More Bliss: All-Keyboard control in OS X?

Speaking of bliss… I was just recalling the blissful days of WindowMaker and writing code using nothing but emacs and an xterm. Sub-80 chars and python-mode syntax highlighting…man those were the days. The only thing I used the mouse for was to position and resize my windows once at startup, and I rarely did that because my default wmaker session did that for me! Not using the mouse was so FAST.


Whew! I had to take a breath for a second. Here’s a previous post about the same thing, and here’s one from another guy on the same page as me.

These days I use OS X, and I realized how distracted I’ve become from that special place in my programmer heart! Have any other developers managed to remove the mouse from the equation in OS X? What tricks do you use to keep yourself on the keyboard as much as possible? Shortcuts keys? Apple scripts? tab-tab-tab-tab-tab…tab?

Peace out.

By |2011-08-09T03:52:00+00:00August 9th, 2011|Uncategorized|7 Comments


  1. blebo August 9, 2011 at 7:29 am - Reply

    I use TotalTerminal for OSX Lion (formerly Visor). Allows quick Quake3-esqe drop down access to terminal. It is a little quirky when used the same time as full screen apps (i.e., drags the screen to the desktop and drops down).

  2. Anonymous August 9, 2011 at 10:44 am - Reply

    The solution is stopping using MAC for development…

    You will be programming under a dictatorship formed by people who thinks the they now better than you the way you must follow to develop.

    Switch to Linux, embrace freedom 😉

  3. mitgr81 August 9, 2011 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I’ve found that iTerm (2) or Terminal Tab Switching are totally required. And of course a good editor should already support Command-[Number] to switch between tabs. Otherwise there’s always vim and bufexplorer. 😀

  4. Jeff Shell August 9, 2011 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    There’s an enhancement to the Mac OS X window manager called ‘Moom’ that enables keyboard control to resize and move windows. I love using it to quickly throw a window between displays.

    You can use the ‘Keyboard’ preference pane to add your own keyboard shortcuts to menu items. Before Moom, I used this to add a keyboard shortcut to maximize the terminal window, and added it to a couple of other apps.

    The greatest trick, however, is using the ‘Help’ menu’s menu-search feature. Hit command-shift-slash (aka command-question) and start typing something that’s in the menus which may or may not have a keyboard shortcut. I use this in mail to move things to mailboxes without having to come up with tags or rules or other things to manage all of my project archives. I just hit ‘command-question’ and type ‘move to [mailbox name]’.

    It’s not quite the same amount of control of a pure-emacs or highly customizable, but there is quite a bit built in to the OS already to customize it for keyboard use. Add ‘Moom’ and maybe ‘Launchbar’ to complete the picture.

  5. glyph August 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    It’s not really faster to use the keyboard. You just feel like it’s faster :).

  6. g mcclure August 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    John Gruber, of Daring Fireball, recommended this a couple of years ago:

    There’s a free trial and it’s ready for Lion.

  7. AConsul August 13, 2011 at 12:52 am - Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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