emulating keyboards with more keys

From: Stephan Stiller <stephan.stiller_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:40:52 -0800


Occasionally I run into the problem that I would like to use a keyboard
layout for a 102/105-key keyboard (as used in Canada, the UK, Germany,
and many other locales) or a 106/109-key keyboard (as used in (?)only
Japan) on a 101/104-key keyboard (from the US but also used elsewhere).

(For 102/105-key keyboards, the extra key is the one between left-shift
and (US) "Z", and one key is row-shifted. Describing the Japanese
keyboard is a little trickier. I forgot whether the respective scancode
sets are strict supersets of each other. And please feel free to correct
me on the terminology or fill in what's missing.)

So, say I want to type French with the Canadian French keybaord layout
(this is the one that lets you directly type the most letters among
those used for the French language) or German with the standard German
keyboard layout. Annoyingly I won't be able to enter "<" and ">" (in the
German case) if I use a US keyboard, as it will have only 101/104 keys.
Is there an easiest way (probably some software someone wrote) to
emulate the missing keys?

Another example is that the JIS layout is basically unusable with a
non-106/109 keyboard. This is not surprising, but it's limiting for
international folks. (If I get a Japanese keyboard, things work under a
non-Japanese Windows with some customization, but US Macs lacked a
straightforward way of letting me use a Japanese keyboard on (US) Mac OS
X, last time I tried. Different issue.)

To anybody with experience with this: What's the easiest way to
circumvent this problem? Please note that I don't consider "switching
keyboard layouts every time" or "defining my own keyboard layout"
convenient possibilities (unless the latter is a customization for which
there's software that lets me do this in a couple of minutes).

Received on Fri Jan 11 2013 - 02:47:10 CST

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