I’ve just updated my Ergodox EZ with a new configuration. I’ve moved the Command, Option, Control and Shift to the home row on each half (as suggested by Xavier Noria), so that you type a normal letter if you tap the key, but holding the key down gives you a modifier. The organisation of the keys is mirrored on each half so that you can hold the modifiers on whichever half makes sense. For example, if I want to type
Cmd-S I hold the ‘j’ key with my right hand (for Command), and ’s’ with the left. For
Cmd-N I would hold the ‘f’ key with my left (again, for Command), and hit the ‘n’ key with my right. Ergonomically, it’s brilliant, as I already have my hands on the home row.
This has freed up the small keys at the top of each of the thumb clusters, so I have configured these to output
Opt+Shift-left arrow (innermost key) and
Opt-left arrow (outermost key) on the left hand half. On the right hand half, the configuration is mirrored, but uses the right arrow. This is fantastic in standard macOS apps, as it lets me move forward and backward by word when editing (
Opt-arrow) or select the previous or next word (
Opt+Shift-arrow). In Emacs, it also lets me promote or demote headings or subtrees in Org mode.
I still have to get fully used to this new layout, but I’m loving it.