⌨️ Add user-customizable global keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) to your macOS app in minutes
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KeyboardShortcuts KeyboardShortcuts

This package lets you add support for user-customizable global keyboard shortcuts to your macOS app in minutes. It's fully sandbox and Mac App Store compatible. And it's used in production by Dato, Jiffy, Plash, and Lungo.

I'm happy to accept more configurability and features. PR welcome! What you see here is just what I needed for my own apps.


macOS 10.13+


Add in the Swift Package Manager tab in Xcode.


First, register a name for the keyboard shortcut.


import KeyboardShortcuts

extension KeyboardShortcuts.Name {
	static let toggleUnicornMode = Self("toggleUnicornMode")

You can then refer to this strongly-typed name in other places.

You will want to make a view where the user can choose a keyboard shortcut.


import SwiftUI
import KeyboardShortcuts

struct SettingsScreen: View {
	var body: some View {
		Form {
			KeyboardShortcuts.Recorder("Toggle Unicorn Mode:", name: .toggleUnicornMode)

There's also support for Cocoa instead of SwiftUI.

KeyboardShortcuts.Recorder takes care of storing the keyboard shortcut in UserDefaults and also warning the user if the chosen keyboard shortcut is already used by the system or the app's main menu.

Add a listener for when the user presses their chosen keyboard shortcut.


import SwiftUI
import KeyboardShortcuts

struct YourApp: App {
	@StateObject private var appState = AppState()

	var body: some Scene {
		WindowGroup {
		Settings {

final class AppState: ObservableObject {
	init() {
		KeyboardShortcuts.onKeyUp(for: .toggleUnicornMode) { [self] in

You can also listen to key down with .onKeyDown()

**That's all! **

You can find a complete example in the Example directory.

You can also find a real-world example in my Plash app.


Using KeyboardShortcuts.RecorderCocoa instead of KeyboardShortcuts.Recorder:

import Cocoa
import KeyboardShortcuts

final class SettingsViewController: NSViewController {
	override func loadView() {
		view = NSView()

		let recorder = KeyboardShortcuts.RecorderCocoa(for: .toggleUnicornMode)


This package supports localizations. PR welcome for more!

  1. Fork the repo.
  2. Create a directory that has a name that uses an ISO 639-1 language code and optional designators, followed by the .lproj suffix. More here.
  3. Create a file named Localizable.strings under the new language directory and then copy the contents of KeyboardShortcuts/Localization/en.lproj/Localizable.strings to the new file that you just created.
  4. Localize and make sure to review your localization multiple times. Check for typos.
  5. Try to find someone that speaks your language to review the translation.
  6. Submit a PR.


See the API docs.


Show a recorded keyboard shortcut in an NSMenuItem

See NSMenuItem#setShortcut.

Dynamic keyboard shortcuts

Your app might need to support keyboard shortcuts for user-defined actions. Normally, you would statically register the keyboard shortcuts upfront in extension KeyboardShortcuts.Name {}. However, this is not a requirement. It's only for convenience so that you can use dot-syntax when calling various APIs (for example, .onKeyDown(.unicornMode) {}). You can create KeyboardShortcut.Name's dynamically and store them yourself. You can see this in action in the example project.

Default keyboard shortcuts

Setting a default keyboard shortcut can be useful if you're migrating from a different package or just making something for yourself. However, please do not set this for a publicly distributed app. Users find it annoying when random apps steal their existing keyboard shortcuts. Its generally better to show a welcome screen on the first app launch that lets the user set the shortcut.

import KeyboardShortcuts

extension KeyboardShortcuts.Name {
	static let toggleUnicornMode = Self("toggleUnicornMode", default: .init(.k, modifiers: [.command, .option]))

Get all keyboard shortcuts

To get all the keyboard shortcut Name's, conform KeyboardShortcuts.Name to CaseIterable.

import KeyboardShortcuts

extension KeyboardShortcuts.Name {
	static let foo = Self("foo")
	static let bar = Self("bar")

extension KeyboardShortcuts.Name: CaseIterable {
	public static let allCases: [Self] = [



And to get all the Name's with a set keyboard shortcut:

print(KeyboardShortcuts.Name.allCases.filter { $0.shortcut != nil })


How is it different from MASShortcut?

This package:

  • Written in Swift with a swifty API.
  • More native-looking UI component.
  • SwiftUI component included.
  • Support for listening to key down, not just key up.
  • Swift Package Manager support.
  • Connect a shortcut to an NSMenuItem.
  • Works when NSMenu is open (e.g. menu bar apps).


  • More mature.
  • More localizations.

How is it different from HotKey?

HotKey is good for adding hard-coded keyboard shortcuts, but it doesn't provide any UI component for the user to choose their own keyboard shortcuts.

Why is this package importing Carbon? Isn't that deprecated?

Most of the Carbon APIs were deprecated years ago, but there are some left that Apple never shipped modern replacements for. This includes registering global keyboard shortcuts. However, you should not need to worry about this. Apple will for sure ship new APIs before deprecating the Carbon APIs used here.

Does this package cause any permission dialogs?


How can I add an app-specific keyboard shortcut that is only active when the app is?

That is outside the scope of this package. You can either use NSEvent.addLocalMonitorForEvents, NSMenuItem with keyboard shortcut (it can even be hidden), or SwiftUI's View#keyboardShortcut() modifier.

Does it support media keys?

No, since it would not work for sandboxed apps. If your app is not sandboxed, you can use MediaKeyTap.

Can you support CocoaPods or Carthage?

No. However, there is nothing stopping you from using Swift Package Manager for just this package even if you normally use CocoaPods or Carthage.


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