How to Launch Raycast with a Single Key

✔︎ Last updated on April 2nd, 2024

Raycast has become an absolutely indispensable tool for me. It handles so many tasks, from app launching to quick calculations to clipboard manager and whatnot.

Originally, I used the same shortcut to trigger it as Spotlight (Cmd + Space) because it seemed logical. The problem? Raycast is so much more powerful, and I found myself summoning it constantly using this shortcut.

While convenient, having Raycast tied to a two-key combo became cumbersome as I relied on it more. When you frequently open and close Raycast, those extra keypresses add up.

Plus, if you are deep into any of Raycast’s extensive extensions, hitting Escape multiple times to get out of Raycast becomes tedious. There had to be a better way!

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How to toggle Raycast with one key

The trick, I figured was to dedicate a single key to Raycast. This single key would summon Raycast and also dismiss it immediately so that I don’t have to press Esc multiple times.

All I needed was a key that was easy to reach, but also one that wouldn’t interfere with any other shortcuts. When looking for the perfect key, three options came to my mind:

  1. Caps Lock
  2. Right Command
  3. Right Option

I couldn’t remap Caps Lock to Raycast as I already turned that key into a “Hyper Key.” It’s my shortcut master control! A Hyper key is a custom key mapping that simulates pressing all four modifier keys (command, control, option & shift) at the same time.

Since no regular app uses that crazy combination, I’ve got a whole new set of shortcuts without causing any conflicts. It’s a game-changer, and there was no way I was giving that up for Raycast!

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The other options seemed reasonable. The right Command key is rarely used on its own and is located right next to the space bar – perfect for my right thumb. The right Option key is also viable but less convenient than the right Command key.

How to trigger Raycast with the right command key

Unfortunately, you can’t directly use a modifier key like Right Command as a shortcut on its own. You can try to do it in Raycast but it won’t accept.

However, you can use a function key (even if virtual) as a trigger. That’s perfectly valid. So, here’s what you do: you map the right command key to a function (fn) key using ‘Karabiner Elements’ and then tie this key to launch Raycast.

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To do this, first, download Karabiner Elements from their website and install it. After installing, open Karabiner Elements → Simple Modifications → Map right command to function key (say f20).

How to remap right command key to a function key

Then, open Raycast settings → Change the Raycast hotkey to f20:

How to remap right command key to trigger or launch raycast

(I have chosen f20 because no keyboard (as far as I know) has a physical f20 key, so the probability of any conflict is zero.)

Now, you can trigger and dismiss Raycast window with just a single keypress of the right command key.

Wrap up

That’s it! Now Raycast is always at the tip of your finger. Open or close it in a flash, no matter how many layers of menus you’re in. This tweak may seem small, but it’s boosted my productivity by a lot.

If you’re a fellow Raycast enthusiast, this one’s for you!

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