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Forcing input language when holding key


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Hello,

I have multi-lingual keyboard
I would like to be able to use a key (let's say SHIFT) so that when it's pressed, it will write the letter in english - regardless if I'm currently typing in a different language
The reason I'd like to do it is mainly for text expansion, but also because I'm used to this behavior from when I was using Windows OS.

I looked if it's possible to set it as a keyboard setting in Mac, but unfortunately I don't think so, which leaves me with Alfred.

Any ideas?

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6 hours ago, Tom6 said:

I looked if it's possible to set it as a keyboard setting in Mac, but unfortunately I don't think so, which leaves me with Alfred.

 

Alfred won’t help you there, I’m afraid. What you’re asking for is too specific for Alfred’s feature set, you’ll need something that works on the OS level.

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9 hours ago, Tom6 said:

I have multi-lingual keyboard

 

What's that?

 

9 hours ago, Tom6 said:

regardless if I'm currently typing in a different language

 

What do you mean? Are you talking about changing the keyboard layout?

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11 hours ago, deanishe said:

 

What's that?

 

 

What do you mean? Are you talking about changing the keyboard layout?

by multi-lingual I mean that I'm typing with the same keyboard in multiple languages. So sometimes I'm switching between them
and yes, I am talking about changing the keyboard layout (sorry english isn't my native language 🙃)

 

basically I want to type in a different language, and when I press shift (or something else) while typing some letter have it written in english - regardless of which language I'm at before I did this. 
(basically telling the mac - hey, whenever I hold this key, treat every letter I type in english, regardless of what's my current keyboard layout)

 

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I also type in multiple language on the same keyboard, but I never switch keyboard layout to do it. Please don't say "type in a different language" if you mean "use a different keyboard layout". They're not the same thing, and it's confusing.

 

If you just want to switch keyboard layouts, why can't you use the standard system shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Input Sources?

 

You can also switch layouts programmatically, but Alfred can't help you because it doesn't support your "while the key is pressed" requirement.

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The reason I'd like to do it is because I want to use an Alfred snippet expansion, which I've set to replace 'LOL' -> 😂 (this is just an example, I have many of those)

it would have been really nice if I didn't need to switch to english, write the letters, get back to my language to continue typing

Given what you say I have two options:
1) make the double-shift just to get that text expansion
2) create a double for all my snippets so that they will work when I type in another language (and hope that it doesn't coincide with an existing word in that language). This is what I'm doing now, and it works well so far

Thank you for answering - a 'no' answer is just as important as a 'yes' answer so I can stop looking 🙂

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6 hours ago, Tom6 said:

create a double for all my snippets so that they will work when I type in another language (and hope that it doesn't coincide with an existing word in that language).

 

This is what I’d do, tbh. Make the snippet trigger the letters that appear when you hit the same physical keys. A related trick is to use the different keyboard layout to "translate" your snippets. For example, I use zzdd to enter the current date in English format (dd/mm/yy) and yydd to enter it in German format (dd.mm.yy) because the Y key on a German keyboard is on the same physical key as the Z key on an English one. So the same physical keys map to the snippet appropriate to the language I'm writing (if I've bothered to switch keyboard layout).

 

FWIW, it’s generally considered best practice to use a prefix for snippet triggers (e.g. zz or xx), so they’re never real words. That way, you can also use real words as triggers (e.g. I use zztimes to enter ×). This can make triggers a lot easier to remember.

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31 minutes ago, Tom6 said:

Yeah, well, if that's the best possible - it will do 🙂
Thanks! 🤟

 

You might be able to use another application like Karabiner to do it the way you want. It's just that Alfred doesn't support "while key is held down" style of hotkeys.

 

Perhaps @nikivi knows whether Karabiner can do that?

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