How to remap the # (hash) key on Apple UK keyboards in OS X


Given how useful the # key is, it has always annoyed me that on the standard UK Apple keyboard, getting a # key requires keying Alt-3 to get it to appear. 

If you are doing web development with jQuery or writing shell scripts or python, you end up using this key a lot and Alt-3 just doesn’t work for me.  However, on the left of the recent Apple keyboard, there is the § key.  I’ve never used §, I guess somebody must.  

Anyway, so I went and found Ukelele, a keyboard layout editor, and modified the keyboard map to put the # where the § used to be, and the result is what I call the BritishLHash keyboard layout.

How to use this:

  1. Download the file, and put it in your ~/Library/Keyboard Layouts folder.
  2. Open Language and Text in System Preferences
  3. Select the Input Sources tab
  4. Tick next to the BritshLHash keyboard.  This makes it available as an input source for you.  And also Tick Show Input in the menu bar
  5. Find the little flag in the menu bar.  Pop it up and change it to BritishLHash.

That’s all there is to it.  I’ve been using this mapped file for a year or so, and it works fine in OS X 10.5 and 10.6.

Or if you want to meddle with key maps and propose changes, have a look at the GitHub repo: grasuth/britishlhash.

Note: this is a repost of the original article on this that I posted in 2010.