I usually need to write math with LaTeX, and after seeing this question: Entering unicode math symbols. I came here with some small questions.

I find that not perfectly comfortable, and I was wondering if there is a way in which I could tell the system to differentiate between the left and right alt ⌥. So I could have much more symbols within one letter.

And, the another question is if there is a way I could turn the caps lock ⇪ into a different key (with the same use as alt ⌥, but the system should differentiate them). In this way I could use, for instance,

  • caps lock ⇪d to get the greek letters (in this case the letter delta δ), and
  • alt ⌥d to get some math symbol of my decision (in this case the partial differential symbol ).

This is not a great example, but more or less self explaining. Of course then caps lock ⇪ shouldn't be a turn on/turn off button. It should be turned on ONLY when pressed (exactly like alt ⌥).


1 Answer 1


I believe this is all possible. In my answer on TeX.SE, I give the MathUnicode.keylayout file that I made. Essentially, my advice is: go ahead and play around with this file.

A couple of thoughts:

  • The XML specification for .keylayout files is available from Apple.

  • On line 22 you can see that I refer to the anyOption modifier. This refers to the left or right option key. But you can also write option or rightOption if you wish to distinguish between the two.

  • I'm not sure whether caps can be treated as a "hold down" key, as you want it, rather than a "press on / press off" key.

  • Well, that's an advance. Thank you. Probably what I want most is the caps as a hold on, since I almost never use it, and differentiating between right/left options could be messy.
    – Manuel
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 14:11

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