Hyper key via Karabiner-Elements

I installed Karabiner-Elements to use Caps Lock as a Hyper key (Shift-Control-Option-Command) on my Mac, and figured I’d share my setup here.

My hotkeys

With Caps Lock mapped to Hyper key (Caps Lock if used by itself), I can do some stuff more easily, with less keypresses.

I created an Alfred workflow (Powerpack required) to open the following apps:

Hotkeys set within their apps

To open Alfred’s Clipboard History Viewer, the hotkey is Hyper-C. Before, it was Option-Command-C.

My hotkey to activate Moom is Hyper-M. Before, it was Control-Option-Command-M.

I’ve had PopClip installed for years, and a friend/colleague (Clicky Steve) made an Alfred workflow to trigger the menu as needed. I set the hotkey in the Alfred workflow to Hyper-P. Before, it was Control-Option-Command-P.

I use Itsycal — “a tiny menu bar calendar” — to glance at the next few days in my selected calendars with Hyper-I. Before, it was Shift-Option-Command-I.

I use Hidden Bar, an open source Mac app to hide/show menu bar icons with Hyper-B. Before, it was Option-Command-B.

Within Vivaldi Settings → Keyboard:

  • Hyper-←: Close Tabs to the Left (or above, if the tab bar position is to the left)
  • Hyper-→: Close Tabs to the Right (or above, if the tab bar position is to the left)
  • Hyper-↑: Move Active Tab Backward
  • Hyper-↓: Move Active Tab Forward
  • Hyper-G: Filter Grayscale (helpful for content review)
  • Hyper-O: Open Saved Session

I probably don’t need the “Move Active Tab” ones, but those can help if I want to temporarily reorder tabs without using the trackpad.

Quirks

I made three adjustments for Karabiner-Elements to work with the following devices:

My current work setup is a 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro (2020) connected to the LG display and very old Apple Wireless Keyboard.

On the Apple Wireless Keyboard, the brightness_down and brightness_up keys would adjust the built-in display, not the LG display (desired). The Launchpad key didn’t do anything.

In Karabiner-Elements → Function keys, with the Apple keyboard selected (not internal), I made changes to these physical keys:

  • f1: apple_display_brightness_decrement
  • f2: apple_display_brightness
  • f4: launchpad

Ending thoughts

I’ve been using the Hyper key for one week, and dig it. The adjustment period felt small. If you use a lot of keyboard shortcuts and want to reduce the number of keypresses, I recommend it.

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Bryan Villarin

Bryan works at Automattic. He's also a cat whisperer. Sometimes…a photographer, and card magician.

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