In System Preferences > Expose and Spaces > Spaces Tab > to switch between spaces, there is a drop down list that allows you to select a modifier key and the arrows. The arrows are so far away from the rest of the keyboard! I want to bind to the vim keys (h, j, k, l) for (left, down, up, and right). On my Ubuntu machine, I push the equivalent of command-option-j to go down a space. Does anyone know how to change to a non-standard keyboard shortcut on OS X?

(I ran across a post that details how to change the modifiers, but still uses the arrow keys. This is not what I'm trying to do. Custom keyboard shortcuts to change active Spaces desktop)

  • @Nate: I think matthepavkov has your answer, but also check out KeyRemap4MacBook for it's vi modes. – Robert S Ciaccio Dec 16 '10 at 4:19
  • @calavera - KeyRemap4MacBook allowed me to accomplish the feat. Under Vi Mode I selected the option for Command_L+hjkl, which magically works in tandem with the standard modifier from before. I wish there were a native way to do this, but this does the trick. Thanks! – zm1th Dec 17 '10 at 16:49
  • great, once again the awesome keyremap4macbook saves the day :P i switched my comment to an answer. – Robert S Ciaccio Dec 17 '10 at 18:12
  • Somebody actually likes the vim keys? :O i didn't think that was possible – Alexander - Reinstate Monica Aug 11 '11 at 1:57

Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts. Then, on the left side, select Exposé & Spaces. On the right side you will see the current keyboard shortcuts for Exposé and Spaces. If you double click on the shortcut command (literally double click ^1 for instance) you will be able to change this to whatever you want. Just do the key-combo you want to use.

So, once you double-click on the shortcut, it'll show it as editable. Then, press the keys you want the short cut to be, all at once, for instance press Apple and J at the same time, and it'll change the shortcut.

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  • thanks - this is close to what I wanted, except that the "switch between spaces" option doesn't appear on that list. – zm1th Dec 17 '10 at 16:18
  • @zm1th Are you in 10.6? I tried this and it worked perfectly. Once you're in the Keyboard Shortcuts, click on Exposé & Spaces which appears on the left. On the right, you'll see a list of items for Exposé and also for Spaces. Is Spaces not shown there? – matthewpavkov Dec 18 '10 at 1:23
  • yeah, there are shortcuts for selecting a specific space, but there are not shortcuts for switching between spaces. – zm1th Dec 22 '10 at 1:10
  • @zm1th Correct. There doesn't seem to be a way to change from the arrow keys to something else. There may be a command line way, but I'm not sure. You can also use the fn + F8 to bring up all four spaces, and then click the one you want. – matthewpavkov Dec 27 '10 at 7:41
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    Update: There are now shortcuts for "Move left a space" and "Move right a space". I don't know when they added these, but I think it was a while back. – SilverWolf - Reinstate Monica Dec 8 '18 at 21:08

I think matthepavkov has your answer, but also check out KeyRemap4MacBook for it's vi modes.

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