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#1 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 28 August 2016 - 01:10 PM

Hello folks,

I write code equally on a Mac and a PC and I'm tired of reaching for the wrong key when I need one of these : ()[]{}! #\_-|~` (yes, it's like every useful key is placed somewhere else on a Mac French keyboard).

So I am considering using a Windows keyboard on my Mac (I have even found software to set RGB colours for some keyboard to highlight some keys, which is awesome).

I'm just worried that some important stuff might not work. For instance, Mac's keyboards have a totally different way of handling accentuated characters (actually, Windows almost doesn't, you need to enter Alt + \d{3} commands...) and I'm wondering if, instead of printing the key I press on the Windows keyboard, I get a totally different key on the Mac.

Which part of the system manages the key value ? does the keyboard simply throw a digit and the operating system interprets it ? Because if it's the case, unless a French guy made a sort of driver for this very specific case, I'm doomed. Right ?

Thanks for your inputs.

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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 28 August 2016 - 01:48 PM

Seems like you can.. here's some pointers.

http://www.macworld....e-with-you.html
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#3 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:27 AM

I have read a lot of articles like this on the Internet but they only address modifier keys because, on English keyboards, every other key is exactly the same between Mac and PC (apart from page up, page down, end, home, del, ins, which don't exist at all on Mac keyboards). French Mac users who want to use a PC keyboard is really a niche.

I brought my keyboard to the office and it doesn't work. I get when I want a {, I get { when I want a [.
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#4 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 02:41 AM

OK, since it's a UNIX based system, I was thinking there would be a configuration file somewhere I could edit. There is an AppleKeyboardLayouts.bundle file in the /System/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ folder. I'm looking for a way to open it.

I have found this, whis is exactly the opposite of what I want but it's promising https://github.com/I...ein/Monolingual

This post has been edited by ge∅: 29 August 2016 - 02:42 AM

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#5 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 04:18 AM

It would probably be easier to do the exact opposite. It's not uncommon for people to use Mac keyboards on Windows machines. If there are incompatibilities between the French layouts on Mac and Windows, you'd probably find more solutions in that direction than the other.
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#6 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 04:35 AM

You must be right, but I prefer windows keyboards for programming: to do a pipe on a mac I need to press Alt + Shift + L (and no it's not written on the key), there is no tilde symbol, the period is replaced by a coma on the numpad, I kind of miss Window's home/end keys, etc. and I find the perspective of having colours on my keys to highlight keyboard shortcuts in my design applications quite exciting.

This post has been edited by ge∅: 29 August 2016 - 04:36 AM

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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:01 AM

Have you tried just plugging it in?
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#8 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 05:33 AM

Hey, I have found this

http://scripts.sil.o...nrsi&id=ukelele

I don't have time to set it up yet but I think that will be it. If I can create a custom keyboard layout I think I'll be good.

modi, I have tried this morning, the Mac simply assumes that it is a mac keyboard and doesn't output the right keys but it is no surprise since the mapping is done with keyboard layout and there is no working PC French option (there actually is one but the layout is simply wrong. Good job Apple).
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#9 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 07:07 AM

Code Keyboard, completely configurable how ever you want it to be, and regardless of OS.
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#10 ge∅  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:30 AM

WOW thanks that's awesome. I think it would look way better than RGB backlit keys (would look less "tuning", I also haven't found RGB keyboards without one of those awful gaming font-faces yet).

Even though I believe the coolest thing ever would be LCD keys which react to key press events and display an alternate content when you hold down a modifier key, change their layout depending on the language, etc.
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#11 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Windows keyboard on a mac

Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:34 AM

I still need to order a new Clear Code keyboard, but I had a boss that had those for all the devs. It was awesome. Best keyboard I have ever used.
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