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Keyboard's keys mapping under OS 9 and OS X

16 September 2004 update

03 October 2004 update

As usual, I cannot be responsible for any damage to your machines when you will experiment the following tutorial.

My aim is to be able to type a point "." without involving the shift key: I more often type a point than a semicolon.

The following tutorial can be used to move virtually any key of the keyboard or to be able to use a PC keyboard.

The operation has to be done under OS 9 with a little add for this handling being able to operate under X.


First in the OS 9 Control panels, keyboard configuration, we check which keyboards are available.


In my case I use the "French" keyboard, not the "Belgium" one.
Why? Because for Apple, Belgium means Flemish and with such a keyboard, a shift-"é" does not lead to an "É" but an "é" :-(


We are going to modify the System main file: we operate on a copy of this file. I take this file with the alt key depressed and drag it to the desktop.

We open it with ResEdit; we go in the KCHR ressource.


We duplicate the ressource with ID "1" (France) by typing command-d.


We obtain ane ressource with a new ID (here 128) but with the same name "France".


But we have to change its name; command-i on this ressource...


..and I rename it as "Dédé"...why not? ;-).


Charming isn't it?


The cursor points to the key to be modified.


We select the point (the black key image on the picture) and we drag it to desired target place...


... the yellow arrow shows the movement...


... at the end, release the mouse button on the target position.

Save. It is advisory to assign the semicolon on the same key but with the shift key enabled. Save again.

We extract the official "System" file from the current System directory... for instance we drag it to the root of the hard disk.

We drag onto the System folder the modified "System" file. We restart the machine.


Back to the Control panel's keyboard configuration: we enable the new keyboard...


... which is directly available...


... and now active.

Another tip: we copy the KCHR modified ressources.

In ResEdit, we create a new document in which we paste this KCHR ressource.

We save this document.

With ResEdit again, we modify its Type and Creator.

Type=kfil, Creator=movr.


Then simply drag this file onto the System folder.

16 September update

It is advisory to make a secure copy of this file.

This file will be directly integrated to the running system (if no application -except Finder- is running) and no restart is required.

And for OS X?

Same. The file must be located in "library/Keyboard Layouts" and must have the ".rsrc" extension.


Great isn't it?

16 September update

As Schlum stated here, one have to logout/login again for the keyboard to be taken into account.

03 October update

You directly wants the keyboard ressource? Just click here. You will have a "DédéX.rsrc" file with my so lovely figure as icon ;-)

-> put it in "library/Keyboard Layouts" and activate it through the International Preferences, "Key in" sub-pane.

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