Apple gives two flavors of exterior keyboard to use together with your Mac: the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. Despite their names, neither is especially thrilling. So it’s your decision to arrange a third-party keyboard to use as a substitute.
There are a lot of wonderful third-party keyboards obtainable and all of them ought to join to your Mac over USB or Bluetooth. But even when your exterior keyboard connects with none issues, you continue to want to customise and remap the format to ensure that all of the keys work the way you need them to.
Here’s all you want to find out about utilizing third-party keyboards on Mac, together with how to set them up for optimum productiveness.
Using a Third-Party Keyboard With Your Mac
Modern Macs help almost all USB and Bluetooth gadgets. So any USB or Bluetooth keyboard must be appropriate—at the very least for primary options like typing normal keys. Special media keys could not work, however we’ll present you some apps you should utilize to repair them later.
Advanced options on extra technical keyboards are additionally much less doubtless to work together with your Mac. That stated, the scenario is bettering with well-liked producers. For instance, the Razer Synapse software program that enables for macro recording on Razer keyboards
is out there for Mac lately.
For probably the most half, you should utilize any third-party keyboard you discover round the home and there’s a good probability it’ll work together with your Mac. If you’re planning to purchase a new keyboard as a substitute, take a have a look at the very best options to the Magic Keyboard
for macOS-focused choices.
Connecting a Third-Party Keyboard to Your Mac
To join a USB keyboard, merely plug it in and macOS will detect it. If it doesn’t work, go to the producer’s web site to verify for any particular drivers you want to set up. Make positive you get the Mac driver and restart your laptop after putting in it.
For Bluetooth keyboards, navigate to System Preferences > Bluetooth on your Mac. Then flip on the keyboard and comply with the producer’s directions to put it in discovery mode. Once it seems on your Mac, click on the Pair button to join it. Again, it’s possible you’ll want to obtain particular drivers from the producer if it doesn’t work immediately.
Customize Basic Keyboard Settings on Your Mac
You can customise your exterior keyboard and remap sure keys by going to System Preferences > Keyboard on your Mac. It’s particularly vital to do that should you’re utilizing a Windows keyboard to ensure that the keys behave the way you need them to.
Click Change Keyboard Type to assist your Mac detect what sort of keyboard you’re utilizing: Razer, Steelseries, Logitech, and so on. Follow the keyboard wizard that seems, asking you to press numerous keys. Based on these outcomes, you Mac will arrange the default settings to your keyboard format.
Click Modifier Keys to rearrange the keys that mix with others to carry out sure actions. From left to proper, the modifier keys on an Apple keyboard learn Control, Option, Cmd whereas non-Apple keyboards normally learn Control, Windows, Alt.
By default, macOS registers the Windows key as Cmd and the Alt key as Option. So it’s your decision to remap the modifier keys to your exterior keyboard to match Apple’s keyboard format and maintain the order of those modifier keys the identical. This is particularly helpful should you get confused switching between Apple and third-party keyboards.
Consider enabling the checkbox for Use F1, F2, and many others. keys as normal perform keys in case you have a third-party keyboard that shares media keys with perform keys.
You might also need to alter the Key Repeat (how rapidly a key repeats when held down) and the Delay Until Repeat (how lengthy earlier than the important thing repeating kicks in) settings. The default setting is okay for many customers, nevertheless.
Customize Your Keyboard Layout on a Mac
If you utilize a non-traditional keyboard format, akin to Dvorak or Colemak, or in case you have a international language keyboard, then you may set that up within the Input Sources part. Click the plus Add (+) button to add as many layouts as you need. You can’t outline your individual layouts, however Apple offers many layouts throughout dozens of languages.
If you steadily change between keyboard layouts, allow the Show Input menu in menu bar checkbox. This creates a menu bar icon that reveals the format you’re presently utilizing. You can even click on on it to rapidly change to different layouts you’ve arrange.
Use Karabiner for More Keyboard Customization on Mac
If you want to tweak your keyboard even additional than System Preferences permits, it’s your decision to set up Karabiner. Since Karabiner is open-source software program launched underneath the Public Domain license, it’s completely free to use.
With Karabiner, you may remap any keys on your exterior keyboard so your Mac sees them as different keys. For instance, should you don’t use Caps Lock, you could possibly use Karabiner to flip it into a second Delete key to use together with your left hand. You can remap any key to some other key with Karabiner, together with modifiers, arrows, and media buttons.
Most third-party keyboards—besides Razer keyboards—don’t have the Fn key you normally discover on a Mac. But with Karabiner, you may remap one other key to use as Fn. It additionally enables you to remap your perform keys to use as media keys, identical to a normal Apple keyboard.
Download: Karabiner for macOS (Free)
Use HigherTouchTool to Create Keypress Sequences
If Karabiner isn’t sufficient to your customization wants, take a look at the wonderful Mac productiveness app HigherTouchTool
as a substitute. Although this app is greatest identified for creating customized trackpad gestures, HigherTouchTool has a lot of keyboard customization choices as effectively.
With HigherTouchTool, you may set off system-level actions utilizing keyboard shortcuts or keypress sequences. These actions embrace toggling Do Not Disturb, centering home windows, altering brightness, sleeping the show, and extra.
You can even arrange new keyboard shortcuts or keypress sequences to set off different shortcuts and sequences. For instance, should you’d relatively double-tap the Cmd button to copy textual content, you could possibly arrange that sequence to set off the Cmd + C shortcut.
Best of all, you may create keyboard shortcuts and keypress sequences both for world use throughout all apps or solely when particular apps are in focus.
HigherTouchTool is out there as a 45-day free trial. If you prefer it, purchase a two-year license for $8.50 or a lifetime license for $20.50.
Download: HigherTouchTool for macOS ($8.50, free trial obtainable)
Make the Most of Your Keyboard With Custom Shortcuts
Apple’s official keyboard has loads of supporters. But you may get many extra options and higher mechanical keys from a third-party various, like Razer. Since you should utilize the instruments above to customise a third-party keyboard to your Mac, there’s no motive to spend a lot of cash on a Magic Keyboard except you actually just like the design.
Whatever exterior keyboard you compromise on, you don’t want to settle with the usual keyboard shortcuts on your Mac. Find out how to create customized Mac keyboard shortcuts
to enhance your productiveness, it doesn’t matter what keyboard you utilize.