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Chromebooks might finally get customizable keyboard shortcuts

Chromebooks might finally get customizable keyboard shortcuts


A non-functional editor has shown up in a beta version of ChromeOS. Hopefully, it’s a hint of features to come.

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The Framework Laptop half open on a marble counter seen from the back.
Image: Framework

Google appears to be testing a feature that would let Chromebook users set custom keyboard shortcuts throughout the OS (via Ars Technica). While it doesn’t currently work, About Chromebooks’ Kevin Tofel found a keyboard shortcut editor in the ChromeOS 111 beta that can be accessed by enabling flags with names like “enable-shortcut-customization-app” and “improved-keyboard-shortcuts.”

The screen, which is accessible through the settings app, shows you the list of shortcuts that are available in different parts of the OS and apps, as well as the default keybindings for them. The experimental version lets you add alternative shortcuts, according to Tofel and Ars Technica, though they unfortunately don’t seem to work — you can set shortcuts, but pressing those keys won’t do what you want. The screen also has options to reset the defaults for both specific shortcuts and for all the shortcuts.

There have been hints that this feature was coming for months, but the version in the beta seems to be almost complete. Hopefully, that means it should start rolling out to users within the next few weeks or months. While the current version of ChromeOS lets you easily see the default keyboard shortcuts, it’s always nice to be able to tweak them to match your specific preferences.