- Don't press multiple keys with one hand. If you're pressing Ctrl-A, press the A with your left hand and control with your right hand.
- Remap common functions onto function keys. They're easy to press and will give your hands a break.
- Look into a Maltron/Kinesis keyboard. I have a Maltron and it pwns hard any other keyboard I've ever used.
But also I'd be interested to hear which functions you put there?! I'm sure you put different functions on the keys depending on the mode, but I couldn't even say which functions I use most often - besides self-insert (haha) probably the navigation commands (C-f, C-b, M-f, M-b C-v, M-v etc.), but I'm sure you mean more specific functions.
I do remap mode-specific functions every now and then, so I agree that it can be a good thing. But I usually bind them to C-c something or similar stuff, which I find easy enough to type.
My global binding are below. M-F9 (compile) is the only one I regularly rebind for different modes.
(define-key global-map [f1] 'vc-dir)
(define-key global-map [f2] 'undo)
(define-key global-map [f3] 'find-file)
(define-key global-map [(meta f3)] 'switch-to-buffer)
(define-key global-map [f4] 'set-mark-command)
(define-key global-map [f5] 'kill-ring-save)
(define-key global-map [(meta f5)] 'kill-region)
(define-key global-map [f6] 'yank)
(define-key global-map [(meta f6)] 'yank-pop)
(define-key global-map [f7] 'save-buffer)
(define-key global-map [(meta f7)] 'kill-buffer)
(define-key global-map [f8] 'start-kbd-macro)
(define-key global-map [(meta f8)] 'end-kbd-macro)
(define-key global-map [f9] 'execute-extended-command)
(define-key global-map [(meta f9)] 'compile)
(define-key global-map [f10] 'eval-expression)
(define-key global-map [f11] 'shell)
(define-key global-map [f12] 'planner-create-task-from-buffer)
(define-key global-map [(meta f12)] 'remember)
Does anyone have similar experiences?
You can't be to thin, have too much money or enough control keys. :-)
(There is always capitalize-region. Or I can change back, if I need to write a lot of upper case, which is very unusual.)
I also have CapsLock mapped to Backspace, and use the Dvorak keyboard layout. All of these combined minimize strain on my pinkies and the rest of my fingers, reduces the need for hand contortions, and lets stronger fingers do more work.
Also, on most full-size keyboards, I swap around the modifiers so that I can press the Control and Alt keys with the sides of my palms. This works very well. (I put Control on the inside and Alt on the outside, the reverse of the usual PC layout.)
So while I don't consider the standard position of CapsLock to be ideal, in the end it hasn't proven worth the trouble to move it.
This might sound crazy, but this is my favorite feature of macs. The apple key is next to the space bar so I can use my thumb as you say, and it's used for all major key combos. I also use it with aquamacs for my most common emacs functions.
Typematrix.com keyboards ameliorate this, as do the (not shipping yet) keyboards at trulyergonomic.com
Thumbs should be used for common keys, the Maltron, Kinesis and Typematrix keyboards make this possible.
So does the Alphagrips.com device, which I am eagerly awaiting.
The only downside is that it only comes in one size and so people who have large hands / long fingers might find it too cramped.
I'm getting Emacs Pinky in most of my fingers and could use something to reduce stress on them. dcolgan's suggest key mappings are something I'm going to try, but a better keyboard can't hurt, either.
For options, I'd suggest visiting the Geekhack WorldWide Shopping Links wiki: http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?title=Geekhack+WorldWide+Sh...