Keyboard Only Day

Brian's challenge sparked my interest… could I really put down my mouse for a day?

Turns out… yes. I had a few small tricks to learn first.

I already had a lot of the pieces: I use Hammerspoon to app-switch and automate a lot of tasks. I've used Vimium or SurfingKeys on web browsers to help me move and work.

As I attempted to spend a day without my mouse, I realized I didn't have good solutions for a few common computer tasks:

  • Clicking random screen-only UI elements
  • Scrolling
  • Copying text out of web documents

Enter Homerow.app. 👏👏👏

I've been using Homerow for a bit, but the challenge showed me some fun (and relatively new!) features.

After using Homerow.app for the day… I realized that I could drop Vimium/Surfingkeys. Those tools have very powerful configurations and neat tools… that I don't use. I used them to search and open links in tabs. That's it. Homerow.app can do that and be the same for every browser and app I use on my Mac.

Dexter also rolled out scrolling and custom keys, so that was perfect.

The last piece (prompted by buying Homerow and needing to put the license key into 1Password!) was copy/paste… and this is where I learned about Caret Mode. Caret Mode is usually invoked with <F7>, and basically gives you an editor-style cursor that you can move around the screen. I'm a newbie, but I found the best way to place the cursor was to use ⌘-F to find the word you want to start on, hit <ESC> to exit Find mode, then use the arrow keys while holding Shift to extend the selection.

I'm glad I know that it exists; it's very handy.

I commend to you Brian's challenge. Forcing yourself to learn the keyboard shortcuts in the tools you already use will make you a faster and more efficient knowledge worker.

If you are a developer/designer, there is an even stronger reason: you step outside of your comfort zone into the doorway of accessibility and accessibility tools. The frustrations you find, the techniques you discover, all will put you in the way of incorporating that learning into the applications upon which you work.


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Changelog
  • 2023-07-31 14:08:35 -0500
    Rename markdown -> md

  • 2023-05-31 23:28:58 -0500
    Chat GPT changes

  • 2023-05-31 23:27:18 -0500
    First draft of keyboard only day