Help with "Type modifiers" (trying to work from home)


I hope everybody is safe during these crazy times.

I am an artist trying to work from home but we really depend on our X-keys.

I am trying to replicate the behavior of the CTRL key (Press and hold) on my external X-key but it just doesn't seem to work correctly. Here is how I have it set up:

It just keeps repeating the action instead of holding Ctrl down when the X-key is pressed.

I hope you can help this noob trying to work from home :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance.

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looks like holding a key is not supported:

maybe try remapping it with Karabiner Elements?

@hello Thanks so much for the info. Unfortunately, I am not very technical. Could you elaborate on how to make it happen? Not sure what Karabiner Elements are.

Thank so much again.

it's a free app for key remapping:

are you still using Mojave, I read in Xkeyx website they mention this app:

I'm having the same issue. (Also using X-Keys.)

Keyboard Maestro can detect my X-Keys no problem, but doesn't have the "Hold" functionality necessary. Seems like the very same issue I posted about here:

Karabiner looks like it'd be a promising solution – but it doesn't seem to detect key presses on my various X-Key devices. It can see that the devices exist, but that's the extent of it. I can't remap their buttons.

Let me know if there are any other ideas...

First off, Press & Hold will only continue to hold as long as the macro continues to run, so you'd need some way to keep the macro running until you release the key.

Secondly, simulated modifier keys will not affect real pressed keys (physical keypresses take on their own modifiers from the physical modifiers). So you will not be able to use Keyboard Maestro to simulate a control key.


Does it actually need to hold the Ctrl key, or does it just need to make any keypress become Ctrl+keypress? If so, I'd use the Xkeys key to enable a macro group that changes all button presses to be Ctrl + the button press. The simplest way would be to make macros for each type of button press and put them in the group that gets enabled. A more complex way might be possible with AppleScript so you didn't actually have to create 26+ macros...

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Thanks for the replies, guys. @peternlewis, thanks for the info about these hard limitations. There doesn't seem an obvious way to keep the macro running for the duration of a key press.

@vincent_ardern, hm very interesting idea for a workaround! Unfortunately in my case I'm trying to combine a modifier key with a mouse click, so the "Ctrl+keypress" combo doesn't solve it. (Will double-check that the same principle doesn't apply in my case). But maybe this is useful for OP's original issue? (@Carlos_Puertolas).

I had exactly the same problem trying to get my xkeys working with my various apps after updating to catalina (and killing the ability to use controllermate). If you have access to a PC, you can use the macroworks 3.1 app and program the keys you need to do modifier functions with in hardware mode. This will write those functions to the hardware itself and effectively make those keys work just like a real qwerty keyboard. I only hardcoded the keys I wanted to use as modifiers, and did the rest in keyboard maestro so it's confirmed that you can use a hybrid approach if that's at all desirable. Hope this helps.

I haven't owned a PC in 5 years. Good riddance. Sadly it looks like I'll just have to retire my xkeys. I've gotten use to not using it the last few months. It slows down my workflow a little, but no other option for me .

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