2 posts tagged


Remapping arrows on mac

This note is based on this post by Nikita Prokopov, so you may want to read it first.

In a nutshell: when you are in the “print mode” (typing or programming), every time you need to reach arrows or backspace you have to remove your hand from the original position and then return it back. It’s almost imperceptible, but breaking the focus and reduces the speed of work.

As a solution, Nikita made a configurator for the Karabinierer elements — open-source application, which allows you to remap keys on the keyboard to use Capslock as a modifier. In his edition, arrows are reassigned to Caps Lock + IJKL, and the backspace to Caps Lock + H. He also suggested Locking the original keys to get used to using new ones.

Nikita’s version

I already tried to do this with less low-level remappers, and I was happy to set up Nikita’s configuration. However, it quickly became clear that something is missing.

Firstly, there is one more key, which is quite far to reach, but which is just as important when you write — enter. So, my optimal layout would be this:

I assigned Caps Lock + O, to enter, and re-assigned the backspace to Caps Lock + U. (It would be clear why a bit later)

Now, in “print mode” everything is fine: you can write, erase, move to the next line. Particularly nice that all other cursor modifiers continue to work — you can select text with a Shift and navigate by words with the alt.


Often you have to work in «Design mode» when one hand is located on the mouse, and the other — on shortcuts. In this case, the problem is even worse, because now if you need to use the arrows, you either have to drop the mouse and grab the keys, and then move back, or remove the left hand from the shortcuts and try to press the arrows with my left hand. Same with backspace and enter. The situation is even worse than in print mode, and our new shortcuts do not help at all.

It would be ideal to be able to press these buttons with your left hand, without removing your hands from ​the shortcuts area. Fortunately, now we already have a convenient modifier, so we can duplicate similar block of keys in “shortcut area”, so now arrows would be also on Caps Lock + WASD, Bacspace on Caps Lock + Q and enter on Caps Lock +E, like this:

Now you can easily operate with the keys of both the left and right hand. The whole set in the collection looks like this.

Karabinier elements allows you to configure complex modifications with setup json files, which you need to put at:


Alternatively, after installing the Carabinieri Elements you can simply click on the link below, that will download my setup file to the correct directory, so you will only have to enable or disable the required key groups as desired:

You can turn on options separately, or make changes to the file in order to extend or change your setup. File on GitHub page

Give it a try!

Install settings

 No comments    1973   2018   arrows   design   mac

Sketch change text plugin

Sometimes, when designing in Sketch it handy to change several text layers at once. In general, you could use symbols for same elements, but sometimes it not possible or simply not worth it.

I’ll show you how I faced the problem with changing texts, and end up with writing sketch plugin. For my font design practice, I need to check, how some glyphs look like in several different typefaces. So I make some text layers with different typefaces selected. But now, every time I need to check some other glyphs I have to cycle through all the layers to change a value to the new one — not cool at all.

My first attempt to fix this problem was making symbols from these layers. Now I still had to insert a new value into every layer, but at least I can just copy-paste it into overrides without manually selecting every layer. Better, but still not cool.

On this point, I’ve decided, that ability to change several texts at once would be handy not only in this case, but in everyday work too, so I’ve decided to make a plugin for it.

Here is how it works now:

You just selecting multiple layers, hit a shortcut, and type or past new value. Notice, that if you already have the same value in every selected layer, the plugin will show it in a placeholder, so you can edit it instead of re-typing from scratch (handy for minor changes, like typos).

It also works with groups, so you don’t have to select layers, just select group and it will change the value of every single text layer in it. Despite that, you still can isolate some of the selected layers by making layer name starting with the hyphen.

So, if you find it helpful please try it out, and share it with friends

It’s available via Runner plugin, or on GitHub page: https://github.com/vdmp/bunch-text-chcange-sketch-plugin

 2 comments    1337   2018   design   plugin   shortcut   sketch