Did you just click the link?

Perhaps you remember one of my last newsletters, back when I wrote them from the 5minutenpause.com domain. I told you that I switched the content format to plain text and that I do not track click and open rates anymore. Well, I do again.

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. — Victor Hugo

I write lots of text in English. These are mostly texts like this, or documentation for software I’ve written or discussions on Pull Requests, stuff like that. But I also write German, in the texts with my wife, in emails to other Germans etc. When writing software code, I tend to use the U.S. keyboard layout. It just so happens to be easier to use for development with its placement of characters necessary for development. But I also need the umlauts when writing German words. So I switch a lot of times between the layouts. It’s fairly easy on Mac OS, I just press the shortcut Ctrl-Option-Space (you can set this in the System Settings). But since I switch between different apps a lot during the day it always incurs a small overhead for me to see if I have the right language selected and change it if necessary. Or it happens that I just begin typing, only to notice mid-sentence that it’s the wrong layout. So I automated that!

Whenever I switch apps now, the computer automatically switches to the (most of the time) correct layout. My IDE, editor, terminal and other dev things have the U.S. layout, most other apps have German. My browser (Firefox) is a standout as it depends on the tab that’s open which language I need. I tried to automate that as well, but it isn’t perfect yet—tab titles change all the time…
If you’re wondering how I did that, I use Keyboard Maestro for that. It is a real “not so pretty” interface, but it works alright.

The other automation/shortcuts I created recently involve my keyboard launcher Alfred. But that’s a topic for another day.


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