I recently got a MacBook and am going to log all the tips and ticks I learn here while getting it just how I want it. This is essential a setup guide for myself if I need to setup another mac from scratch.

Note: The mod key is what Mac calls ‘command’

Remap keys on specific external keyboard (fix Command/Mod and Ctrl/Option order)

  • System Preferences > Keyboard > Modifier Keys…

  • Select Keyboard: Choose your external keyboard

I remapped:
- Command -> Option
- Option -> Command
This makes the mac shortcuts a bit more fluid, although it would really be nice if they just used regular shortcuts you find on any Linux distro.

Map copy, past, cut to CTRL instead of Mod key

System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts

Word of warning, I found some apps that didn’t like this. I still found myself having to use Mod+C and Mod+D

Shortcuts for positioning windows

It blows my mind that there are not good shortcuts for positioning windows around your screens. I am used to the level on control you get with GNOME or I3, but even just copying Windows would be sufficient.

This solution has 9k+ stars on GitHub at the time of writing and looks pretty good: https://github.com/rxhanson/Rectangle

Shortcut to open the terminal

Not sure why this isn’t provided by default but thankfully there was a stack overflow post for this.

First, I installed iTerm2, then follow the post below.


I used UltraMasters answer.

In summary:

  • Open Automator > new quick action > launch application > other… > iTerm > save as

  • Open System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services > General (Scroll to bottom) > Map a shortcut

Using a WB19 Thunderbolt dock

Apple doesn’t take to kindly to you trying to use non-apple proprietary hardware partner…


Using dual external monitors

At first, I couldn’t get my dock to support 2 screens, then I found these docs from Dell: https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-us/000124312/dell-thunderbolt-dock-wd19tb-and-apple-usb-c-hosts

In order to get 2 screens working through your dock you must run 1 though the regular video port and another must get converted to USB-C. I bought an HDMI to USB-C cable off Amazon.

Image courtesy of Dell

Thank you Dell for the nice docs explaining the limitations of the mac and why you can’t get 2 monitors to work without buying something extra.

Randomly losing all my USB peripherals from the dock

Not sure what is up with this. I just unplug the dock and plug it back in. Happens twice to no times a day.