Setting Up Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard on Mac (El Capitan)
OSX (at least El Capitan) doesn’t recognize the Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard as a keyboard out of the box. It pairs, and you can type, but you can’t remap the command keys. As a Mac user that makes the keyboard pretty much unusable as I would be forever typing “ç√” (option-c option-v) instead of copying and pasting (⌘-c, ⌘-v).
Important note: this will not work on Sierra.
Update - 2017.02.18: I’ve added instructions for Sierra.
- Install Karabiner - Its a key remapping tool that lets you intercept and remap keyboard input.
- Edit the ‘private.xml’ file. You can find the ‘private.xml’ file by choosing the Misc & Uninstall tab. Replace
private.xmlwith the contents in this gist. This file defines a keyboard type for the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard and a remapping that only applies for that keyboard (so you don’t change your default keys on your laptop)
- Open Karabiner again to the main ‘Change Key’ tab and tap ‘Reload XML’
- There should now be two new options at the top. Enable both options.
- Test that everything is working as expected (⌘-c and ⌘-v to your heart’s content)
(Credit to Caleb Hicks for solving a similar problem for the Sculpt. I merely adapted it)
I’ve used an old wired Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard at work for years. Seriously, that keyboard is so old that it is a PS/2 keyboard with a USB adapter.
I’d gotten tired of the squishy key feel on my old behemoth but hadn’t gotten around to upgrading to a Sculpt out of sheer laziness.
I got surprisingly excited when I saw that they were coming out with a new, high quality materials version of the ergonomic keyboard and—after a little bit of trouble—preordered it.
The day before mine is scheduled to be delivered I see these tweets from Marco Arment and get worried.
Sure enough, I pair the keyboard and I can’t remap the command keys.
Thankfully, the internet came to the rescue. I found this article about how to work around a bug introuced in Yosemite 10.11.2 and was able to adapt the instructions to work with the Surface Ergonomic.
Now that I’ve had it working for about a month I’m quite happy with my new toy. It is very comfortable to type on, much quieter than my old keyboard, and looks great on my desk.
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