Shortcuts for Up and Down in the new built-in Zotero PDF reader

edited November 3, 2021

Can I please customise shortcuts for the new built-in Zotero PDF reader on Mac? I would like to change the outcome of [fn + up / down] to just [up / down]. Can I do that? Thanks.
  • (Please use specific titles for your posts. I've asked you this before.)

    No, PDF reader shortcut keys can't be customized via Zotero. But what you're asking for isn't really even customizing a shortcut key — it sounds like you're asking to override basic up and down scrolling, which likely wouldn't be an option even if shortcut keys were customizable.
  • Sorry about the title — I've changed this one and will remember to create specific titles for each post in the future. Sorry.

    I seem to be able to override such commands for other apps on mac via System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Shortcuts for specific apps. But in order to do that I need to know how a specific command is called in an app.
  • It's not some secret name — that macOS feature just overrides menu commands, which you can see in the menus.

    I'm actually not totally clear on what you're trying to do, though. Are you saying you want the Up/Down arrow keys to trigger Page Up/Down instead?

    For what it's worth, I use Karabiner-Elements to rebind the right Option key to Fn, which lets me do a one-hand Page Up/Down in any app. If you're comfortable using system utilities, I'd recommend doing that rather than trying to change the behavior of the arrow keys in every app.
  • Yes, precisely, this feature overrides menu commands, but in Zotero, I don't see any menu for the built-in PDF reader, hence, don't know how this command is called in Zotero.

    Yes, I want this, I guess. Very conveniently for me, [fn + arrow] triggers not simply 'Page Up/Down', but 'the Screen Up/Down'. In other words, no matter the zoom, the arrows scroll to the line of the text which follows the last line within the screen boundaries. This is really so much better for me because scrolling with the mouse takes up a lot of attention capacity, while just pressing arrows keeps me sharp focused on the text. But I want to simplify this even further and be able to do that movements with just one hand. Now, I need to press fn with my left hand and arrows with my right hand. I want to do it with just my right hand — sitting lazily on a chair with just one hand on the keyboard.

    Thanks for the suggestion to use Karabiner-Elements. It sounds like a great app. I will certainly check it out right away. Thanks.
  • Do you know that you can use Left/Right to move between pages? It sounds like that may be all you're looking for.
  • edited November 3, 2021
    (Actually, I'm not totally sure what you mean. The relevant terms here would be "Up/Down" (scrolling a line at a time, with the up/down arrow keys), "Page Up/Down" (scrolling a screen at a time, with the Page Up/Down keys, which on a Mac are Fn-Up/Down), and "Previous/Next Page" (which is the left/right arrow keys in most PDF readers).)
  • Thanks! I did not know that. It looks helpful, but it is not what I am looking for. Right/Left move between pages while I need to move between screens (not sure how they are called — I mean the visible areas within the boundaries of the screen, depending on the zoom).
  • edited November 3, 2021
    Yes, that's Page Up/Down — see above. Karabiner is your best bet, then.
  • edited November 3, 2021
    The ordinary Page Down brings me to the beginning of the next page, while Fn-Down in Zotero — very-very conveniently! — brings me to the next line (not page) of the text. This next line often belongs to the same page I was reading (because I am reading on a large zoom in).
  • edited November 3, 2021
    This sounds like a misunderstanding.

    Page Up and Page Down are basic keys on the keyboard — which you normally have to use Fn-Up/Down to trigger on a Mac — and in almost all apps they scroll one screen at a time, not one page. The names are just historical artifacts. Karabiner will let you do Page Up/Down with one hand, in any app, by rebinding the right Option key to Fn.

    I don't know what you mean by "the ordinary Page Down", but it sounds like you're referring to what would be the Previous Page and Next Page commands in most apps. Those aren't actual keys, and if you refer to them as "Page Up" and "Page Down" you're going to confuse people, because that's not what the Page Up and Page Down keys do. Again, Previous Page and Next Page are just bound to the left and right arrow keys in most PDF apps.
  • That makes a lot of sense. I did not know how these commands are called. Now I know, thanks.

    I've replaced Fn with Right_Option in Karabiner, and Zotero does not respond to this combination and it stopped responding to Fn+Up/Down too.
  • That sounds like you did it backwards. You need to map from right_option to fn, not the other way around.
  • Fantastic! It works now. And Fn + Up/Down works still as well.

    Thank you very much for your help, dstillman. I've learned a lot from you in this thread.
  • can we remap R/E key as Page dn/up manually?
    Although I know J/K key can be Previous/Next page for zotero 6.0.10, but when using mouse with right hand, it is not convenience to press page dn/up or j/k key with left hand. I used to use r/e key as page down/up, since I love linux browser enviroment./lol
    I tried to remap keys with AHK(autohotkey), but it has a little bug and not very stable when typing things.
  • I discovered recently that pressing Space moves page down, and pressing Shift + Space moves it up. This is fantastic.
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