but the same principal can be applied to other OSs.
Open Seil and remap capslock
expand the "change the capslock" key dropdown
follow the instructions under 'Important:'
change the keycode to
110. This is the keycode for the PC application
button, so it is something one would never use in osx
add a custom private.xml file for Karabiner
in Karabiner under the 'Misc & Uninstall' tab there is a button to open private.xml, this will open a finder in the location
Feel free to copy my private.xml file here
quit and reload Karabiner for the changes to take place
If you copied my file you should see a setting on the top that says 'My capslock key settings'. Make sure this is checked
If you modify private.xml, remember you must click the reload xml button in Karabiner for the changes to take place
Check out the Karabiner documentation
And you can now use your capslock key for useful things!
Briefly, what I am doing is defining a new modifier key (like command, option, or shift) and binding capslock to that key so that we can create our own shortcuts with capslock + some key.
I did this process on my acer chromebook, which has a search key instead of a capslock key, so instructions might vary according to your device.
Figure out the keycode of the search (or capslock) key
We can use
xev to do this.
xev will show us a bunch of information about all the events happening
while it is running. What's important to us is that is shows the keycodes of
the keys that are pressed. Press your capslock key and make note of the
Rebind search key (or capslock) to super so that we can use it as a modifier key
You could also use hyper or meta if you already make use of a super key.
133 with the keycode of your key if it's different.
xmodmap -e 'keycode 133 = Super_R'
Autokey bills itself as a 'desktop automation utility'. We can use it to bind custom key combinations to our newly bound super key.
sudo apt-get install autokey-gtk
Note: if anything goes wrong with autokey, the log file is located by
Write autokey snippets
While autokey gives you the power to write full python scripts, all we really need is to send a key or phrase when we hit a key combination. We can write what autokey calls 'phrases' to accomplish this, and bind our specific key combination to trigger them.
For example, write a phrase like the following:
and bind it to
super + w, or whatever key combination you want to trigger
the up key.
A full list of special keys that autokey supports can be found here.
(Maybe) Rebind window manager keys
This process might cause some conflicts with whatever default keybindings are setup with your window manager, so you might need to change those.