Tutorial Thursday

Most keyboards these days have 100+ keys, and there are so many keys that it can be difficult to get them to work exactly the way you want them to. As with most other things on a computer, if there is something that you don’t like about the keyboard you should just change it!

To manipulate the keys on the keyboard we’re going to resurrect an application that we’ve previously written about. It’s called KeyTweak, and it’s a freeware program that has a simple interface for customizing the action of the keys on your keyboard. An example of where this would be useful is for turning one of your spare Control or Alt keys into a Windows Key on a computer that doesn’t have a Windows Key. Or maybe you want to disable the Insert and/or Caps Lock key since you never use it…with KeyTweak that is possible.

KeyTweak Keyboard Remapper 
(Click to Enlarge)

KeyTweak is a pretty straightforward application, and working with it couldn’t be any easier. Here’s how you can remap keyboard keys in a few simple steps:

  1. Download and install KeyTweak. Then run it.
  2. On the screen you will see a fullsize computer keyboard (pictured above). What you’ll want to do now is click on the key you want to change or disable. We want to disable the Caps Lock key in our example, so we clicked on key number 30. KeyTweak will show the key that you’ve selected, and what command is currently assigned to it:
    Caps Lock Key
  3. If you want to assign the key a new action just choose from one of the dozens of keyboard remapping options in the drop-down menu. Once you have found the option that you want click the Remap Key button to save that configuration. Alternatively you can completely disable that key by clicking the Disable Key button, or you can reset it back to the default action by choosing Restore Default.
  4. The action you chose to take in Step 3 will be added to the list of pending changes located in the bottom-right corner. Once you’ve made all of the keyboard changes that you want click the Apply button.
    KeyTweak Pending
  5. In order for the changes to take effect you’ll need to restart your computer, and after that you can enjoy your newly remapped keyboard!

This is a really powerful program that I’ve been using for years, and it has never failed me. I’ve used it the most to disable keys that I frequently find annoying, such as Insert or Caps Lock. Even if you don’t plan on using this app right now make sure you stick it in your bookmarks, because I can assure you that sometime down the road the idea of disabling or remapping a keyboard key will pop into your head!