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I am currently creating a list of terminal commands to set up a new mac system according to my needs. Now I would like to add new keystrokes to Preview (normally in the system settings => keyboard) from the Terminal. This is probably possible using the defaults write command but so far, I haven't found the concrete plist or path I would have to change.

Has anybody already tried this or knows a good resource for such settings?

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Found the answer on StackOverflow:… – str Nov 30 '12 at 22:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can add an NSUserKeyEquivalents dictionary to ~/Library/Containers/

defaults write -app preview NSUserKeyEquivalents '{
"Single Page" = "@1";
"Two Pages" = "@2";
"Continuous Scroll" = "@3";
"Adjust Size..." = "~@i";
"Adjust Color..." = "@u";

The shortcuts for all applications are in ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist.

defaults write -g NSUserKeyEquivalents '{
"Show in Finder" = "$@r";
"Reveal" = "$@r";
"Delete Row" = "~@\b";
"Delete Rows" = "~@\b";
"Delete Column" = "$@\b";
"Delete Columns" = "$@\b";
"Minimize" = "\0";
"Minimize All" = "\0";

The shortcut format is described in the Cocoa Text System article. The -app option doesn't work with some applications like Finder or Notes. If a menu item was assigned to nil, pressing L would trigger it in Audacity.

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Yes that is exactly what they propose in the link from the comment section. I will mark this as answer anyway, thanks. – str Dec 1 '12 at 16:02

You're better off using the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard pane in System Preferences. Click on Application Shortcuts, click the + button, and choose Preview; for example, I use option-command-S to "Adjust Size..." and option-command-0 to "Zoom to Fit."

As with all custom keyboard shortcuts, you must enter the menu item exactly, including ellipsis, for the new shortcut to work.

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I know how it works in the system preferences, but that is not how I would like to do it. I prefer a script I can just run on different machines instead of fiddling around on every machine. – str Nov 30 '12 at 19:33

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