Wednesday Nov 04, 2009

Mac OS X: Switching applications inside a WTS or VNC session

Recently, I discovered a way to switch between tasks inside a WTS or VNC session (same as <cmd><tab> with native OS X applications): Just replace the <cmd> key by the <alt> key, and you can switch applications inside the WTS or VNC session just as you would do if you were directly logged in to those systems.

Tuesday Jan 20, 2009

Mac OS X: Moving the cursor word by word

Tired of testing of <ctrl><alt><cmd> with the left or right arrow key to find out how to move the cursor word by word for moving the input mark or for extending the character selection?

Maybe the small table below is a useful word-by-word and beginning/end of line movement reminder for you when working with Mac OS X:

Application Version move cursor w/w
change selection w/w
move cursor b/eol
change selection b/eol
Textedit
 1.5
 <alt>  <shift><alt>  <cmd>  <shift><cmd>
Firefox  3.0.5  <alt>  <shift><alt>  ?  ?
Mac Mail
 3.5
 <alt>  <shift><alt>  <cmd>  <shift><cmd>
StarOffice
 9
 <alt>
 <shift><cmd>  <cmd>  ?
NeoOffice
 2.2.5
 <cmd>  <shift><cmd>  <fn>  <shift><fn>
Adium
 1.3.2
 <alt>  <shift><alt>  <ctrl>  <shift><ctrl>
Nedit (X11)
 ?
 <ctrl>
 <shift><ctrl>  ?
 ?


Saturday Jan 10, 2009

Mac OS X: often used UNIX keys on the German keyboard

Enough is enough. Enough testing of <ctrl><alt><cmd> with any possible key to find out where the [, ], |, \\, {, } or even ~ keys are on my German keyboard. Or using <alt><cmd>t to display the character map in the Terminal aplication to get those keys.

So here it is, my personal keyboard map reminder for the Mac OS X:

|  pipe symbol
 <alt>7
\\  backslash  <alt><shift>7 = <alt>/
[
 left (opening) square bracket
 <alt>5
]
 right (closing) square bracket
 <alt>6
{
 left (opening) curly bracket
 <alt>8
}
 right (closing) curly bracket
 <alt>9
~
 Tilde  <alt>n followed by the space key
@
 "At" symbol
 <alt>l (owercase L)

My favorite is the @ symbol! This is because if you have just worked on a PC (where the @ symbol is created by pressing the <AltGr> - which is just right of the space bar - and then the letter q), and now on a Mac also press the key right of the space bar (it's the cmd key) with the letter q, you will end your current program - sometimes without a confirmation. That's the hard way of learning how to enter the @ symbol on a Mac.

The good news is: If you run OpenSolaris inside VirtualBox, you can press the same key combinations (use <right alt> on the mac instead of the <AltGr>) as you are used to on a PC to get the UNIX special keys, with the exception of the pipe (|), less than (<), and greater than (>) symbols. These ones can be reached by pressing using the \^ key instead of the < key.

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