There are numerous keys on the MacBook keyboard for customizing it based on usage patterns and requirements. But customization is not that easy. This is where a custom keyboard comes in handy. From types of switches to layouts and keycaps, you can customize everything.
Creating a custom MacBook Pro keyboard helps in entering some special Unicode characters and unsupported languages. In this write-up, you will discover whether purchasing a custom keyboard is beneficial and how to create a keyboard layout.
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Why Purchase a Custom Keyboard?
Getting a new custom keyboard is beneficial when your old keyboard stops working accurately. You may also consider it when keys get stuck, or you have dropped your keyboard on the ground. Having a keyboard simplifies your work as you can use shortcuts to copy data, redo, or undo on a Mac, for example.
If your work involves a lot of typing or editing, using a custom keyboard can make a big difference to your productivity. With robust designs, today’s keyboards are built for enhanced durability. Also, you’ll get a keyboard that is customized specifically for you and your needs.
Ways to Make macOS Custom Keyboard:
To design a macOS custom keyboard layout, you have to follow the step-by-step guide. The Mac operating system provides several keyboard layouts and language options out of the box. To locate them, navigate to System Preferences and then click Keyboard.
Now, tap on Input Sources and then hit on the plus (+) button to include another one. If you require another special keyboard or speak another minority language, you can’t find it. To create your custom keyboard, you have to make the layout bundle.
Locate Unicode Symbols:
Your custom keyboard will enter some Unicode characters. Hence, first, you have to gather the required characters. You can work on several methods to find characters. For example, the Character Viewer app. This app comes preinstalled on macOS.
You can gather the characters by freehand drawing via Unicode Character Recognition. Unicode Lookup allows locating codes by cutting and pasting. Other places you can find the characters include Unicode Search, Official Unicode Site, and Unicode Code Converter.
Create New Layout for the Keyboard:
Accessing the existing keyboard and performing editing is a faster method to obtain a finished product. But, it can be highly challenging to understand what makes a new keyboard layout on a MacBook Pro from scratch.
When you are a beginner in creating a layout of a custom keyboard, select File in the menu and then click on New Keyboard Layout. It will prompt you for the layout title. Select Empty like the base layout. Now, choose the command shortcut and ‘layout with command key’. Click OK.
How Much Does My Custom Keyboard Cost?
Creating your own custom MacBook Pro keyboard can be expensive. How much does a custom mechanical keyboard cost depends on what amount you can afford to invest in upgrading various features? The cost may range from $200 to $600 per board.
If you can afford to invest more, the cost may depend on how much you can spend on stabilizers, keycaps, PCBs, and switches. It also depends on how customized other things will be. A large-size keyboard is more expensive than a smaller one.
Components Essential for Creating Custom Keyboard:
If you wish to develop a custom keyboard, you will require several components. Metal plate, case, and PCB (circuit board) are the main components. The case keeps the internal components safe from water and dust. The metal plate holds the switches in the right position.
The PCB is used to send a signal to a computer when a keystroke is logged. Before you go for purchasing any of these components, check if they are fully compatible. Determine what features are essential for your keyboard, the type of mounting system, and the complete size required.
Activate New Keyboard Layout:
For activating your custom MacBook layout, include it in the layouts in the Keyboard Preferences. For this, you need to access the System Preferences. Now, click on Keyboard, followed by Input Sources.
Hit on the plus (+) icon and then choose your custom layout in the given list. Tap on Input Sources and choose your layout. Tapping the keys you have changed will do the operations you have mapped rather than the default operations.
By building or purchasing a mechanical custom keyboard, you can have a keyboard that is different from other people. You will not find the same keyboard somewhere else. Thus, getting a custom keyboard for your MacBook Pro is worth the money and time.
Since now you understand how much creating a custom keyboard for MacBook Pro can cost you, go for it. You can also pick from different designs available online to get one that sounds well with your needs.