[tabi] laptop users

  • From: "Chip and Allie Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 15:02:35 -0500

Hi all,


I just got a new laptop as a Christmas gift, and one of the things you
always run into with notebook/laptops is a crazy keyboard arrangement and
missing keys.  In my case, it didn't have the "applications key" on the
right of the space bar (if you don't know, you can use this key to bring up
the context menu just as if you had clicked the right mouse button or
pressed shift-f10).


Someone put me on to a free utility named "sharp keys", and it lets you
remap the function of any of your keyboard keys!  In my case, I found a
"calculator" key I wasn't ever using, and sharp keys made it into an
"applications key" for me.  It was quick and easy, free, and now the pc is
just about perfect!


You can download it from the author's site at:



Below I'll paste a copy of the FAQ so you can find out a little about it
before you run it.  Even though he doesn't mention Windows 7 and 8, I'm
using it under Windows 7 and so are others, and I suspect Windows 8 will
also be fine.








Welcome to SharpKeys

"This Sharp-naming thing is getting out of control" [RandyRants.com]

This is something that I've thrown together to help people out with their

mappings. What's a keyboard mapping? How many times a day do you
accidentally hit

cAPS lOCK BY MISTAKE AND END UP HAVING TO GO BAck and retype stuff? For me
it was

at least once an hour - in fact, I used to pop off the Caps Lock key so I

hit it anymore, but I found something better in Windows XP, as well as 2000,

2003, and Vista. There's a little used registry hack that allows you to
remap keys

across a keyboard. For me, this meant that I told my computer to treat Caps

as if it was a shift key, which it now does.

The more I started working with other keyboard, the more I wanted to have
this ability

to map other keys across my keyboard, but working with the Hex numbers and

too look up scan codes could be painful... hence SharpKeys.

Product Features

Map up to 104 different keys to other key or disable them altogether

Use your keyboard to select keys to map or select from an exhaustive list of


No drivers are every loaded as it's a part of Windows

Includes options for extended keys including Windows, Application, Internet

and more

Getting Started

Launch SharpKeys, by selecting it's icon from the Start menu. If there are
any errors

reported, please check the Troubleshooting section below

Add a new key mapping or edit an existing one

Click "Write to registry" and wait for a confirmation that the registry was


Close SharpKeys and either log out (and back in) or reboot to enforce the
new mappings


1. Q: I tried to run your application, but I'm getting a huge message box,
with an error

that tells me it can't find some DLL files. What's wrong?

Q: I installed SharpKeys on my computer and when I start the program up it
says it

can't find MSCOREE.DLL.

A: Your PC doesn't have the 2.0 version of the .NET Framework installed on
it yet!

You can get this from the Windows Update website for Windows 2000, Windows
XP (Professional

or Home), Windows Server 2003, or Windows Vista.

2. Q: When I run SharpKeys 2.1.1 using Vista, I'm prompted to give SharpKeys

permissions - why?

A: The registry key that SharpKeys is setting for you is located a newly

part of the Registry; the only way that SharpKeys can edit that key is to be

Administrator rights temporarily.

3. Q: When I run SharpKeys 2.1, 2.0 or 1.x using Vista, I get an error when
I clieck

the "Write to Registry" - why?

A: This is expected behavior for these releases; either run SharpKeys as an

or download the latest version of Sharpkeys (2.1.1 or higher).

4. Q: I did what you said and none of my keys are remapped? By the way I'm
running an

older version of Windows...

A: Sorry, but this particular registry hack required Windows 2000, Windows
XP, Windows

Server 2003, or Windows Vista to run.

5. Q: I AM running the right version of windows but a particular key is
still not mapped!

A: Frankly, I tried to get every know scan code that I could find, but some
may not

be correct OR your particular keyboard is doing something weird. For
example, I could

make my Right Ctrl key be a Left Windows key but I couldn't make the mute

be a Windows key.

6. Q: What are all these F-Lock keys?

A: Many of the newer keyboard on the market have dual functions for their

that are toggled by an F-Lock key. Unlike the Caps Lock or Num Lock keys,
the F-Lock

key cannot be turned on by default - it requires someone to press it before

turned on. By default, when a computer boots, instead of the Function keys

F1 through F12, they have a completely different function: Help, Print,
Save, etc.

Once F-Lock is turned on, these keys behave like function keys, F1 to F12.
What SharpKeys

will allow you to do is map the default nature of the key to a standard

key. For example, if you want the F5 to act like F5 when F-Lock is OFF, map

Open to F5. If you map all of your F-Lock keys to their F-key counterparts,
the computer

will start with all of the Functions keys active.

7. Q: I've got an Office keyboard - can I remap the function keys to be

A: Yes! Use the F-Lock keys for your functions and map them to the correct


8. Q: What's all this stuff about "scan codes"?

A: Whenever you press a key on your keyboard, it sends a binary code to the

controller in you PC. That code is passed on into Windows (in most cases)
and Windows

interprets it as "they pressed code 0x3A so that's Caps Lock - turn that
on!" What

modern versions of Windows also does is it checks a registry key when the

boots. What that registry key does is tell windows "even though they pressed

treat it as 0x2A" (which is left shift). What SharpKeys does is edits this

key using a simple UI and sidestepping the registry editor.

9. Q: What is an "Unknown" key?

A: There's no way I could get a lab of keyboards to test, especially when

every modern keyboard comes with extra keys or language specific keys - some

are even making keyboards with special buttons for their own software or

line up. Consequently, when you use Type Key and it hit a key that SharpKeys

not know about, it can still be mapped, even if the label says unknown. If

a key that you have on your keyboard that is listed as Unknown but you have
a used

for it, email me and I'll see about adding a better label for it.

10. Q: Neat little utility - how much is it?

A: It's free.

11. Q: What happens if I use your utility and I add a bunch of key mapping
and I can't

use my computer anymore?

A: Well, more or less, you're screwed. I've tested this application a good

but there's always an element of risk when modifying the registry,
especially when

it's done with a non-standard utility. I would think you could get into Safe

and remove the Scancode Map registry key, but you'll be on your own. Having

this, please be careful and you're using SharpKeys at your own risk!

12. Q: I used Type Key to map a key and it's telling me a) key is disabled
or b) Key

is not supported - why?

A: One of two things can cause this message. First is that you are trying to

a key that you've already told to be disabled. If you disabled your Caps
Lock key

and rebooted, it's now disabled - you have to unmap and reboot again, before

can remap it. A similar situation would happen if you try to map an already

key; Window will report the "wrong" value for Type Key. If you're told it's

or not found, then odds are you are on a non-US keyboard and the key cannot
be found

in the list of keys that are currently supported - please email us the key
and code

in question and we'll add it to the list!

13. Q: Can I remap a combination of keys to one key?

A: Sadly, no. SharpKeys only remaps whole keys rather than a modified key.
For example,

you can remap Ctrl or C but you can't remap Ctrl+C to another key.

14. Q: Can I remap a mouse click to a new key?

A: Sorry, but no. The remapping technology that Windows uses to remap your
keys isn't

aware of your mouse.

15. Q: Why can't I remap my Fn key on my [notebook or Apple] keyboard?

A: Some keys simply just never get to Windows. In the case of most Fn keys,

are interpretted by the hardware and never get passed onto the OS, no matter

they appear to work... if Windows doesn't see the key, there's no way for
the key

to be remapped by Windows.

Donation Information

This application started as Donation-ware but has since moved to an open
source project.

That said, donations are alway welcome! Visit my donation page at



Donate Now!

Support Information

Should you encounter any problems that are not addressed by this FAQ, please

a bug at


. As this is now open source, support requests will be answered as quickly
as the

community moves to fix it.

Version History

Most recent:

3.5 - 28-Dec-2011/

Upgraded to support .NET 4.0

3.0 - 15-Dec-2008/

Registered source code with CodePlex

2.1.1 - 08-Jul-2006/

Bug fix for Vista: you no longer have to run it as an Administrator

2.1 - 19-Apr-2006/

Bug fix for the "Type a Key" forms

2.0 - 26-Mar-2006/

New UI and support for the 2.0 release of the .NET Framework

1.1 - 8-Mar-2004/

Minor updates and version number bump

1.1 Beta 3 - 16-Feb-2004/

Added keys for F13, F14, and F15

Added over 25 new "Unknown" keys

1.1 Beta 2 - 13-Feb-2004/

Removed the install enhancement to improve start up times

1.1 Beta 1 - 12-Feb-2004/

Added 5 new keys

Installation enhancement to improve start up times

1.0 - 10-Feb-2004/

Added Euro Key

Couple of bug fixes

1.0 Beta 4/Release Candidate 2 - 3-Feb-2004/

Added Type Key dialog for the Add/Edit mapping form

Added Fn support (same code as "wake)

1.0 Beta 3/Release Candidate 1 - 31-Jan-2004/

Switched combo boxes to list boxes (easier to use)

Added context menu for the list of keys

1.0 Beta 2 - 30-Jan-2004/

Upped the mapping limit to 104

Added support for the Office and Natural keyboards

Added support for PrtSc

1.0 Beta 1 - 27-Jan-2004/

Initial Release

Thanks for the interest in SharpKeys!

Copyright 2004 - 2006 RandyRants.com

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