The Problem

I broke my wrist. I’m in a cast for probably 2 months and still have plenty of programming to do. I just cant use my left hand, which is my main hand. I don’t want to buy new hardware if I can help it, so the solution has to be software.

Given that I’m a qwerty typist, I want to lean on that as much as possible.

My home setup

At home I run a 2015 MacBook Pro running El Capitan, so I’ve done the following:

  • Installed Karabiner, which is a powerful key remapping app.
  • Taken this half-qwerty config as a starting point.

Half qwerty

The half qwerty layout is, as far as I know, based on the Mathias keyboard, which remaps each side of the keyboard to the opposite side when you hold down the space bar. It’s useful because if you’re a touch typist you have key positions symmetrically in your fingers.

Typing is still slower, but I feel like I’m learning fast.


Default key hold time

By default, Karabiner remaps keys after 200ms, which is enough to feel a bit frustrating.

In Karabiner’s parameters, we can adjust the “Holding Key To Key Holding Threshold”.

setting the holding threshold

Where’s my tab key?

Since I’m on the right side of the keyboard, I need a tab key, so I remapped .

Given that I don’t have a control key and I use emacs, I’ve also remapped alt on the right side to control.


My config so far is available at this repository