Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Macs, Remote Desktop and keyboards

I have a little project I'm developing in Java on top of my real job.

I usually do my development directly on my Windows machine, but I often connect through Remote Desktop from my Mac.

I have a French keyboard Mac, and the keyboard on the Windows machine is also French.

Of course, when you develop Java programs, the following keys are used extensively: {}[].

The problem is that the key combinations required on the Mac to produce these characters aren't sent correctly to the Windows PC through Remote Desktop. The quickest way to circumvent this problem is simply to copy and paste braces or brackets from existing code. Quite annoying.

I remember having searched for this problem before, and at that time I had not found anything.

Today I did : Ctrl + Alt.

It turns out that, for example, to type a { on my Mac, I have to type Alt-7, but when I'm in Remote Desktop, I need to use Ctrl-Alt-è.

Here are a couple of mappings that are useful :

To get a Type
{ Ctrl-Alt-è
} Ctrl-Alt-à
[ Ctrl-Alt-^
] Ctrl-Alt-ç

I imagine that for other languages, the key combinations would be different, but I'm convinced that you'll find them with Ctrl-Alt :-)