Productive Texts Processing OR Unifying Shortcuts between Platforms

Handy shortcuts can boost up your productivity by a whole level. I have quite a few of those who empowered me to process texts more efficiently. Most of them are Emacs shortcuts that’s natively supported on Mac. Here is a list of the keybindings I use.

Action Keybinding (may be custom) Alternative Keys (same or similar)
Move to end of the line control + e end
Move to beginning of the line control + a home
Delete control + d del
Backspace control + h bs
Left (back) control + b left
Right (forward) control + f right
Up (previous) control + p up
Down (next) control + n down
Delete the rest of the line control + k N/A
Remove previous word control + w opt + bs
Remove next word control + q opt + del

Except for the last one, the keybindings mentioned above were natively supported on macOS. The complete list of document shortcuts on Mac could be found here .

Before we start, I strongly suggest you to map the caps lock key to some other key you would actually use, like control. It’s way more productive to keep a frequently used function key instead of a key that no one ever used under your pinky finger.


Custom keybindings could be easily achieved by tools like HammerSpoon.

I used my pinky finger a lot. In addition to the those shortcuts mentioned above, I also mapped escape to control when it’s pressed for less than 0.15 seconds using a Spoon called ControlEscape .

It’s actually very practical to map any modifier keys with an additional feature to a short press (or tap). Thus, I modified the Spoon mentioned above a little bit to ShiftParentheses . It made my shift more useful as well.

BTT is also a convenient tool for me to move or resize window by only moving your mouse while a certain combination of keys was pressed. It’s also used to accelerate my track pad speed. I keep a Magic TrackPad under my space bar, so that I can use my thumb to move the cursor in a long distance without move my hands away from my keyboard.


AutoHotKey is the way to go on Windows. There are also similar scripts that you can use to achieve functions like ControlEscape mentioned above. Thus, I can use almost the same keybindings on both Mac and Windows.

Modifiers on Windows have similar one-to-one relationship with macOS modifier but not exactly. Same function involving cmd on macOS can relate to ctrl but some might goes to alt key. For example, on Mac, you hold cmd when click on a link to open it in a new tab, while on Windows, you need to hold alt instead. However, many other keys relies on ctrl.

In order to reduce the impact on Windows’s original keybindings, I mapped the left alt, which has the same location as cmd on Mac, to a hype key (could be a combination of ctrl + alt + shift or any modifiers you like), where native keybindings could be mapped.

My caps lock was mapped in the same manner. In addition, it was also programmed to have similar behavior as the ControlEscape script on Mac mentioned above.

Chrome OS

caps lock doesn’t exist on ChromeBooks, but it has a search key. Google does provide options to swap modifier keys as well the search key with each other. Since alt is not widely used here, I swapped it with ctrl. It allows me to create new tab, restore closed pages, locate to address bar, and close the tab using exactly the same keybindings as on other platforms.

However, what about Emacs keybindings?

Emacs shortcuts IME is a brilliant idea to make this happen on Chrome OS platform. It uses IME to deal with all the keybindings. It wasn’t flexible as the previous mentioned tools, but I think you can always compile the .crx files yourself after modifying the parameters. It’s worth trying if you rely on ChromeBooks for text processing.

ChromeBook is an awesome invention. It is light-weight, light-weight, and light-weight. You can easily get a used ChromeBook Plus from Samsung which has amazing screen and unbelievable battery life for just $200. I use it when I can finish all my work on Google Chrome. There are so many awesome online IDEAs like , which made ChromeBooks productive as well (at least more than iPad Pro). Very interesting and inspiring device.


You can get it that I’m joking, right?

757 Words

2019-03-02 21:39 -0800