ChromeOS 111 Shows A Complete Look At Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

ChromeOS 111 Shows A Complete Look At Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

The latest ChromeOS 111 Beta channel has a little surprise in it. I got my first look at custom keyboard shortcuts on a Chromebook after the update. It may have arrived in an earlier version, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it.

We knew it was coming. Back in October, I reported on an updated Keyboard Shortcuts app for ChromeOS. And at that time there was a video demo of an early iteration thanks to Chrome Story. With ChromeOS 111, the custom keyboard shortcuts app is fully fleshed out, although when I create custom shortcuts, they still don’t actually work.

The new custom keyboard shortcuts app in ChromeOS 111

Here’s what the new Keyboard Shortcuts app will eventually look like, pending any changes from this ChromeOS 111 iteration. Access it using the current process of Settings -> Device -> Keyboard -> View Keyboard Shortcuts. Note that I enabled some experimental flags to see this, which I’ll share in a bit.

Each shortcut here is pre-mapped to default values. Interestingly, the Launcher key, er, the Everything key, is listed here as a “meta” key.

While all the shortcuts show a lock icon on the right, clicking them opens the interface to add or change your own custom keyboard shortcuts. Below I add the “alt + l” (as in launcher) to dock a window on the left.

New Custom Keyboard Shortcut Interface A new shortcut has been created

At the moment I don’t see a way to clear the defaults, although there is a button to restore them. Presumably, you will then be able to change or remove a default keyboard shortcut.

How to enable custom keyboard shortcuts

Since the new interface does not yet allow the use of new keyboard shortcuts, you may not want to bother with them. For those who do, here are the experimental flags I enabled in the latest ChromeOS 111 Beta channel.


I’m going to keep this active for now. Since ChromeOS 111 is getting future software updates, my custom keyboard shortcuts should just start working at some point. And the more I can get away from trackpad or mouse use, the faster I can get things done on my Chromebook.

About the Author Kevin C. Tofel has covered technology since 2004. He’s been using ChromeOS since Google debuted the CR-48 in 2010, and has reviewed dozens of Chromebooks since then. He worked for Google’s Chrome Enterprise team from 2016 to 2017, supporting the launch of Android app support. In his spare time, he uses Chromebooks to teach software engineering at Launch School. In 2019, Kevin joined the CS curriculum committee at his local community college.

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