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The .plists in PressAndHold.app for en and en_US have different sets of <key< definitions with no overlap. Some have a different naming style. Do they get combined if a US locale is selected?

OR where is there any Apple documentation to explain the gory details of how this thing works? (searching developer.apple.com found nothing useful)

There are a lot of things here in Apple.SE and elsewhere that talk about specific edits, but I haven't found anything that explains some of the odd differences between the two files.

The biggest reason I'm interested is that all the pop-ups I can find a key for are specified as &lt;key&lt;Roman-Accent-[key]&lt;/key&lt; but I'd like to find a way to get the pop-ups specified with UI.

   <key>UI-Currency-$</key>
   <dict>
      <key>Direction</key>
      <string>right</string>
      <key>Keycaps</key>
      <string>$ ¢</string>
      <key>Strings</key>
      <string>$ ¢</string>
   </dict>
   <key>UI-TopLevelDomain</key>
   <dict>
      <key>Direction</key>
      <string>left</string>
      <key>Keycaps</key>
      <string>.com .net .edu .org .us</string>
      <key>Strings</key>
      <string>.com .net .edu .org .us</string>
   </dict>
  • Just trying to get more glyphs in the feature. – WGroleau Feb 13 at 3:09
  • I didn’t say anything about nine. But there are a lot of keys not used. And some of the pop ups that don’t say Roman-accent have useful items. Which is why this question asks about those. As far as whether there’s a limit, only the elusive documentation—or experimenting—will tell. Which is a pain, since the files have SIP. – WGroleau Feb 13 at 7:42
  • If you want .com .net .edu .org and other useful stuff you see in a popup, you could just put them on an unused letter in the Roman-accent part. I suspect the "UI" section may only be used by iOS at this time (that's where I have seen those items you mention in a popup). Or perhaps (in the case of .com, etc.) it could be used by a special email address input field. – Tom Gewecke Feb 13 at 15:01
  • Yes, there are more than enough unused letter keys to try it myself. But that’s not the only reason to want to know more about how this works. (Retired software engineer who deplores the lack of documentation.) – WGroleau Feb 13 at 16:54
  • Just to confirm that iOS (but not MacOS) has a popup for top level domains that appears when you press/hold the period key in a Mail address field. – Tom Gewecke Feb 14 at 4:50
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I can’t be sure, but I suspect the answer is NO.

I finally found some pages about how “firmlinks” can be created. One said I would have to specify them in /usr/share/firmlinks. Another said that file is only for directories from Apple and users must specify them in /etc/synthetic.conf.

Neither method worked, using the syntax in the pages’ examples.

But then I learned that the file I should modify is not actually in the read-only area. So I made the changes I wanted and tried it out. Didn’t work!

A little more investigation revealed that Apple put an identical file in the read-only area which overrides the one in the data area. Copied the one I had edited into the read-only area, and the pop-ups I had added worked.

| improve this answer | |
  • One of the items I added was my three-character Chinese name, and that works also. – WGroleau Feb 17 at 6:36

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