HyperKey app as an Alternative to Karabiner

I just stumbled across this free app HyperKey

This serves the purpose of making the Caps Lock a "Hyperkey"

I know many on this forum like me use Karabiner-Elements for this and than create Macros in KM with the Hyperkey as a trigger. So far the HyoerKey (App) is more lightweight than Karabiner was and anytime I've ever tried to restore from a backup I've had issues with Karabiner-Elements.

I uninstalled Karabiner, and installed HyperKey (App) and all of my KM macros triggered using the Hyperkey are functioning correctly.

I prefer this lightweight alternative to KE since the only function I was using it for was remapping the caps lock. Obviously, if you use it for other things you would want to stick with it.

Just thought I would share.


Too simple but have good UI, this is my 2c.

The question is, why does anyone need/use Hyperkey (Caps Lock)? Is it because the key is so easy to reach with the little finger of the left hand? If so, Caps Lock can be easily remapped to control in macos without any other software. So all KM shortcuts "control + x" can be triggered with Caps Lock.

It's more that on a keyboard with a conventional layout, holding down control, shift, option and command at the same time takes more dexterity than holding down one "hyper" key. That combination of modifiers is rarely used by applications (probably because it is so fiddly) so key shortcuts using hyper will be mostly free for the user to allocate.


@kevinb Sure. But in my experience, many don't use control alone as a modifier, or rarely. This is also true for already predefined shortcuts of many app.

So new shortcuts can mostly be set up with control. Or if an app uses a certain modifier combination (that you don't want) it can be easily changed to ⌃+x with KM.

By the way, it doesn't matter if a shortcut is still free or not. KM simply overwrites it.

That's not my experience. Only control-J appears to be unwanted by any app. :laughing:
At least 12 control- shortcuts are allocated by MacOS alone (see Mac keyboard shortcuts - Apple Support). This doesn't mean have to use them or that you can't overwrite them, no. Needs vary.

Or to nothing at all (e.g. if corresponding menu entries are available).

I'm not out to "sell" the hyper key, but those are my reasons why I used caps lock in that way and why I think most people do, to answer your question. (I no longer use a keyboard with that conventional layout... there's no dedicated caps lock and hitting 4 modifiers at once is easy!)

Ok, mmm, maybe I'm misunderstanding you (or I was just lucky), but I've never had a problem assigning "⌃+x" to a macro. Or to change a shortcut predefined by the app, e.g. "⌘⌥⌃+X" or ⌘⇧+X" or "⌘⌥+X" or whatever simply to "⌃+x". :man_shrugging:

Besides KM, I also use BTT. BTT distinguishes between left and right modifiers. So Left cmd+x does not do the same as right cmd+x. I find that very helpful :smiley:

I'm curious, what kind of keyboard do you use?

I just tried control-J in two of my most used apps... without any problem.

⌃+j = ⌘⌥+i
⌃+j = ⌘⌥⌃+p

Maybe I am just lucky.

Me neither. I merely suggested an alternative - set it to nothing at all instead of control-x. But of course that's up to you and down to what's possible in each case!

Interesting, Karabiner Elements can too, as I recall.

A split keyboard, with a grid layout.

I didn't mean to suggest there would be any problem. I meant that control-J is rare in that no app on my Mac has it allocated to anything at all! :slight_smile:

I did exactly the same thing today...

(I have tried HyperKey before, but never purchased it - giving it another try now it's free)

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I've been using Keyboard Maestro for nearly 20 years, and nearly any app I use has keyboard shortcuts with Hot Keys based on KM macros. Readily available and easily remembered Hot Keys are not prevalent on my computers.

So the Hyper Key serves as another modifier key in an ergonomically convenient manner for me. For how my head works, along with the capabilities of KM, the Hyper Key has become a global palette launcher for various tasks I want to do no matter where I am. For example, regardless of what I'm doing on the Mac, one Hyper Key shortcut gives me a palette for getting to all my regularly used business documents.

Control-based modifiers are more apparent than many realize. Specifically, since OS X the default keybindings have supported emacs shortcuts, and those are often based around the Control key. Anyone using those understandably doesn't want to override them with Keyboard Maestro or anything else.


@NaOH I think I understand well what you mean :slight_smile:

Your hyper key is my right command key, which is always under my thumb (ergonomic), just like the left one, but allows other shortcuts, as if it was another modifier (with BTT). There are different ways to solve the same problem :smirk:

Same here, I tried this on your suggestion and it works fine to date, three days I think. I thought Karabiner was causing glitches and I uninstalled it sometime ago. I am glad to have that key back.

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Well it gives you one key to use with letters, even though it is 'really' several keys, so many regular combinations are taken up by the system and other apps and part of the reason is memorability. Memorability is all the reason for me really since I could, in principle find a regular combo for all my shortcuts. I also use palettes a lot and that in itself reduces my need for shortcuts by a mile, and also the need to remember them. I am expanding my palettes via the hyperkey now I have it back via this simple app.

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