MacBook Pro keyboard - ergonomic mapping for Alt?

Hi all - first, thanks for kakoune - I’m just discovering it now in my search for simplicity.

I’m using a MacBook Pro and my thumb is already screaming from using the Alt/Option button so much. I already have CapsLock mapped to Control so I wondered if any of you could recommend a more ergonomic mapping for Alt/Option?

Has anybody tried/is it possible to remap all of the Alt/Option mappings onto Control for example?

Thanks! Excited to learn more about this :slight_smile:

This guy on Reddit remapped space to alt. I would love to do that but I can not for the life of me figure out how it’s done.

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I think he just added alt-based commands to the user mode.

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If your terminal supports control shift keys, you can just add the alt-based commands to their control equivalent with a bunch of mappings.

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thanks @alexherbo2 and @Hjagu09

I have no MacBook, but I work/type on a laptop (Dell Inspiron) in which some of the modifier keys are also hard to reach. However, pressing the left Alt key with my left thumb is quite easy and comfortable – more comfortable, in fact, that pressing a Ctrl key or Shift.

The left Alt key is on the immediate left of the Space bar. So, could part of your problem go away if you swapped your left Alt key with your left Command key (with Karabiner)?

NB 1: Sadly, this won’t be of much help with Kakoune’s Alt + Shift combos, which are always hard to reach unless you have a special ergonomic keyboard. More on this later.

NB 2: I see that you remapped Caps Lock to Ctrl. Are you coming from Emacs? On Vim-like modal editors, many people find it more convenient to remap Caps Lock to Esc, as the Escape key is used a lot for leaving the Insert mode.

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thanks @ftonneau. “are you coming from…” is hard to answer because my somewhat soggy brain is addled from jumping between vim, neovim, emacs, emacs + evil, “ah-I-give-up-I-need-to-get-some-work-done…where’s-IntelliJ-gone” for the past decade ;-).

I think I might need to explore using the right Command or Alt/Option. You can see my chubby fingers and the tiny MacBook keyboard are destined to cause issues…:

I use a macbook, and use Hammerspoon to do key remapping.

I have capslock bound to cmd, since I use cmd all the time.

I also found alt/option hard to use, so I swapped the alt and cmd keys, on both sides of the keyboard. This only made sense because I have capslock bound to cmd, so making the bottom-row cmd harder to access didn’t really matter.

However, in a terminal, ctrl is much more useful than cmd. So for my terminal emulator only, capslock is bound to ctrl.

And finally, for modal editing convenience, I have a short tap of shift bound to esc. If shift is pressed for more than a moment, or any other key is pressed while shift is pressed, it acts as normal.