How to use a Windows keyboard with Mac OS X

There may be more than one reason why you want to use a Windows keyboard with a Mac OS X computer: a powerful/expensive keyboard that you already possess, lack of availability of Apple keyboards, or you cannot justify spending the money to buy an Apple keyboard when there’s a Windows keyboard lying around.

Whatever the reason, DoubleCommand is a free Mac OS X preference pane which you would want to get. It enables you to reassign some of the keys on your keyboard. You can remap various keys – see their feature page for the full list.

Configure Windows keyboard with DoubleCommand

  1. Download DoubleCommand and install it. Installation is done with the usual procedure: mount it by double-clicking the .dmg file you downloaded, then copy the application from the mounted image (found in the left pane of Finder) to the Applications folder.
  2. Once installed, it will be available under the ‘Other’ section of System Preferences pane.
  3. Clicking on it will bring up the preference pane for DoubeCommand.
  4. Click the checkboxes to configure keys as you want them. Remember to hit the System button to the right of Save so that your settings will be remembered.
  5. You can see the settings I used in the image below.
    I started using DoubleCommand to switch only two keys – the Command and Control keys on my Windows keyboard connected to a Macbook. You may want to configure / reassign other keys too – lots of keys and swapping are provided as options in DoubleCommand.
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