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How to... use keyboards shortcuts.

KevinJS

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There will be times when you want to type a character that does not appear on your keyboard. The purpose of this thread is to show how you can type characters with just a few keystrokes using keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts, once generated, will propagate themselves throughout your Apple system, so if you generate one one your iPhone, it will be available on your Mac and vice versa, so I'll supply multiple methods for generating them and using them.

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Setting up a keyboard shortcut on an iPhone or iPad.

Assume you wanted to be able to type the Greek letter π. First step is to get a hold of the character. On the iPhone, it's easy. Go to Settings/GeneralKeyboard/Keyboards/Add New Keyboard and select Greek.

Now, still in keyboards, go to Text Replacement, hit the + key at the top of the screen, touch the globe key that has now appeared on your keyboard until the keyboard changes to Greek, then type π into the Phrase field. Now type the keystrokes that you want to use into the Shortcut field. I use /pi. The reason for the forward slash is so that I don't get π every time I type "pi".

Once you have set up the shortcut, if you want to delete the Greek keyboard, you can do do by selecting it in Keyboards, sliding to the left over the name and hitting the delete button that appears.

Within a few seconds, the keyboard shortcut will be available on any macOS or iOS device on your network.
 
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KevinJS

KevinJS

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Alternative spellings on iPhone and iPad

If you want to be able to type alternative spellings without having your typing changed by SpellCheck, you can add the relevant keyboard and switch between it and your normal keyboard exactly as you can with the foreign language keyboards.

So if you want to type "colour" and your iPhone insists on changing it to "color", just add English(UK) to your keyboards.


You can see which keyboard is selected by watching the space bar as you tap the globe key.
 
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KevinJS

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Setting up a keyboard shortcut on a Mac

Go to System Preferences/Keyboard and click on the Text tab.

Click on + at the bottom of the window, then type the shortcut into the "Replace" field, followed by the required characters in the "With" field.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 3.50.58 PM.png


Again, any shortcuts generated on the Mac will be almost immediately available on the iPhone.
 
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KevinJS

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Generating non-standard characters on a Mac

In the screenshot in the previous post, the tab "Input Sources" can be seen. Clicking on that brings up a list of available input sources. Scroll to the bottom of that list and select "Others". In the right pane, Unicode Hex Input will show up. Click on that to add it. Next step is to source some Unicode characters. A character table like this is useful.

Looking at the table indicates that the Unicode character for π is 03C0. To type this, first select Unicode Hex Input from the keyboard entry method in the menu bar, hold down the option key and type the number. When the fourth digit is typed, the Unicode character will be displayed.

You can input Unicode characters directly into keyboard shortcuts.
 

ardchoille

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Set a Keyboard Shortcut for “Save as PDF" on a Mac

This walkthrough is going to demonstrate enabling a "Save as PDF" keyboard function as a secondary feature of the traditional printing keyboard shortcut. It’s going to look and sound like a conflict with the normal Mac OS X print shortcut of Command+P, but it works perfectly.

  1. Head to the  Apple menu and choose "System Preferences", then go to the "Keyboard" control panel
  2. Choose the "Shortcuts" tab
  3. Select "App Shortcuts" from the left side menu, then click the [+] plus button to add a new shortcut
  4. In "Menu Title", type in “Save as PDF…” exactly (yes, with three periods on the end)
  5. Click into "Keyboard Shortcut" and now hit Command+P (yes, that’s the standard printer shortcut, wait and see how this works)
  6. Now choose "Add"
  7. Close out of System Preferences, you’re ready to test the new PDF saving keystroke which is going to be Command+P+P (yes, holding down command and hitting P twice)

Open just about any file or webpage to test out your new keyboard shortcut to save the file as a PDF. Just open the document and hit Command+P+P to jump past the standard print dialog box and immediately to the "Save As PDF" portion of the Print dialog.

Now just save the PDF as usual, filling in the title, author, and subject if desired, or choosing to password lock the PDF by going through the Security Options. The saved file is your average PDF file, no different than any other generated from the Mac printer tool, you can quickly check it within Preview or Quick Look.

Once you have this keyboard shortcut setup, you can even activate by selecting a file on the desktop and using the Print from Desktop trick, just remember to hit the P key twice.

I’ve used this shortcut in OS X Mavericks through macOS Sierra and it works perfectly.
 

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