Tip: Editing Keyboard Shortcuts

I was advised today by Mr. Macgasm that native builds of Chrome were finally being released by the fine folks at Google. Naturally, being a huge fan of the new browser, I rushed straight off to download (after I opened a new browser to replace the Firefox session that had just crashed on me again).

Upon installing I discovered, as is always the case with me and a new browser, that the shortcut keys weren’t to my liking. Luckily, as a Mac user, this is not a problem.

Apple gives easy instructions for how to fix this problem, but they lack.. well.. graphics. I love instructional graphics (yet, I hate screencasts. Go figure).

So, I thought I’d throw together a quick Macgasm how-to for those of you who want to fix this pesky problem in a new browser, or just any program that has keyboard shortcuts that you’d like to bend to your will (this also worked on Camino, which I have recently switched to as my “browsing” browser – Firefox being reserved for dev work – yes, I’m a complicated person).

Firstly, I open the offending application and check out the menu option I’d like to assign a keyboard shortcut to (yes, it must be an existing menu option). Then, I make a note of the exact text, capitalization included. As such:

3528266006 db0f087799 Editing Keyboard Shortcuts

You can see that the current shortcut is option-apple-left-arrow (that’s right, I’m an “apple-key” holdout). This, for me, is particularly pesky, as I have this set globally to go to the previous track in iTunes (thanks to SizzlingKeys). So, having made a note of the exact menu option “” “Previous Tab” “” I’m now ready for the next step.

Next, I open System Preferences and click on “Keyboard & Mouse”, click on the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab, and scroll down to “Application Keyboard Shortcuts”.

3527467435 d7e7c882bb o Editing Keyboard Shortcuts

I click the “+”, which brings up a dialog to add a shortcut (go figure!). Clicking the “Application” drop-down lets me select an application to add a shortcut to (in my case, Chromium).

Then, in the “Menu Title” entry field, I type in the text I made a note of earlier, then click on the “Keyboard Shortcut” field, and perform the keyboard shortcut exactly as I would when using the program.

Lastly, clicking “Add” saves the new shortcut. I’ve had mixed results with having to restart the affected program after creating a new shortcut. Basically, I just try it out and restart if need be.

That’s it! Now, my “Previous Tab” shortcut is the same in Chromium as it is in several other programs, including the venerable MacVim. I’m not actually sure where I first started using that shortcut, but it’s really stuck with me. I seem to swap tabs a lot, so it comes in very handy.

Enjoy, and let me know if you have any issues or find any programs that seems to be immune to this process.