I would like to set the command key as the shortcut to open Launchpad, is that possible? I've tried in the System Preferences, but it won't let me.

  • You cannot assign just the command key to Launchpad. – user3439894 Jan 2 '16 at 5:10

To make this work you have to use a third party tool: Karabiner.

In the customized keycode below I assume that you haven't enabled the consumer key function in System Preferences but have to access the consumer keys by using the fn+F1...F12.

In the example below just the left command key launches Launchpad if hit once. A second hit will close Launchpad again.

You can use either the left or the right command key as usual otherwise (e.g. open files with cmd+O or print cmd+P)

  1. Download, install and open Karabiner
  2. Open in the menulet Karabiner -> Preferences
  3. Open the tab Misc & Uninstall
  4. Hit the button Open private.xml
  5. Open the file private.xml with an appropriate editor
  6. Enter the customized keycode

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
            <name>When you type Command_L only, start Launchpad</name>
            <appendix>(Change Command_L lazy start Launchpad)</appendix>
            <autogen>__KeyOverlaidModifier__ KeyCode::COMMAND_L, KeyCode::VK_LAZY_COMMAND_L, KeyCode::LAUNCHPAD, ModifierFlag::FN</autogen>
  7. Save the file

  8. Open in the menulet Karabiner -> Preferences the tab Change Key
  9. Hit the ReloadXML button
  10. Enable the remapping. It should be listed at the beginning.
  • Thank mate! This worked a treat! I'm a long time GNOME 3 user, and have got used to opening apps by pressing command, then searching and hitting enter. :) – user133345 Jan 2 '16 at 7:50
  • @ChristopherBayliss it may have been useful to know that ⌘+space brings up spotlight which allows you to search for and launch applications. Having also used GMOME3 extensively in the past, I usually hit both keys with one finger when using OS X to save adding extra configuration. – forquare Jan 2 '16 at 9:14

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