Ever since a Mozilla plugin first introduced the concept of tabbed browsing to the world a few years ago, the tabbed interface has been growing in popularity and has been used for all kinds of applications. Several applications I use daily have tabbed interfaces and it’s been bugging me for awhile that they don’t all use the same keyboard commands for switching tabs. Safari uses shift-cmd-[ (and ]), Adium uses cmd-[ (and ]), iTerm uses cmd-left (and right), etc. Well, I read a recent blog entry (I know, I know: bloggers reading other blogs and writing about them is weird) that reminded me about Mac OS X’s ability to configure any keyboard shortcut for any application. Well, it works!

Open the Keyboard & Mouse preferences, click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, click the little plus sign to add a new one, select ‘Adium’ as the application, enter ‘Previous Chat’ as the Menu Title and then hit the keyboard shortcut you want. The Menu Title has to exactly match what the application itself uses, but that’s the only trick. It seems like most (all?) applications need to be restarted for it to take effect but once restarted it works exactly as expected. Now all of my keyboard shortcuts for switching tabs are the same and I can move on to worrying about other more pressing issues, like registering to vote today!