- Getting shit done on Windows, part 2.1: being awesome with gVim | Shawn Hamman - [...] Right, you’ve run Vim but now what? You can’t type anything!?! That’s because you’re in command mode and you…
So I recently (OK, like 6 months ago) acquired a MacBook Pro and it is awesome. As far a portable computers go the hardware is a work of art; there is literally nothing out there at the moment that compares. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) I can’t make myself like OSX (and I have tried, several times) and so I run Windows 7 on my portable computational machine of pure awesome. And it works exceedingly well too, except for one minor issue: there isn’t a freaking ‘Insert’ button anywhere to be found.
This wasn’t that big of a deal, you eventually learn to work around it by pressing weird combinations to get the same result. On a MacBook Pro, to get “Ctrl + Insert” (copy) you need to press “Fn + Ctrl + Backspace” and for “Shift + Insert” (paste) you have to press “Fn + Ctrl + Enter”. You pick that up pretty quickly with a bit of practice.
I recently bought myself a Mac keyboard (OK, two keyboards, one for the office and the other for home, that I use in Windows) because to be perfectly honest, it is also a work of art and it is by far the best keyboard I’ve ever used and let me assure you, I was very attached to my Das Keyboard. The standard Mac keyboard suffers from the same problem as the MacBook Pro: no ‘Insert’ key.
It is entirely possible to live without an ‘Insert’ key on Windows but I spend most of my time using gVim as an editor, Firefox with Vimperator as a browser and the rest of the time I work on Linux terminals through putty. To copy and paste in all of these things, having an ‘Insert’ button is just… easier.
I spent some time searching Google for ways to map some other key on a Mac keyboard to an ‘Insert’ button and found a bunch of things on hot keys and macro’s, none of them were acceptable but fear not, the mission was a success. I did find a program that will help you re-map a key to another key on your beautiful Mac keyboard: “Key Tweak”.
Download it, install it, try not to freak out at the CGA colour scheme and run it. It pops up a screen with a keyboard and a bunch of functions that help you re-map keys. I took the liberty of re-mapping the F13 key to ‘Insert’ since Windows doesn’t care about F13 and it’s close enough to where the ‘Insert’ key is supposed to be to be comfortable.
And you’re done. Happy days are here again. You might also want to re-map F14 through 19 to ‘Insert’ cos… why let a good key go to waste?