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macOS keyboard illumination shortcut

BetterTouchTool to the rescue

Today, a co-worker asked if the new Macbooks have a shortcut to adjust keyboard illumination. I knew the older models had physical keys for that, but Apple has since replaced those keys in the newer models. Neither macOS had a shortcut for the functionality, so I took the challenge.

I found one solution to the issue by creating a custom plist file, but that felt a bit hacky. I then tried BetterTouchTool, a software I've mentioned earlier when setting keyboard shortcuts for dark and light modes. As it turned out, BetterTouchTool makes it possible to create keyboard shortcuts to control your MacBook's keyboard illumination.

Within BetterTouchTool, I created new keyboard shortcuts for the following (feel free to use any shortcuts that you're comfortable with):

  • shift + brightness down
  • shift + brightness up

I then set the corresponding actions as "Keyboard illumination down" and "Keyboard illumination up". In the "Repeat assigned action while pressing" section, I set the "Repeat Rate" to 0,01 and "Repeat Delay" to 0,1. As your preferences might vary, feel free to adjust the values to your liking.

Adding a macOS shortcut for keyboard illumination with BetterTouchTool

Now, typing shift + brightness down or up will adjust the keyboard illumination. Enjoy!

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