How to configure keyboard keys

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Mart铆 Micolau
@martimicolau
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Keyboard Tweaker (Windows)

The first of the useful resources for configuring the keyboard keys that I want to tell you about is Keyboard Tweaker. It is a free, lightweight software that works with all Windows operating systems that allows you to manage and create a myriad of different shortcuts, transforming the keyboard into a real multimedia controller.

You ask me how to use it? I'll point it out to you right away. First, connect to the Keyboard Tweaker download page on the MajorGeeks website and click on the link Download Locations at the top right, in order to download the program on your PC.



When the download is complete, extract the ZIP archive just obtained in any Windows location and start the .exe file contained within it. Then click on Si, then on the button Next for two consecutive times and on Finish, to finish the installation procedure and start the program.

In the window that opens, click on the button Cancel, to skip the registration procedure and start using Keyboard Tweaker right away.

Now, you are ready to use Keyboard Tweaker with its default settings, which allow you to access Google using the key combination Alt + Ctrl + G, to raise the volume using the key combination Alt + Ctrl + Up Arrow, to lower the volume using the key combination Alt + Ctrl + Down Arrow and much more (you will find everything indicated in the program window).

If you are not interested in one or more of the preset shortcuts, you can also disable them simply by removing the check mark that you find on the relevant box in the column Flags.


Of course, you can also add the key combinations you prefer and associate them with actions and / or programs. To do this, first click on the button Hotkeys present in the main window of Keyboard Tweaker and select the item New from the menu.


So put the check mark on two or more of the items Other, Control e Shift to indicate the keys on your computer keyboard that you intend to use for the new action set and, from the drop-down menu, choose the key that must complete the new combination.

Then click on the button KATEGORIEN to select the program or file to start when pressing the keyboard key combination, put the check mark next to the item Enabled and click sul bottone Apply, so as to save the changes and enable the combination.

All you have to do is repeat the operation for all the combinations you want and close the main program window. The latter can be recalled for any need by clicking on the icon with the yellow smiley face present in the notification area, next to the Windows clock.

Ah, I almost forgot: if you want to make the program run automatically when Windows starts, call up the Keyboard Tweaker window again, click on the menu View, select Options, then the card General and check the box next to the item Autorun with Windows. Click on OK to confirm the choice made.


KeyTweak (Windows)

Another great program you can appeal to to configure keyboard keys is KeyTweak. It works on all versions of Windows, is totally free and allows you to change the operation of the keys through a pleasant and simple user interface which, in fact, shows an on-screen keyboard. Note also the possibility offered to disable the operation of specific buttons according to need.

To use it, first connect to the software download page on the Softpedia website and press the button Download which is at the top left. Then click on the link Softpedia Mirror (US), in order to start downloading KeyTweak on your computer.


When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and press on Si. Then click on I Agree, its install and Close. Then start the program by searching for it in the Start menu.

Now that you see the KeyTweak window on the screen, select the key on the keyboard shown in relation to which you are interested in going to act. So choose, from the drop-down menu Choose New Remapping which is at the bottom, the function you intend to assign to it. Finally click on Remap Key and Apply but I will modify it.

You can also intervene on the special keys and on the multimedia ones proceeding in the same way as I have just indicated. You can find them in correspondence with the section Specialty Buttons which is on the right.


If you then have second thoughts about a certain key, you can restore its usual operation by selecting it and clicking on the button Restore Default which is at the bottom. If, on the other hand, you want to restore the default operation of all the keys, click on the button Restore All Defaults placed at the top.

As I told you a few lines above, if you deem it appropriate you can also permanently disable (unless you have second thoughts) specific buttons. To do this, select the keys of interest and click on the button Disabled Key.

HotKeyz (Windows)

Another tool that I invite you to seriously consider is HotKeyz. This is a free software and functioning in some ways similar to the one I told you about at the beginning of the guide. It allows you to configure the keys (or combinations of keys) on the keyboard to open files, folders and programs and to perform various operations (eg raise and lower the volume, open the CD player drawer, etc.). Note that it is compatible with all Windows OS.


To use it, first connect to the download page on the Softpedia website, click on the button Download which is at the top left and presses on the link Softpedia Mirror (EU), in order to start downloading the program to your computer.

When the download is complete, open the .exe file you just obtained and press on Si. Then click on Next, select the voice I accept the agreement and press again Next five times in a row. Then complete the setup by pressing on install and Finish.

Once the HotKeyz window is displayed on the desktop you will be able to see the complete list of all the various preset shortcuts. At the column Description find the description of the various shortcuts, while the correspondence of the column Hotkey you will find the keys on the keyboard to be pressed to take advantage of that given functionality.

Of course, you can also add custom shortcuts. To do this, click on the entry New top left, fill in the field Description with the description of the hotkey, presses the button click next to the field Command and indicates the type of command you want to execute from the menu that appears. Then select the category you belong to from the drop-down menu Category.

Finally, type in the field under the heading Hotkey (Keybaord shorcut keys) the key or combination of keys you want to use, choose whether to make the keyboard shortcut active only in certain circumstances or not, adjust the other available settings as needed and press on OK.

If, on the other hand, you want to disable a given shortcut, both the default ones and the ones you created yourself, uncheck the relevant box in the list in the center of the HotKeyz window and you're done. You can also disable entire categories of shortcuts by removing the check mark from the boxes in the section Category.

I would also like to point out that if it is your intention to automatically run the program when Windows starts, you can do it by clicking on the menu Settings and selecting the option Add HotKeyz to windows startup.

Karabiner (Mac)

Do you have a Mac instead of a Windows PC and would you like to understand if even for Apple-branded computers there is some tool with which you can configure the keyboard keys? Yes, of course! Among the various solutions available on the square I recommend you Carbine. It is a free application that allows you to remap any key or combination of keys on macOS while also offering the possibility to intervene on the numeric keypad.

To use it, connect to the application's website and press the button Download Karabiner-Elements-xx.xx, in order to start downloading the program to your computer.

Once the download is complete, open the .dmg package obtained and double-click on the .pkg file contained within it, in order to start the Karabiner setup procedure. So press on Continue and Install. Enter the password for your user account on the computer and click on Install software then press on Close. If you are asked to move the program's .dmg package to the Trash can, you agree to this.

If you later see a warning about system extension blocking, go to System preference by clicking on its icon (the gear-shaped one) attached to the Dock barclick your Security and Privacy and his bottone award Allow in the tab Generali.

Now, start Karabiner by clicking on its icon (the one with the word "KEY" on a black background) in the Launchpad and follow the brief initial setup by pressing on Continue, pressing the key on the keyboard that is shown on the screen, checking that the type of keyboard used is the correct one (and if not, change it) and clicking on end.

At this point, presses on the button Add item in the main program window, select the keyboard key you want to change from the drop-down menu From key and the function you want it to assume from the drop-down menu To key. And There you go!

If, on the other hand, you want to change the behavior of the function keys, go to the tab Function Keys, identical to the function key in relation to which you wish to intervene in the column Physical key and choose which operations you want to perform with the latter by selecting the option you prefer from the adjacent drop-down menu, corresponding to the column To key.

If you then want to enable complications, go to the tab Complex Modificationsclick on your bottone Add rule at the bottom and choose which rules to enable by clicking on the button Enable among those proposed.

You can also create and select usage profiles, in order to change the behavior of the keys only when the one you prefer is active, by going to the tab Porfiles. To create new ones click on Add profile, while to choose the one you are interested in, click on its name from the list. If you want, you can also select a particular profile from the system tray, by clicking on the program icon and choosing the desired option from the menu that appears.

Other interesting resources

To conclude, as they say, I want to point out some of my guides through which I have proceeded to talk to you about other computer programs that can be convenient for you to configure the keyboard keys according to your needs and preferences and to create custom shortcuts.

First of all, I invite you to read my post on how to change key combination, through which I proceeded to tell you about some programs used for this purpose as well as the "standard" functions of Windows and Mac that can be useful in this regard.

And if you are looking for other tools that can be useful to change the behavior of the keys of your keyboard, I invite you to take a look at my tutorial focused on how to change the function of the keyboard keys and to treasure the tips in it contained.

If, on the other hand, you want some general advice on how to best use your computer keyboard, read my post on how to use the PC keyboard through which I have also reported all the most useful default key combinations, both for Windows and for Mac. Take a look at it, I'm sure you will find it very interesting.

How to configure keyboard keys

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