Using a Microsoft keyboard with a MacBook is possible but has one major drawback: The “Option” and “Command”-keys are exchanged and called “Windows” and “Alt”-keys.
Fortunately swapping the keys so that the “Command” and “Option”-keys are in the same location like on an Apple keyboard is very simple:
- Open your “System Preferences”
- Select “Keyboard & Mouse”
- Select the “Keyboard”-tab
- Click on “Modifier Keys…”
In the resulting dialog map the Option Key to “Command” and vice versa. This is a screenshot made with Tiger, the dialog in Leopard looks a little bit different:
Voila – that’s it. Now the Microsoft keyboard should behave just like an Apple keyboard.
Now, for one additional problem (if you are still using Tiger or before):
I am using my MacBook Pro in my office, so I’m frequently connecting and disconnecting my keyboard. Since my external keyboard is an ergonomic keyboard with Microsoft keys I would have to change those settings each and every time I connect or disconnect the keyboard. This is only the case if you’re still using Tiger or before, because in Leopard you can set the keys for each keyboard type as shown in this screenshot: Keyboard settings in Leopard
One solution is an AppleScript, which I found on the following website:
Now I have a Quicksilver Trigger to execute this Applescript, which makes the swapping of the “Command” and “Option”-keys quick and painless!