Re: emulating keyboards with more keys

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 23:24:13 +0100

In my opinion, most keyboards today include a "Fn" key which is used to
offer extra keys, notably on notebooks where keyboards are not infinitely
extensible. Those manufacturers are assigning some Fn+Key functions for
their own use, but most Fn+Key combinations are not used and should be
programmable to offer the missing keys.

At at least all keyboards with a Fn key should offer a Fn+Key mapping for
the few common extra keys found in International keyboards with more than
101 keys, in a non-locking state (to be used with another separate keytroke
sequence with Ctrl/Alt/Shift/Capslock+another base key)

Keyboards are not enough programmable, and keyboard drivers on most OSes
also don't offer this easy customizability by users (MSKLC on Windows is
too technical, and not officially supported in its existing 1.4 version
running in .Net 4, it should be integrated in the OS itself, with a simple
remapping interface)

2013/1/11 Stephan Stiller <>

> All,
> 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).
> Stephan
Received on Fri Jan 11 2013 - 16:25:16 CST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Fri Jan 11 2013 - 16:25:16 CST