Get AutoHotKey and remap Control-Q to Alt-F4 (quit app)


Alt-F4 doesn’t “quit app”. It closes the current window. Windows and apps are different. An application, like Atom, or Chrome can have multiple windows. In Windows, hitting Alt-F4 closes the current window and would leave other windows for the same application open. On OSX, hitting ⌘-Q quits the whole app¹. Potentially losing un-saved work. Great.

I agree that it’s much easier to hit (Ctrl or)⌘-Q than Alt-F4. Which is, imho, why it’s worse. Q, on my keyboard at least, is surrounded by W, S, A,~, 1, 2 and Tab.

⌘-Q, which will shut the currently focussed application and all its windows is surrounded by:
⌘-W — Close the current window of the focussed app
⌘-S — Save
⌘-A — Select all
⌘-Tab — Cycle through open apps
⌘-~ — Cycle through open windows (Atom)
⌘-1 — Switch to first tab (Chrome/Atom)
⌘-2 — Switch to second tab (Chrome/Atom)

I’m no UX expert, so I can only speak from my heart and from personal experience: accidentally closing down the current app when you meant to save the current document, select a document’s contents or switch to another tab/window Sucks. The Big One.

Written on a MacBook

¹ I (stupidly/trustingly) tested this fact by hitting ⌘-Q on a newly opened Chrome window, while drafting this response and had to re-type everything up to that point from memory. Chrome gave no warning.

I’m a Software Developer at Shuttlerock where I write mostly Ruby and Typescript. I also dabble in any language that takes my fancy.

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