KeyBindingsEditor Manual


KeyBindingsEditor (KBE) is a GUI-based editor for OS X key bindings. It allows for easy editing and supports single-action bindings (one action per keystroke), multi-action bindings (multiple actions for a keystroke) and Emacs meta binding-style multi-keystroke bindings. Here some articles discussing key bindings:

Opening Bindings

Like any standard document based application, KBE offers the usual Open... and Open Recent menu entries. KBE also offers an Open menu, where a few of the more frequently used binding files are referenced. If you choose Open/User Key bindings or Open/XCode User Key bindings, and the required directories or files do not exist yet, KBE will create the directories and an empty key bindings file at that location.

KeyBindingsEditor window


Key Bindings

This section lists all bindings in the current file. Multi-action bindings have multiple actions listed in the Actions column in the form of (action1:, action2:):


Multi-keystroke actions are listed in a tree type display, with the root object containing the first keystroke, and the children the second keystroke as well as the actions:


To add a single- or multi-action binding click the Add Binding button. To add a multi-keystroke action click the Add Multikey Binding. Delete Bindings by selecting them and clicking the Delete button.

Tip: You can modify the sort order by clicking in the column headers and by rearranging columns (drag the column headers).

Binding Editor

When you have a single binding selected, this section allows you to edit the binding. To enter the keystroke, either click on the keystroke field or press the Tab key while a binding is selected in the Key Bindings Section. The focus will change to the keystroke field, and the next keystroke will be captured. The focus will automatically advance to the Actions list.

Tip: When the focus advanced to the Actions list but you want a different keystroke, enter Shift-Tab to change the focus back to the keystroke field.

The reason the focus advances automatically is because the keystroke field swallows almost any keystroke and that behavior may be confusing.

To edit the Actions, either click on the double-arrow to the right of an action to select from one of the many pre-configured actions, or double-click on the action name to enter a new one.

Note: KBE does not verify the action names.

Add actions by clicking on the Add Action button, delete them by selecting the actions to be deleted and click on the Delete button.

Saving Bindings

Save the edited binding just like you would do in any document-based application. Common paths are:

Exporting Bindings

You can export the bindings to a HTML file or a text file. This option is handy to include KeyBinding tables in product manuals, or simply for easy reference. To do so, select Save To... from the File manu. In the Save Panel select the desired format from the File Format drop down menu and save the file. The bindings will be exported in the order they appear in Key Bindings list. To change the sort order simply click into the Column headers before exporting.


KeyBindingsEditor requires Mac OS X 10.4. The generated bindings files however should be compatible with all OS X versions.


KeyBindingsEditor is free for personal use. If however you use it frequently or if you would like to support development of quality OS X software, please consider a donation. Start by clicking on the button below. Payment is handled via PayPal, no PayPal account needed and no registration required!

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KeyBindingsEditor is a product by CocoaBits, a division of bitart