7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 7, 2012 11:12 AM by billy noah
tomazbevilaqua Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I'm using the built in "Screen Sharing" app to connect my 13" Macbook to my Macbook Pro. Connected to my MBP I have another 19" display and I'm constantly having to switch between Display 1 and Display 2. I've googgled strenuously after a keyboard shortcut for this command, so I don't have to click on View>Display 1 or 2 every time I need to switch between them.


Is there a keyboard shortcut for it afterall, or at least a way to set up a custom keyboard through one of those automation tools?


Thanks is advance,



MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (15,945 points)

    You should be able to use System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts

    Then assign a hotkey to the Screen Sharing -> View -> Display 1: ... and the Display 2: ... menu entry.

  • tomazbevilaqua Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply.


    I did exactly as you said but it's not working. I might be doing something wrong, not sure. Have you tried this yourself?


    Here's a screen shot of the shortcut I created:


    Screen shot 2011-05-23 at 14.35.44.png


    Any ideas?

  • Seph Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)

    Screen Sharing in Snow Leopard sends all keyboard shortcuts to the remote computer. As far as I know the only exceptions to this are the hard-coded "special features" of the F-keys on more recent keyboards (e.g. display brightness, Exposé, Dashboard, etc.) and the power button.


    What they really need is a way to switch the focus of the keyboard & mouse between the local and remote machines without having to use the mouse to switch focus to a different window entirely.


    If you do find a way to switch between remote displays with the keyboard, please let us know. That would be incredibly useful.

  • tibbar Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm glad you posted this thread. The first issue is that you're using the letter "x" instead of the Math multiplication symbol as shown in the menu. From the character viewer, I pasted in a multiplication symbol and the shortcuts appeared next to each display item. At the moment it still doesn't work because, like Seph explained, all the non-essential commands are sent to the remote desktop.


    If you look in Screen Sharing preferences, there is a shortcut for toggling Control and Observe modes (Command + Alt + X). Switching to observer and then using the display shortcut will now switch displays (I used Command + Alt + 1 and 2).


    Surprisingly the shortcuts still work even if you change the remote resolution (which changes the text in the menu item). Somebody who really knows about the operating system could maybe find a way to chain together multiple commands in a single glorious shortcut.

  • Kaj Kandler Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    that sounds at least somewhat promising.


    However I can't find

    tibbar wrote:


    If you look in Screen Sharing preferences, there is a shortcut for toggling Control and Observe modes (Command + Alt + X). Switching to observer and then using the display shortcut will now switch displays (I used Command + Alt + 1 and 2).


    I'm looking at Screen Sharing --> Preferences and it only has one screen. using 10.6.8 as the screen sharing client and 10.5.X as the remote.

  • chad von nau Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for the tip, tibbar. Unfortunately, on 10.6, Screen Sharing.app has no Observe mode. So it will only work on 10.7 or later.

  • billy noah Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    I too have been struggling with exactly the same issue.  two monitors on host, one on client, no easy way to swtich back and forth without mousing up to the menu bar.  i should mention that i'm using 10.8 but as i didn't find this thread in the 10.8 forum just thought i would chime in here.


    i've come up with one workaround that is a slight improvement for me:


    Option-Command-X (switch to observe mode) then immediately

    Option-Command-1 (or 2, to switch to the other monitor) then

    Option-Command-X again to switch back to observe mode


    I know it seems a bit much, but it's actually pretty fast once you get used to it and since you're already holding down Option-Command it's really only three keystrokes.  for me this is a bit faster than mousing up to the menubar.  hope this helps someone.


    On interesting thing (BUG?) i've found is that while in observe mode i am not able to quickly switch back and forth between monitors as expected using Option-Command-1 and Option-Command-2 in succession.  For some reason I need to switch back to control mode and then back to observe mode before it will let me change monitors using key commands.  another way it works is if i just click somewhere on the menu bar first which defeats the purpose of using key commands.  pretty sure this is a bug.