Setting up a hyper key

June 11th, 2020

When Brett Terpstra wrote about how you can set up a hyper key I got really excited. So I tried it out and found out my Mac got some new super powers thanks to the way this works.

It’s a really simple concept: assign a key on the keyboard that you don’t use often, and substitute it for pressing several other keys at once.

I’m substituting the normally useless Caps Lock key for Command + Control + Option + Shift. So when by pressing down caps lock, my computer thinks I’m pressing down those four keys together. This is amazing.

Setting up a hyper key lays the groundwork for much more advanced keyboard shortcuts throughout your system.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Download and install Karabiner Elements.
  2. Open it and go to the tab Complex modifications.
  3. Click Add rule in the bottom left corner. Karabiner Elements preferences
  4. Enable the option Change caps_lock to command+control+option+shift. Karabiner Elements preferences
  5. Voilá.

I think this little trick is so powerful. It opens up so many new possibilities for people who care about tweaking their shortcuts.