A Guide to RDi on Mac

Jon Paris Susan Gantner

Before we begin this discussion we should point out that we both have our general OS X keyboard preference set to “Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys.” Because we spend most of our time either in RDi or in 5250 emulation sessions - both of which use function keys quite a bit - we find this much more convenient than requiring the use of the fn key to make them work. If you do not have this keyboard preference set in OS X, then you will need to remember to add the fn key to any of the shortcuts we mention here that use a function key.

Below we refer to the Alt key, which is labeled as both “option” and “alt” on our Mac keyboards. While Mac people tend to refer to this as the “option” key, we continue to use the term “alt” because it seems to work the same as the alt key did in the Windows shortcuts. So we stayed with the same terminology.

Similarly, the keyboard shortcuts on Windows refer to “Ctrl.” On Mac keyboards this is typically spelled out as “Control.” Since we are comparing Windows and Mac shortcuts, here we have retained the “Ctrl” abbreviation when referring to the key labeled “Control” on a Mac keyboard.

As a general rule, it seems that where the key was “Ctrl “+ something, it should be translated to Command (sometimes called the Apple key or ⌘) instead of Ctrl. That seems to be true with many Windows shortcuts in other apps. However, there are a few exceptions that don't follow that rule.

Ctrl + C or X or V - Standard clipboard Copy/Cut/Paste commands 
 Ctrl + Z or Y - Undo or Redo
 Ctrl + S - Save
 Ctrl + F - Find
 Ctrl + F6 - Switch editor
 Ctrl + E - Switch editor
 Ctrl + F7 or F8 - Switch view or Perspective
 Ctrl + F2 - In Debug, terminate program
 Ctrl + Backspace - Delete line (use Delete key instead of Backspace)
 Ctrl + M and Ctrl + Shift + M  - Select/jump to begin/end of code block
 Ctrl + Shift + O - Show block nesting
 Ctrl + D - Duplicate line
 Ctrl + Shift + F - Format RPG
 Ctrl + Shift + C - Compile
 Ctrl + T - Position current line to top
 Ctrl + W - Show All (from filtered view)
 Ctrl + 2 or 0 - Open new view/close new view
 Ctrl + / or \ - Comment or Uncomment
 Ctrl + F5 - Refresh editor * (See note below)

* The last shortcut in that list may require that you disable (or remap) the OS X keyboard accessibility shortcut to “Turn VoiceOver on or off.” You can find this setting in OS X Preferences - select Keyboard > Shortcuts > Accessibility.

Here are some shortcuts that seem to work the same as in Windows with no key translation needed: meaning we do not substitute Ctrl with Command for these:

Ctrl + Shift + D - Search by change date
 Ctrl + Space - Content assist
 Ctrl + Alt + Q or  Ctrl + Shift + A - Open a member (both work without re-map) 
 F1 - Help 
 F3 - Jump to corresponding subroutine or procedure logic (** see below)
 F5, F6, F7, F8 - Debug Steps and Resume
 Shift + F10 - Context menu
 Alt + S or J - Split or Join
 Alt + L - Select line or block of lines
 Alt + F7 or F8  - Shift selected code left or right
 Alt + R - Select rectangle
 Alt + C or M or Z - Destination for selected code for Copy or Move or Overlay
 Alt + U - Deselect

** Note that F3 works as it did in Windows: when positioned on the name of a subroutine or procedure on an EXSR or procedure call, F3 jumps to the beginning of the subroutine or procedure. However, the shortcut to get back to the original EXSR or procedure call statement has changed from Alt + Left Arrow as in Windows to Alt + Command + Left Arrow. This can be confusing since a message appears at the bottom of the editor window following the F3 action states that Alt + Left/Right arrow switches between the previous and current position. Mac users need to remember to add the Command key to that instruction.

The F12 key which brings the editor into focus seems to work with Cmd + F12 on Mac.

Of course we didn’t expect Ctrl+Shift+V (Verify source) to work because the verifier is not supported (at the moment, anyway) on Mac.


This has been a summary of our experiences to date with using RDi on our Macs. We’re delighted that we no longer need to go into Windows to do our development work. RDi on Mac works very well for us. Any of our readers who are also Mac users should give it a try. Perhaps it was the lack of native RDi support that has kept some of you from switching to using a Mac. If so, we can now even more heartily recommend making the switch to Mac!

If you any of you already using RDi on Mac have more/different suggestions or experiences, please include them in the comments section below.

Jon Paris is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.

Susan Gantner is a technical editor with IBM Systems Magazine and co-owner of Partner400.

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