Remapping Caps Lock to Control and Escape in macOS Big Sur

For more better text editing and great success.

I’m a big fan of VIM modal editing and keeping keyboard shortcuts as close to the home row as possible. This philosophy allows fluid text editing and staying in the “programming flow state”.

Remapping the Caps Lock key to Control and Escape is a big part of this workflow. Pressing and releasing sends the Escape key, while pressing and holding emulates the Control Key.

In macOS, I’d been using Karabiner Elements to enable this remapping, however with macOS Big Sur I could no longer get the configuration to work. This was a serious annoyance, since the VIM shortcuts are burned into my fingertips.

Enter HammerSpoon! Using the ControlEscape plugin, I am now back in remapping bliss. Below are the System Preference settings required to make this setup work.

neovim: macos tmux and netrw/vinegar clipboard errors

So it looks like MacOS Sierra broke pbcopy/pbpaste for tmux. This manifests as clipboard errors when using netrw/vinegar in neovim under tmux. (Dunno why netrw is writing to the clipboard but anyways).

The solution is to use Homebrew to reinstall a patched version of reattach-to-user-namespace:

brew uninstall reattach-to-user-namespace
brew install reattach-to-user-namespace --with-wrap-pbcopy-and-pbpaste

Although this was annoying, it did lead to running brew cleanup which reclaimed 3.8GB of disk space. Jinkies!