Using OS X From The Keyboard

I have a new job (Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services) and subsequently a new work laptop. It’s a mac and after almost 10 years as a linux-only user, that’s rather a shock! Due to some nasty RSI issues, I don’t use a mouse or any other pointing device*, so as well as learning a whole new operating system I also needed to learn its accessibility tools. I’m still at the swearing stage but mostly past the tears so I thought I would share what I’ve found – using a computer from the keyboard is fast and productive for everyone as well as less painful for me, so you may find some tools in here that you want to try yourself.

I collected all my tools, my own notes and scribbled cheatsheets and put them into this gist so that I could refer to them later; I also intend to keep updating this as a reference. You’re welcome to look and to share your own tips and tricks in the comments, once I get to grip with the tools I’m already learning, I’m sure there’s more that I’d like to try!

* I’m happy to talk more about my injury if anyone is interested but to answer the FAQs: No, it’s not carpal tunnel, it’s tendonitis and results in pain from shoulder blade to finger tip regardless of what I’m doing, including sleeping. Yes, I have the correct chair/monitor/desk setup. Yes, I have tried the trackpad/trackball/joystick/pen that you mentioned (really. All of them) and it didn’t help but thanks for the suggestion. No, I haven’t tried a standing desk mostly because there isn’t much space in my office. No, I don’t use voice commands but I probably should because I don’t imagine this injury is going to get better and it could get worse …

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