OS X – Choose Between the Character Accents Popup
and Key Repeat When Holding Down a Key

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Apple introduced an iOS feature to OS X some years back changing the behaviour of the keyboard. Traditionally, if a key was held down, the letter would start repeating itself on screeeeeeeeeen. This was changed to a popup which displayed various non-standard characters. I was never a fan of this, even though it does indeed simplify finding accented letters. This cannot be changed through System Preferences, but a quick visit to the Terminal can sort things out.

Disable Popup / Enable Key Repeat

OS X keyboard popup dialog accented letters

  1. You will need to launch Terminal first — just press ⌘Space and type in Terminal.
  2. Type in the following command and press Enter:

  1. You will need to relaunch the app that you are using. Logging out and back in should solve this system-wide.

Enable Popup / Disable Key Repeat

Should you wish to return to the popup and disable key repeat, you will need to replace false with true in the before mentioned command, like this:


Hope this helps!

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