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How to use and customize the third-party keyboard on your Mac

Apple offers two flavors for an external keyboard for use with your Mac: the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad. Despite their names, neither is particularly exciting. So you might want to set a third-party keyboard to be used instead.

Available in a lot of excellent third-party keyboards, and all of them should be connected to your Mac via USB or Bluetooth. But even if your external keyboard connects without any problems, you still need to customize and redesign the layout to make sure all the keys work the way you want them to.

Here’s everything you need to know about using third-party keyboards on your Mac, including how to configure them for maximum productivity.

Third-party keyboard to use with your Mac

Modern Macs support almost all USB and Bluetooth devices. So any USB or Bluetooth keyboard should be compatible – at least with basic features like typing regular keys. Special media keys may not work, but we’ll show you some apps to help you fix them later.

Additional features on more technical keyboards are also less likely to work with your Mac. However, the situation is improving with popular manufacturers. For example, Razer Synapse software that allows macro recording with the Razer keyboard

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is available for Mac today.

For the most part you can use any third-party keyboard, which you can find around the house, and there is a good chance that it will work with your Mac. If you are planning to buy a new keyboard instead, check out this one the best options for the Magic Keyboard

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For MacOS-focused options.

Third-party keyboard Connecting to your Mac

Just plug in a USB keyboard by plugging it into a network, and macOS will detect it. If that doesn’t work, visit the manufacturer’s website to check for specific drivers to install. Make sure you have a Mac driver and restart your computer after installation.

Go to Bluetooth Keyboards System Settings> Bluetooth Mac. Then turn on the keyboard and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set it to search mode. When it appears on your Mac, click Pair button to turn it on. You may need to download special drivers from the manufacturer if it does not work immediately.

Mac Connect Bluetooth keyboard

Customize basic Mac keyboard settings

You can customize the external keyboard and edit specific keys by scrolling System Preferences> Keyboard Mac. It is especially important to do this if you are using a Windows keyboard to make sure that the keys behave the way you want them to.

click on Change the keyboard type to help your Mac recognize the keyboard you’re using: Razer, Steelseries, Logitech, and so on. Follow the onscreen Keyboard Wizard, which prompts you to press multiple keys. Based on these results, your Mac sets the default settings for your keyboard.

Mac keyboard settings

click on Modifier keys to arrange keys that combine with others to perform certain functions. From left to right, the customizable keys on the Apple keyboard read control, Option, cmd while non-Apple keyboards usually read control, Windows, alt.

By default, macOS registers the Windows key as a Cmd and the Alt key as an option. So you may want to customize the edit keys on your external keyboard to match your Apple keyboard layout and keep the order of those edit keys the same. This is especially useful if you switch confusion between Apple and the manufacturer’s keyboards.

The Mac changes the edit keys

Consider enabling the checkbox Use F1, F2, etc. -Key keys as standard function keys If you have a third-party keyboard that divides the media keys with function keys.

You may also want to change Repeat the key (how fast the key repeats by holding it down) and Delay until repeated (how long before the repeat key starts) settings. The default setting is great for most users.

Customize the keyboard layout on your Mac

If you use a non-traditional keyboard layout, such as Dvorak or Colemak, or if you have a foreign language keyboard, you can configure it Sources of income section. Click plus Add (+) button to add as many layouts as you want. You can’t define your own layouts, but Apple offers many layouts in dozens of languages.

Mac input sources Colemak

If you frequently switch between keyboard layouts, enable Display the input menu in the menu bar check box. This creates a menu bar icon that shows the layout you are currently using. You can also click it to quickly switch to other layouts you set.

Use Carabiner more to customize your keyboard on your Mac

If you need to adjust the keyboard even further than System Settings allows, you may want to install Karabiner. Because Karabiner is open source software released under a Public Domain license, its use is completely free.

With Carabiner, you can edit any of the keys on your external keyboard so that your Mac sees them as other keys. For example, if you do not use Caps Lock, you can use Carabiner to change it by a second Remove key for use with the left hand. You can edit any key to any other key with Karabiner, including modifiers, arrows, and media buttons.

Mac Karabiner settings

Most manufacturers’ keyboards – except Razer keyboards – do not Fn a key you usually find on your Mac. But with Karabiner you can edit another key to Fn. It also allows you to customize function keys to use with media keys, just like a regular Apple keyboard.

Charge: For a carabiner Mac operating system (Free)

Use BetterTouchTool to create keystrokes

If Karabiner is not enough for your customization needs, check excellent Mac productivity app BetterTouchTool

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instead. While this app is best known for creating custom trackpad gestures, BetterTouchTool also has a lot of keyboard customization options.

With BetterTouchTool, you can launch system-level functions using hotkeys or hotkeys. These functions include Do Not Disturb, center windows, change brightness, sleep the screen, and other functions.

You can also set new shortcuts or key buttons to launch other shortcuts and episodes. For example, if you prefer to double-tap cmd button to copy the text, you can set this order to trigger Cmd + C Shortcut.

BetterTouchTool Mac

Best of all, you can create keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys either for worldwide use in all applications or only when certain applications are in focus.

BetterTouchTool is available as a 45-day free trial. If you like it, buy a two-year license for $ 8.50 or a lifetime license for $ 20.50.

Charge: BetterTouchTool Mac operating system ($ 8.50, free trial available)

Take advantage of your keyboard with custom shortcuts

Apple’s official keyboard has plenty of supporters. But you can get a lot more features and a better alternative to mechanical keys to a third party, such as Razer. Because you can use the above tools, third-party keyboard customizing your Mac, there is no reason to spend a lot of money from Magic to the keyboard, unless you really do not like the design.

Whichever external keyboard you live on, you don’t have to settle for regular Mac keyboard shortcuts. Sort out how to create custom mac keyboard shortcuts

15 Custom keyboard shortcuts for your Mac that you should start using
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improve your productivity no matter what keyboard you use.

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