PC Keyboards in Mac OS X Lion
One of the benefits of the recent upgrade I made to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is how consistently simple using a PC keyboard now is. The preference pane for switching the modifier keys around (using alt in place of CMD, Windows key in place of option etc…) was available in Snow Leopard and earlier versions, but compatibility with the range of PC keyboards I’ve tried with my various Macs has long been a bit patchy – even though the changes would save in System Preferences, the keys would still use the default mapping.
If you’re used to CMD being either side of the space bar, it can get pretty annoying when it isn’t there.
In earlier versions of OS X, I’ve used DoubleCommand when there’s been trouble remapping keys, however I’m pleased to report that Lion seems to have addressed some of the earlier issues with the modifier preference pane being ineffective.
I’ve tested the modifiers with a range of keyboards (including ones I’ve experienced issues with in the past) and they all seem to be altering the maps without issue.
To alter the key map:
1. Open System Preferences and select the ‘Keyboard’ preference pane
2. Click the ‘Modifier Keys’ button and switch the mapping. When you’re done, click ‘OK’ and close the preference pane.