Are there any free standalone presentation tools that shows which keys are pressed on screen?

KeyCastr is not available as build for users without Xcode. Only a community fork (git://github.com/bignerdranch/keycastr.git) is working on OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

Mouseposé is commercial.

Related to the Windows 7 Question: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3529329

  • 7
    This is a valid question, but don't forget that MousePosé is only $5. Sometimes you have to pay for good software. Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 18:53
  • Other related questions here and at Super User.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 0:52

1 Answer 1


OS X comes with such a tool.

To activate it, you should go in System Preferences --> Keyboard and select Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar, see screenshot below.

Then in the top menu bar, ext to the clock, you should have a new icon.

Click on it and select Show Keyboard Viewer, now each time you press a key, the Keyboard viewer will briefly display that key. You will have something similar to this:

I hope this was what you were looking for.

  • 2
    Great alternative to the apps mentioned in the question!
    – Emil
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 12:24
  • yes, nice one.. Not exactly what I'm looking for but indeed a good, free, on-every-mac-available alternative. It's just too big to let it enabled per default for presentations purposes. Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 13:15
  • I use it personally a lot to find "hidden" characters. On my Mac keyboard, characters such as |\{}[], which I use a lot as developer and terminal freak, are not shown/printed. Using this tool, I can quickly spot them by pressing one of the changer keys (like Alt, etc.)
    – Huygens
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 14:15

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