ASETNIOP for MacBooks

Happy New Year, everybody!  Super user Tamara figured out how to adapt a program called KeyRemap4MacBook to make ASETNIOP immediately available for the Apple MacBook – if you’re interested in setting it up, I’ve attached her instructions below.  You’ll need the xml file located here (private.xml) and the autocorrect that you’ve encountered in the tutorial won’t be active, but it’s a great way to go head and start using ASETNIOP (or Chordvak or Chordmak) right away.  Any discussion is welcome in the comments, and a very sincere thanks to Tamara for putting this together.

Download and install KeyRemap4MacBook, you can find it here:

You can find it in the System Preferences pane after installation. Now enter the menu. You see 4 tabs. Choose the last one, “misc& uninstall”. Click “open private.xml”. Swap that for the one in this email. Feel free to edit it and play around, it’s not hard. Now go back to the KeyRemap4MacBook menu and choose the first tab, “Change Key”. Click the “Reload Xml” button on the right. Now you should see the little asetniop heading. Expand it and enable whatever keysets you want. That’s it, you’re done.

To make typing a little easier I increased the [Simultaneous Keypresses] Delay Threshold in the “Key Repeat” tab to 300 ms. This means you don’t have to press the keys at exactly the same moment. It also means you can’t type too fast or things will get messed up. See what fits you and change it when you get used to asetniop typing.

A little explanation for the options under asetniop:

Chords: this enables the chords of the qwert-uiop keys. It also makes the space bar & left cmd key into an enter key when pressed simultaneously.

qwer-uiop to aset-niop: this does exactly what it says, it makes the top row of letters into the asetniop keyboard. I also changed the t,y, f,g,h and j keys into some missing interpunction signs for easy reaching.

cmd to shift: this changes around a few of the functional keys on the left side of your keyboard. I found reaching for the c key to shift and enter very impractical and decided to use the cmd key instead. But I use that one too, so I made the option key into a cmd and the fn key into an option key (I never ever use the fn key). If you find this impractical, or want it differently, play around with private.xml.

cmd to C: this is here purely for practicing with the asetniop web version. As I said, I find reaching for the c key impractical. So I made the cmd key into a c and made the same shifts as above for the other functional keys.


  • January 14, 2013 - 1:06 pm | Permalink

    First of all: I love ASETNIOP! But where can I find the private.xml? The download-link seems to be missing. I hope this will be fixed soon, as I am really looking forward to finally using ASETNIOP on my Mac!

  • Harry
    January 14, 2013 - 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Are you planning on implementing foreign letters? As the “å ä ö”?

    • johnzdennis
      January 18, 2013 - 4:15 am | Permalink

      Definitely. We will add separate key codes that will basically backtrack and add accents/modifiers, so you’ll type an “a” followed by the appropriate code, and you’ll get “å”. On tablets that will be addressed through the handwriting recognition feature accents/modifiers will probably be placed in a separate pad from the numbers (and now symbols) that are available, plus the original way of hitting a subsequent keycode will be available too.

    • johnzdennis
      January 25, 2013 - 2:47 am | Permalink

      Accented characters are now available (see the most recent blog post for details) at, and we’ll be adding key codes to the maps (so you can use multi-fingered combinations directly, rather than having to draw it with the mouse).

  • SigTill
    January 22, 2013 - 7:03 am | Permalink

    When can I replace my regular QWERTY-keyboard with ASETNIOP on a regular computer? So I can write in all my programs (Word,Excel, Chrome, Notepad etcetc) with this method? With localiced language?

    • johnzdennis
      January 25, 2013 - 2:46 am | Permalink

      It will be a few weeks at best for a system-wide install. Right now the only option is cut-and-paste from the most recent demo of the keyboard version (in English) that allows for the addition of accents (see the most recent blog entry for an explanation) over at We’re hoping to have foreign language maps that include keycode shortcuts for accented characters by sometime next week.

  • Rocco
    May 29, 2013 - 5:37 am | Permalink

    Is there an xml file for Chordvak already out there? I’d like to start using this asap. It looks really promising.

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