Moving From Eclipse to Intellij on the Mac

I have been using Eclipse for the past 5 years. During that time, there have been projects where I have been exposed to Intellij. Recently, after a conversation with a colleague, they convinced me to give the latest and greatest Intellij a try. They bragged about the wonderful Spring integration and code inspection. So I decided to give it a try. After using it for about a month now, I must admit, I have seen the light. It took a while to get used to the different keyboard shortcuts even though Intellij has the default Eclipse key bindings available as a selection. I decided to do a clean break from Eclipse, and learn the new keys.

Since I develop on the Mac, there was one HUGE problem for me with Intellij, but I am not sure if it is an Intellij or a OS X problem. I want to be able to map cmd-space to content assist. For some reason, every time I hit cmd-space in Intellij, I just get a system level beep. On my Mac Pro at home, it is not really an issue, since I have a full keyboard, and I have a ctrl key on the right side of the keyboard. On my Macbook Pro I do not, and it is very awkward for me to have to move my left hand to try to find the ctrl key. I am SO used to using my right hand for ctrl, it was starting to become painful.

I looked around to try to figure out a way to create the key binding with no luck. I tried to remap ctrl-j to it, but then it looses the live template content assist. If I can use ctrl-j for both of them, that would not be so bad. I also tried to find a system level solution, that would allow me to override the cmd-space limitation in Intellij with no luck.

Finally… One morning I was looking at my keyboard, and I noticed this somewhat useless key on the right hand side of my keyboard called the “enter” key. What is that? Why do I need two enter keys? Oh, I see, if I want to use the “numeric” keypad on the keyboard, it would be useful to have an enter key there. What am I an accountant?

I started thinking, if I can remap the useless enter key to be a ctrl key, my problems would be solved. Low and behold I found Double Command. What an totally useful program. It allowed me to remap the enter key to be a ctrl key.

Problem Solved.

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