Type a specific character

Simple question: is it possible to assign a specific character to an action?

For example type "¶" when I press a key? I know there are other apps like Karabiner that should do that, but I don't want to have too many apps running on my Mac. And I know that with BTT I can paste text from clipboard.

However I find this last option slow and very prone to fail (sometimes it doesn't work, or it's too slow). I literally see the top menu bar of the app being involved and single voices selected.
I moved the brackets () one button on the right, to match the layout of my US keyboard with my system language, but if I type quickly, BTT is not fast enough to paste them and often I just get the numbers typed instead. :frowning:

I'd like to have a specific char written when I press a key, even if it's not existing on my keyboard layout.
With BBT at the moment I'm not able to do it (even editing the saved settings, it seemed obvious but it didn't work). If I want to swap two keys, for example, it's not possible as they start to refer to each other recursively.

Is there a way go have this (or some workaround to get that)?

Have you tried the action type text? This should work quickly and well.

Yes, that's the one I call "paste text from clipboard", because it's how it works. :slight_smile:

Well, the action can paste or type (without clipboard) characters. I use it often and never had a problem with it. :man_shrugging:

There is no other/faster way to do this in BTT. Are you sure other apps can do this faster? ¶ can't be produced by any key command, thus needs to be pasted as far as I know.

//edit ah wait, on a german keyboard you can type ¶ by pressing option + 3, maybe there is a similar combination on your keyboard layout (on english layouts it might be opt+6) ? If so you can just send that shortcut using BTT.

Faster? If I insert this character using the method discussed here, it will be typed immediately. What is faster than immediately? :joy:

the paste action depends on the targeted app to process the paste command - depending on the app that COULD take a moment (although for me it also has always been fast)

Thanks for your answer, Andreas.

Thanks for your suggestions, ¶ was just an example with the strangest character I've found. :slight_smile:
I cannot use keys combinations because sometimes I use a character that cannot be generated by the keyboard (due to keyboard itself number of keys or system layout), so I need to use the paste command, that on my machine is somehow very slow (but I can see slowness even on direct input: sometimes, when I type very fast, BTT keys can be written after some of the following typed letters, so I get something like " dont' " (the " ' " button is also an action because I've assigned another character on long press).
Sometimes the paste command (for example my brackets) doesnt' (<- see?) work at all. I press the key for three or four times and nothing happens until, finally, it starts working again.

I'm using Mojave, I don't know if this may be some bug, as it happens very often.

One last question: Every time I need to add a long press, I create two actions, one for short press and one for long press. This creates a delay even if the button have to write its same letter on short press. Is there an action like "just behave as normal" instead of forcing BTT to retype the char? Because this creates that little delay like for the " ' " char.

Or maybe it's time to buy a new Mac. :slight_smile:

I don't know if this is the case with you, but these "character twists" can happen when writing fast using the short/long function. The problem is that short press actions occur when the key is released. While the following character is typed while the key is pressed. These twists drove me crazy. I found a good solution for me.If you want you can try this :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you Frank1.

I've read and tried your solution some days ago, while looking for a tutorial for short/long press actions.
I wasn't able to make it fit in my actions, but I wasn't testing the speedy writings. :slight_smile:
I guess it's time to test it again with this in mind, because I'm pretty sure my issue is exactly what you said: keys still being pressed while writing.

I'll let you know in a while.


I'm testing your alternative method, Frank1, and it works really well! :smiley:
(Yes, it was my fault pressing keys, this reversed way solved the problem with my brackets typing).
I also understood why it didn't worked for me last time I tried, I've mistakenly add a 0.02s instead of 0.2s. :slight_smile:

I've also made a great "discover", that's exactly what l was asking in the first post. In the paste action I can choose between "Insert by pasting" and "Insert by typing": that was exactly what I was looking for (sorry I didn't notice it earlier).
Now the response it's much faster (on my 10+ years old Mac).

Many thanks @Andreas_Hegenberg and @Frank1, you saved my day. :slight_smile:

Time to purchase this great utility, as now it does exactly what I need.

Have a nice day,

I am very glad that the "reversed" method solved your problem. :champagne: I have invested quite some time in this "experiment" because the standard way is useless for me. But I really wanted single key long/short press.

Yes, that's what I meant, sorry, I could have explained it better.

@Andreas_Hegenberg I know you have tons of requests. It's just that short/long press is a feature that a lot of people use because it's great. And I'm convinced that many don't understand the reason for the character twists. My solution helps a bit, but it is imperfect because it is just a hidden key sequence. So if you ever have time to implement your solution, the letters queuing up and being inserted at the right time, that would be wonderful. :innocent:

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Yes. I just had to add a double action, the first to delete the typed char and the second to type the alternative key. But it perfectly works, and it's fun to see. :slight_smile:

Nah, my fault because every time I get lost inside all the options. :slight_smile:

I agree. It would be great (but I understand it could be complex) to also have a single action to manage a key: with a sort of slider to decide the short/long press lenght and all the actions. Just not to see a very long list (I've three lines for most of my keys: short, long and with SHIFT).
Anyway, great app.

Thanks again both of you. :slight_smile:

Now that you have learned to appreciate the benefits of the "reversed" method :upside_down_face: :smiley:, you can perfect this with fine tuning. Have you seen this?

Short/medium/long press - more than two actions possible

Basically, three or even more actions are possible with one shortcut. Short, medium, long, very long and so on. The short press action (key down) is always triggered, the other actions (key up) in the selected time intervals. But this is a very theoretical possibility and hardly practicable "in real life".

Yes, it is a bit theoretical. But if the distance between medium press and long press is big enough, you can use one key three times. Try it out. :smiley:

Ahah, that would be too much. :smiley:

Haha, yes probably. But ... just in case you want to give it a try. This setting work pretty well.

Short press


long press (on release)


very long press (on release)


But don't do it! Nice chatting with you, take care :slightly_smiling_face:

The idea is really cool. Timing it correctly you can virtually using only one key to write all the alphabet's letters. :smiley:
I enjoyed the chat (and the help too), have a nice day too. :slight_smile:

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(I couldn't resist)

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

:joy: :joy: :joy: