How-to: Add a teleporter to your multi-display Mac

If you’ve got a multi-display Mac, then you know what a drag it can be to drag things. When you have a window at the lower right corner of your right display, and you need it at the upper left corner of your left display, that’s a lot of pixels to traverse. One excellent solution to this problem is Moom, our window management tool. Amongst its other capabilities, Moom lets you easily jump a window across displays via keyboard or mouse.

But what if it’s not a window, but text, that you need to drag—say from a word processing window to an email window? Moom won’t be much help there. Or you need to drag a file, to drop it on another application or into a Finder folder?

big drag

Again, Moom can’t help you with that task. But our app Keymo certainly can!

Keymo is an app that lets you control the mouse pointer with the keyboard, and it bears some resemblance to Moom. While some of its users have physical handicaps that make using the mouse difficult, Keymo has some talents that appeal to everyone.

One of those skills is its ability to instantly jump the mouse pointer between displays…and if you can send the pointer between displays, well, anything you happen to be dragging will come right along with it when it goes. So read on to see how you can use Keymo to greatly ease the drag of dragging.

After installing Keymo, all you need to do to start teleporting around your displays is set up one new custom action. Open Keymo’s Preferences, and click on the Actions entry in the toolbar. Create a new Action, and make it look like this:

Move cursor in Keymo

You don’t need to assign the same shortcut (^3 in the screenshot) that I’ve used—but you want it to be something pretty easy to type with one hand, as your other hand will be on the mouse or trackpad. If you check the ‘Loop through displays’ box, you’ll be able to repeat the command to jump to the next display in line (or back to the first display, if you’re using two displays).

The ‘Retain relative position’ setting tries to keep the pointer in the approximate same screen location as resolution changes across displays. You can also set this to ‘Retain absolute position,’ which will use the same fixed coordinates on all displays, or to ‘Absolute center,’ which will always put the pointer at the center of the screen.

Once you’ve set up this custom action, you’re ready to put it to use:

  1. Start a drag operation.
  2. While still dragging, press the hot key you assigned to your Keymo shortcut.
  3. There is no step three.

As soon as you press the Keymo shortcut key, the cursor and whatever it was dragging will jump to the next display, from where you can continue your drag. Press the shortcut key again, and Keymo will teleport cursor and dragged object to the next display (which would be the first display in a two-display setup). Repeat as needed.

Here’s a short video that demonstrates how this works, in case the text above is too confusing.

Watch the large version [mp4 only • 1024x640 • 2.6MB]

If you’ve got a trackpad, this is even slicker, because you can enable drag lock (in System Preferences > Trackpad), and then teleport around your displays without having to keep any pressure on your trackpad—just drag, teleport, etc. until done, then tap the trackpad to release the window.

Keymo is only $5, and you can download and use it in trial mode to help you decide if it helps your workflow or not. (While Keymo is presently available on the App Store, we don’t recommend you buy it there, as it’s presently not sandboxed and we’re not sure if it will be in the future or not. If we can’t sandbox it, we can’t update it.)

2 Responses to “How-to: Add a teleporter to your multi-display Mac”

  1. Duncan Adams says:

    Dear Sir : Thank you for the trail version of Kemo .
    it is nice to try before buying as appose to asking for a refund if it does not fit the needs .
    I tried it . Read the instructions for teleporting from monitor to monitor .
    I have 8 monitors .
    It does not fit my needs .
    I can’t pinpoint to one monitor and send it as I would wish .
    Thank you again for the ability to try it before by it .
    Duncan Adams
    Nashville IN