How can I assign command (apple) + shift or option (alt) + shift as a shortcut? It seems that I can assign other keyboard combinations but not this one as a shortcut.

3 Answers 3


You can use KeyRemap4MacBook. This inserts Q when releasing shift:

<autogen>__KeyOverlaidModifier__ KeyCode::SHIFT_L, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::SHIFT_L, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L, KeyCode::Q</autogen>
<autogen>__KeyOverlaidModifier__ KeyCode::SHIFT_R, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::SHIFT_R, ModifierFlag::OPTION_R, KeyCode::Q</autogen>

This inserts Q when pressing shift, but it requires pressing shift before option for shortcuts like ⌥⇧[:

<autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::SHIFT_L | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L | ModifierFlag::OPTION_L | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::Q</autogen>
<autogen>__KeyToKey__ KeyCode::SHIFT_R | ModifierFlag::SHIFT_R | ModifierFlag::OPTION_R | ModifierFlag::NONE, KeyCode::Q</autogen>

This remaps pressing option and shift simultaneously:

<autogen>__SimultaneousKeyPresses__ KeyCode::OPTION_L, KeyCode::SHIFT_L, KeyCode::Q</autogen>
<autogen>__SimultaneousKeyPresses__ KeyCode::OPTION_R, KeyCode::SHIFT_R, KeyCode::Q</autogen>

See the source for the key code values and predefined settings.


I don't think it is possible. Those are called modifier keys and you can't only use them in shortcut, because the system wouldn't know whether it should interpret ⌘⇧ or wait you add another key like S to interpret ⌘⇧S. That's why you can't use only modifier keys in keyboard shortcuts.

However, some software (like Alfred) allows you to use a fast double press on a modifier key as a shortcut. Apple uses this trick as well since Mountain Lion with the fn key in order to activate voice dictation.

  • I can't find anywhere in Alfred (v2 power pack) the option to use double taps as shortcuts. This would be quite convenient for me.
    – ruslaniv
    Mar 13, 2015 at 6:19
  • When choosing the keyboard shortcut, simply double tap the key you want instead of the "classic" shortcut you would normally have. It will add "double tap" next to the key symbol. Note that it only works for modifier key (command, shift…).
    – olivier
    Mar 13, 2015 at 10:20

I would hesitate to do this. What would happen if, say, you press Command-[any key], and press the Command key just a few milliseconds before the other? Would the OS interpret that as a Command-key press and perform an action? Most likely, the inability to set these keys as shortcuts on their own is for that reason.

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