Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've recently been forced to work on a mac book for work. Since I'm a dev I bring my own keyboard rather than just using the macbook one, I had no problem with plugin my keyboard but the mapping are still those of a mac keyboard ( I'm using a french layout ).

A short example to make myself clear, when I press the key labelled 8 / _ on my keyboard the input is ! which is the mac binding on not my keyboard binding.

Is there any simple way to have a standard pc keyboard working on a mac the same way it work on a PC ( I'm not talking about inverting command and control key, just mapping as the keys are labelled )

Thanks in advance

Some refs : - Keyboard -> 7G steelseries - Layout -> Standard french AZERTY layout

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you can consider switching to the U.S layout, it's identical on Mac and Windows in terms of the positions of ASCII characters.

I don't know if there's a premade French PC layout, but you can also use Ukelele to create your own one:

  • Select File > New From Current Input Source
  • Change the keys
  • Save as bundle to /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ (the popovers shown when holding keys don't work with normal .keylayout files, and keyboard layouts in ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ can't be selected in password dialogs or the login window)
  • Log out and back in and enable the input source in System Preferences > Language & Text > Input Sources

To apply changes to a keylayout, you have to run sudo touch /Library/Keyboard Layouts/ (or modify the folder some other way) and log out and back in. You can disable the default French input source by editing the plist.

Another option would be to use KeyRemap4MacBook:

You can customize the setting group by copying it from the source to private.xml.

share|improve this answer
The Ukelele way worked perfectly, thanks a lot ! – Furzel Feb 20 '13 at 8:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.