Best layout hacks?

What are the best layout hacks you’ve found so far? Do you use the palm keys to press enter? What does chording both shift keys together do for you?

Please share!

For me it has to be the Space Cadet plugin. I code a lot and being able to type parentheses-like things easily is a huge help. I have my thumb clusters set up like:

ctrl bksp cmd shift   shift ctrl space cmd 

But when I tap the modifier keys in the above they will type:

< bksp ( [    ] ) space > 

Holding one shift and tapping the other will therefore give { and } respectively (to answer your last question).

I have my esc and 🦋 keys bound to alt so the thumb clusters plus these index-finger operated alts make it extremely comfortable to both type parens and hold pretty much any modifier combination I use.

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Interesting. I currently have similar bindings on my thumb keys but I have one-shot/sticky keys on them to make doing some multi-key keyboard shortcuts easier. I also do a lot of coding and I am finding the brackets ([ ] { }) on the function layer a bit harder to commit to muscle memory… wonder if I should give Space Cadet a try.

I gave SpaceCadet a try earlier on but found myself constantly typing brackets by mistake. So I’ve decided to first get used to the keyboard before trying that again.

Here’s my sketch if anyone wants to give it a try.

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The main layout tweaks I’ve done (and which I’ve had in place since I first got my model 01):

  • Left thumb cluster is shift, tab, cmd, shift
  • Right thumb cluster is alt, ctrl, space, shift

Reason being that I press space and tab a lot more than whatever the default keys were in those positions, and that’s where my thumbs naturally lie.

  • Square brackets on the inner corner keys (which were originally LED and Any)
  • LED+Any are still accessible from the Fun layer
  • Backspace opposite from enter (where tab is by default)

This made a lot more logical sense to me, and also makes programming way more comfortable.

  • Upper-right corner on right hand is \ (which I also use a lot)
  • Upper-left corner on left hand is a numlock modifier; holding it down embeds a number pad below 789 (which is useful sometimes, but typically if I’m using the number pad I’m using the external 10key pad that I bought primarily for using Blender)

I’ve also tweaked the NumLock layer to give it a somewhat more sensible (to me) punctuation layout, and I’ve colored the keys to match their functional group; white for alphanumeric, yellow for whitespace, pink for punctuation, light-blue for cursor keys, and a few other colors for the various other sets of functionality (mousekeys, media control, etc.)

Here’s my base layer:

my numpad layer:

and my Fun layer: