Textmate: Use Command-Escape as a Shortcut to the Gear Menu


Textmate is a superb text/code editor for the Mac that makes extensive use of keyboard shortcuts to make your life easier.

One of the most important shortcuts in Textmate is Control-Escape, which opens a "Gear" menu with important context-sensitive functions. However, if you turn on the Screen Sharing or Remote Management features of your Mac, you will find that the Control-Escape key combination no longer works. The remote-access applications hijack this shortcut.

To continue using the default Control-Escape shortcut with Textmate, you have no choice but to turn off all of the remote-access applications.

If this is not an option, you will need to configure Texmate to recognise a new shortcut for the gear menu. Here are the steps to substitute Command-Escape for the Control-Escape shortcut:

  1. Prevent the Command-Escape shortcut from starting Front Row, by opening the Keyboard and Mouse preferences and disabling the first shortcut option: "Hide and show Front Row"
  2. Remap the Gear activation key by setting an application property for Textmate with the following command (all on one line):

    defaults write com.macromates.textmate OakBundleItemsPopUpMenuKeyEquivalent "@\033"

Relaunch Textmate, and you should now be able to use the Command-Escape shortcut to access the gear menu.

You can find more information about Textmate shortcut keys and the Control-Escape issue at the following links:

Tags: Tips