How to: Remap Apple Keyboard Command Keys to Control Keys

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration in Windows and Linux' started by GeoFili, May 11, 2011.

  1. How to: Remap Apple Keyboard Command Keys to Control Keys
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    I do lots of development using Visual Studio in Windows 7 running in Parallels on a Mac.

    I use an apple extended keyboard and find the key remapping feature built into parallels next to useless.

    Here is how to swap (or remap) the apple command key with the control key on the apple keyboard.

    This will allow you use CMD+Key in Windows instead of CTRL+Key

    It unifies your environment so that the CMD (apple key) works the same in Windows as it does on the Mac.


    First I explain how to unify the F Keys (I use these extensively in windows for VS development).
    You can skip these steps if you don't want to unify the F keys between windows and Mac.

    Enable Function Keys on MAC:
    1) Open system preferences.
    2) Click Keyboard.
    3) Tick the option "Use all F1, F2 etc. keys as standard function keys"
    4) Close preferences.
    Note: you will now need to use Fn+FKey to change volume etc on the mac.


    Change Function Key overrides on MAC:
    1) Open system preferences.
    2) Click Expose.
    3) Change the function key options to:
    All windows: F16
    App windows: F17
    Show Desktop: F18
    Dashboard: F19
    Note: If you are not using an extended keyboard then remove the mappings from the function keys.


    Disable Parallels Re-mapping:
    1) Open Parallels and go to Preferences.
    2) Click Keyboard and disable the Virtual machine shortcuts.
    3) I also disable F6 command.
    4) Close Preferences.


    Remap Windows CTRL and CMD Keys:
    1) Boot your windows virtual machine.
    2) From the start menu, open Notepad.exe
    3) Copy and paste the following text into notepad:

    4) Save the file to your desktop with the name and extension: Update.reg
    5) Run the Update.reg file to update your registry.
    6) Shutdown/Restart your Windows VM.


    Thats it, your left and right side CMD and CTRL keys will be swapped in windows and you can now use windows shortcuts just like on the mac.



    Usual warnings:
    Backup your windows registry before making any changes.
    If you don't know what you are doing, get somebody technical to help.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  2. I use an apple extended keyboard and find the key remapping feature built into parallels next to useless.

    Here is how to swap (or remap) thI use an apple extended keyboard and find the key remapping feature built into parallels next to useless.

    Here is how to swap (or remap) the apple command key with the control key on the apple keyboard.

    e apple command key with the control key on the apple keyboard.
  3. Thank you to share this tip.

    Do you have any other tips to improve Windows 7 performance? I also need it for Visual Studio ONLY.
  4. Here are some more tips:

    Don't run windows using a BootCamp partition, works much better running as a VHD image instead because:

    VHD allows you to clone your mac (including windows) to an external drive using Carbon Copy Cloner and boot from the clone in case of hardware error. (bootcamp cannot be cloned in this way).

    VHD lets you backup your virtual machine using time machine

    VHD allows you to pause windows at any time to boost mac performance


    Performance tips:

    In windows:
    From the start menu type "Performance Information and Tools" and open it.
    Click 'Adjust visual effects' and turn everything off except the last 8 items.


    Under parallels settings:
    I give virtual machine 2 CPUs and 3GB or RAM.

    I always use coherence mode and display the windows tool bar across the bottom of screen (i have mac tool bar on the left of screen) - this lets me use windows and mac at the same time without noticing you are using 2 different operating systems.

    I never turn on file sharing with the mac - and I don't allow the mac to access windows folders either. This keeps the file systems separate for virus protection. (i use networking instead to share folders)

    I set web pages and email to open on the Mac.

    Under coherence settings I turn off/disable:
    Crystal Mode
    Notification area in menu
    Windows Aero



    I have this setup:
    MacBook Pro 2011 - 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (8GB RAM)

    I don't notice any significant performance issues with visual studio 2010 and its very stable.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Thanks for this. Good one.
  6. Ok, I got it thank you for the very helpful tips..Now I know how to improve my W7! Thanks a lot people..[​IMG]
  7. Hi GeoFili,

    I also work with visual studio and windows 7 in mac with parallels in coherence mode.
    To grant to work int both os with ctrl as windows ctrl is also possible simply (with Lion and Parallels 7):

    Invert Command and Control key in Mac Os:
    1) Open system preferences.
    2) Click Keyboard.
    3) Click Modifiers Keys
    4) Invert Command and Ctrl Key
    4) Close preferences.

    In Parallels Preferences:
    1) Open Parallels and go to Preferences.
    2) Remove all Virtual machine shortcuts
    3) Add the shortcut: Cmd to Ctrl
    -- (note that now Cmd is Ctrl in Osx so this command is simply Ctrl to Ctrl!)
    4) Add the shortcut: Ctrl to Win
    -- (note that now Ctrl is Cmd in Osx so this command is simply Cmd to Win!)

    Now use Ctr+left, Ctrl+right, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C.... with same "windows" use in both os.

    marc.
  8. There are typos here (space between o and l in control, back slash in Scancode Map string)

    here is the fixed version:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
    "Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,05,00,00,00,5b,e0 ,1d,00,1d,00,5b,e0,5c,e0,1d,e0,1d,e0,5c,e0,00,00,00,00


    works great after fixes! thanks!
  9. There are typos here (space between o and l in control, back slash in "Scancode Map" string)

    it seems that posting on here messes up and adds spaces places. watch out for extra spaces and that random backslash.

    works great after fixes! thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  10. Lee Woo

    Lee Woo Bit Poster

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Keyboard Layout]
    "Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,05,00,00,00,5b,e0 ,1d,00,1d,00,5b,e0,\
    5c,e0,1d,e0,1d,e0,5c,e0,00,00,00,00

    thank, i done fix

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