I've recently got a mac for some software development (I am been doing windows dev for 15 years) but I keep stumbling on the keyboard shortcuts. I've been using DoubleCommand to switch ctrl and , which works much better now, but my major problem is with the keyboard shortcuts to navigate text:

++ navigates to the previous/next word. My fingers are quite used to do ctrl+/ instead. Is there a way to change those shortcuts? I checked under System Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts, but they are not listed there. Also, there is no menu item for which I could create an overwrite of the default behaviour by adding a new shortcut.

It is quite difficult to teach a new trick to an old dog, so I appreciate any help that would point me in the right direction. By the way, I am using Lion.

  • Are you using a notebook computer with internal keyboard, or an external keyboard attached to your Mac? What program(s) do you use for text composition/software development (I assume not vi, from your comments)? I'm afraid this might be easier to swap in particular programs than system-wide.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 16:34
  • Using MacBook Air. I'd like the shortcuts to work everywhere, but I'd settled for Chrome, Word, Excel and x-code if I had to :)
    – ADB
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 17:16
  • In addition, anyone looking to change the text shortcuts will most likely be interested in pqrs.org/macosx/keyremap4macbook/index.html, which allow you to remap the Fn key to control and a ton of other tweaks as well.
    – ADB
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


According to this blog post, you can create a file called ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.Dict (you might have to create the KeyBindings folder in your Library folder).

In that file, you need the following content:

   "@\UF702"  = "moveWordBackward:";
   "@\UF703"  = "moveWordForward:";    

(see the linked blog post for other Windows features you might want to recreate)

Not all programs that use text fields will use the default keybindings, but this will help with many programs.

  • 1
    That said, having switched from Windows myself some ten years ago, learning the standard Mac keyboard layout really isn't too awful, and once you get used to it, it can pay off.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 17:30
  • How exactly does it pay off? @Daniel
    – John Dream
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 20:33

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