Switching desktops in macOS with TB

Hey guys! I’ve been trying to figure out how to switch between desktops in macOS with no luck. On my laptop, my shortcut would be cmd+arrow keys, which I cannot make a shortcut for in Maps. The app switcher is good on iOS, but problematic on macOS if you’ve got multiple windows open from one program. Any ideas how to fix this? I’ve otherwise gotta use the trackpad gesture for doing so, which is fine, but it’d be nice to use the TB as much as possible.


The App layer allows you to change your view.

M and the period allow you switch windows within an app.

I thought for desktops the shortcut was Control and Arrow or Control and a number. You could also map these to the App layer in the free spaces.

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Oh, that’s what next window does!! I was trying to figure that out. Thank you!!

Right, I use cmd as the modifier key instead of ctrl, but same idea. How can you map that?

Without using the App Layer you can just hit the normal shortcut. If you open up System Preferences > Keyboard and select the Shortcuts tab and Mission Control. You will see several ways to switch. You can customize these if you like.

I think mine are set to the default, so one way is the CTRL left or right arrow. To access this: you lock it in edit mode (j, k & l) and then hold down the left CTRL chord (z & x). Now when you hit the left (j) or right (k) arrow it will move to the left or right desktop from your relative location. When done release the edit lock (j, k & l). You can also hold down the edit chord (d & f) and the right CTRL chord (z & x) and then hit left (j) or right (l). This one requires some dexterity.

The easier method is to hit CTRL and the number of the desktop. For instance, hold the right CTRL chord (. & /), depress the spacebar to enable the green layer. Now press 1, 2, etc. for you desired desktop.


I’ve just done some experimenting and I was able to make a shortcut. I put three of them actually for my testing purposes on the app layer:

  1. On the P key, I put ctrl-2, which takes me to desktop 2.

  2. On the quote key, I put ctrl-right arrow (the right arrow is on the side scrolling list where you also find ctrl).

  3. On the “/” key, I put ctrl-left arrow.

The right and left arrow ones take you through each desktop in the appropriate direction. They don’t cycle - that is, if you are at the first desktop on the left, you can’t go left again to get to the furthest on the right. You have to hit the right arrow one however many times are necessary.

Having looked at this, if I decided I really wanted this, I’d probably just use the numbers for the desktops because I only have 2 anyway.

So why is it that you can’t create this? Or am I misunderstanding something?

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Using Command Arrow as your desktop shortcut, does that mean that Edit layer’s M and Period cause you to change desktops?

I’d suggest following Hiser’s recommendation to alter the shortcut for changing desktops.

In either case, to map to the app layer in the TextBlade app:

  1. Scroll to Maps
  2. Choose your map (mine is in Custom)
  3. Scroll to APP
  4. In the keyboard interface, press on the place you’d like your new shortcut to go. I used the single quote, left of return
  5. The app will present a scrollable banner on the bottom of the screen.
  6. Select the modifier (CTRL)
  7. Swipe to get to the arrow images and press the relevant direction (for me, right arrow)
  8. Press the on screen key to deselect your new shortcut
  9. Apply the map to your TextBlade by pressing the Install button on bottom left
  10. Select the jump slots to apply the map to
  11. Press Install on top right
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Beautiful!! I did this. The main issue I’ve been having is that I did not realize that I could scroll on the modifier keys banner! @waytools maybe make this more intuitive? :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your help/advice!

Crazy that I learn new things about the TB every day that I use it. Hoping GR comes soon so that everyone can experience the magic.

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To clarify, because maybe this is only the case on plus sized iPhones, the banner with modifier keys etc. has no indication of being able to scroll. @waytools can we fix this?

One simple fix would be making one icon peek halfway out from the edge of the screen to indicate that there’s more. This can be done by either increasing or decreasing the banner size, though increasing is probably the way to go. This iPhone’s got more than enough screen real estate to make up for it :wink:

See below - no indication of scrollability.

Maybe small letters that say “more” at each end (if you are already at one end, only the one with more would have that word).

Or three dots.

Ellipsis is the standard symbol for this notion.

You can even see it in this forum, at the end of the functions below each post.

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I think an ellipses would encourage me to tap rather than swipe.

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Maybe …>

I don’t have the problem on my iPhone 6S. It is just the right horizontal size to show part of a next character.

A couple more ideas though

  • Animated ellipsis
  • Lightly graduated roll off of blue colour toward scrollable edge
  • Persistent scroll bars (not sure if iOS allows this)
  • Left align scroll to show part of Shift already out of frame. This will suit multiple horizontal resolutions with one change
  • Additional text after ‘Touch any location to edit’
  • Education on customising maps in the Guide

Ah, so this is just a “standard” keyboard! :innocent:

I believe I mentioned this before, but the blue section that shows the character should also include the modifier so you can tell, even if you have scrolled the modifier off screen.

Also, a “cancel” option on the map editing screen which would revert any changes you made on THAT session (just in case you did something accidentally and can’t remember what the heck it is! I know we can exit the page without applying changes, but those changes will still be there next time and eventually the next time you do apply changes, they’ll be applied with the rest unless you can cancel.

You could also make it that if you tap the ellipses, it simply jumps one full section over each time.

  • Translucent arrow at either edge whenever there are more options to scroll to.

I agree with the others, something like an ellipsis would encourage clicking rather than swiping. Something like this, that just peeks slightly off the slide, much more intuitively alludes to swiping for more.


The more I think about it, the more I think the ellipsis would be fine IF the simply scrolled over a full screen if you tapped it, but you could still swipe it. In fact, tapping it could be faster. Or adjust the ellipsis so instead of the three dots all being the same, let them get smaller towards the end. That might at least hint that you can do more than just tap them.

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I like it! More difficult to implement I think but @waytools has never been one to worry about that if it means a better UX :wink: