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Just how annoying is a Mac keyboard anyway?

For us europistanis, it's mightly irritating that by default, Macs come with a US style keyboard attached to them. It's irritating that there are pathological differences between latin-1 style keyboards in the first place, but who made the decision to swap keys like @ and "? What misery you have wreaked on the world?

Whatever the reason for this, Apple have decided that europeans do not deserve to use keyboards which are laid out in European style. Which means that as far as they are concerned, the backtick key should be found near the bottom of the keyboard, the € key should be tied to Shift-Option-2 and you can forget about using a # symbol, because that is not The Apple Way.

Matt Sephton's UK keyboard layout goes a good deal towards fixing this brokenness, but as a trenchant briton, he apparently sees no need to move the € key to where it should be. Also, he's moved the back-tick key to Option-3 for some incomprehensible reason. Let's be clear here - a UK keyboard puts this in the top, left hand corner, just below ESC. Why should it be remapped to somewhere else?

Ukelele to the rescue! No longer does my keyboard feel terminally broken and unfamiliar. Here's the updated version of Matt's excellent layout file, renamed IE.keylayout to distinguish it from Matt's original. For satisfaction, just copy it to /Library/Keyboard Layouts/, log out and back in again, and then select IE from System Preferences | International | Input Menu.

Now, if only Apple would fix the bug in Tiger which causes my keyboard default mapping to keep randomly reverting back to the default broken IE keyboard layout. Then I would be happy. Well, at least happier.

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Blog | by Dr. Radut