I would like to map the Alt (Option) + (a/u/o/s) to ä,ü,ö,ß

Is there a native way, or a software for it?

  • Alt/s is already ß. The others are only one more keypress away - alt/u then a, e, i, o, u – Tetsujin Oct 2 '17 at 8:24
  • I know, but a direct replacement would be more productive for me – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 8:25
  • What is your current keyboard layout? British? German? etc. – theonlygusti Oct 2 '17 at 9:05
  • Us International / but I want regular american ABC – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 9:24
  • US International PC already has just " plus the base letter to get umlauts. – Tom Gewecke Oct 3 '17 at 0:41

I use Ukelele which is a keyboard layout creator for mac.

I'd recommend "File > New from current input source..."

enter image description here

Then you can just hold down the ⌥ key and then double-click a key to change its output. Here you can paste your special characters.

enter image description here

Save your new layout and move it to /Library/Keyboard Layouts/

Then you should be able to choose it from your keyboard/input sources preferences

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  • that looks like what I want, im gonna give it a try – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 9:27
  • Good luck, ask if you need anymore help (I use this so often, it's one of my favourite tools) – theonlygusti Oct 2 '17 at 9:29
  • wasn't that easy, since there were problems with saving it but now it works: äöüÄÖÜ :) – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 9:45

There's the default long press functionality, where you long press a letter (~2sec) and it gives you a tooltip with alternatives that are... I guess similar to that letter. You can then press the associated numbers to replace the original letter.

You can also navigate the list with:

  • TAB and Shift + TAB and
  • and
  • Pressing Enter will replace the original letter.
  • Pressing Esc will cancel

Example where I long pressed s

enter image description here

Example where I long pressed o:

I think it doesn't give me the ö, because that already exists in my keyboard layout as its own key.

enter image description here

You can adjust the delay for when the tooltip shows up here:

System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard (first tab) > Delay Until Repeat

When Delay Until Repeat is set to Short, the delay is maybe half a second, if I had to guess.

enter image description here

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  • Why do your screenshots have this grey border? – theonlygusti Oct 2 '17 at 9:16
  • @theonlygusti i.stack.imgur.com/yNfDj.jpg – Joonas Oct 2 '17 at 9:18
  • @theonlygusti In all seriousness, I edited the screenshots to have grey outline, because a screenshot with a white background looks pretty weird in a website with also a white background, especially when the text is cropped out the way it is. Here's the post from before I edited the images to have the outlines. – Joonas Oct 2 '17 at 9:21
  • thanks, i like that, but it would slow me down a bit too much – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 9:26
  • @Joonas do you know if there's a way to change the delay for this? – theonlygusti Oct 2 '17 at 9:49

I believe you should be able to do that under System Preferences/Keyboard and look for customizations. There is a representation of what each modifier key does wrt the rest of the keys. In any case, search in this site for "umlaut" and see if that helps.

Yeh, there it is... Mountain Lion - Umlauts with english keyboard layout


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  • I can't find any customizations in the keyboard settings – Strernd Oct 2 '17 at 8:23
  • There is no way to customize anything like this in MacOS other than via text replacements, – Tom Gewecke Oct 3 '17 at 0:45

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