Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

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ChrisGreaves
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Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Follow on from "Sticky keys annoyance"

I am this close to ordering a standalone keyboard (separate topic) but before I splash out $6 plus about $25 shipping/courier, wondered whether there is a simple way to make my lower-left-hand FN key behave like the neighbouring Shift key - the Shift key which appears to have a mechanical malfunction.

Me being me I don't want to upgrade to Win11 or do anything special. A simple registry hack would suffice.

I never use the FN key, and retraining this old brain to use the FN key will be easier than learning how to use crossed hands when typing capitals, double-quotes and the like with the use of the right-hand <Shift> key by this two-fingered (one from each hand) typist..

Thanks, Chris
Last edited by ChrisGreaves on 18 May 2022, 12:11, edited 1 time in total.
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HansV
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by HansV »

Fn is not a normal key - it does not send a key code to your computer. Instead, it changes the key code that some OTHER keys send to your computer. So you cannot remap Fn. Sorry!
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
18 May 2022, 11:05
...before I splash out $6 plus about $25 shipping/courier...
Surely, someone you know in Bonavista has an unused USB keyboard languishing somewhere and thus would be willing for you to take it off their hands for considerably less than $6 + $shipping. Perhaps even for the just price of a coffee?

Or even for :free: since most wives would be delighted to dispose of junk being hoarded by their husbands. Yes, I speak from experience :laugh:

Ken

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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
18 May 2022, 11:25
Fn is not a normal key - it does not send a key code to your computer. Instead, it changes the key code that some OTHER keys send to your computer. So you cannot remap Fn. Sorry!
Thanks Hans.
Then it is time to start a separate topic!

But to explore a little further:-
I know that I can (MSWord2003/VBA) trap all sorts of key combinations(1), including those with Ctrl+, Alt+ and Shift+, and to my mind these three keys are keys that roughly speaking "change the key codes that some OTHER keys send to your computer.".

So at this stage (in my mind) the four keys FN, SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT have common characteristics, and so it should be impossible for me to remap SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT.
Is that correct?
Thanks, Chris
(1)In Excel spider charts I can trap and act on the user's various key combinations and determine where in a chart the user clicked and hence how far horizontally or vertically within any component of a chart object the click occurred. C.
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by HansV »

In theory, it might be possible to swap the function of Ctrl, Shift, Alt and Fn, but I have no idea how.
I Googled around a bit, and the only thing I found is that it's reportedly possible to switch Ctrl and Fn on a Lenovo Thinkpad by changing a BIOS setting.
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
18 May 2022, 14:01
In theory, it might be possible to swap the function of Ctrl, Shift, Alt and Fn, but I have no idea how.
I Googled around a bit, and the only thing I found is that it's reportedly possible to switch Ctrl and Fn on a Lenovo Thinkpad by changing a BIOS setting.
Thanks Hans. I had previously searched for data on "remapping keys"; a slew of videos and web pages that discussed 3rd-party fixes, but not one of the ones I read mentioned remapping FN keys.

ok. That's it. A new keyboard.
But first, a new topic (coming soon to a screen near you ...)
Chris
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
18 May 2022, 14:44
ok. That's it. A new keyboard.
NB I was being serious when I suggested asking locally for a hand-me-down keyboard. With a bit of luck you'll save it from landfill.

Ken

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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by John Gray »

HansV wrote:
18 May 2022, 14:01
... the only thing I found is that it's reportedly possible to switch Ctrl and Fn on a Lenovo Thinkpad by changing a BIOS setting.
This is because Lenovo have, for unknown reasons, interchanged the physical location of Ctrl and Fn on many of their laptops, compared with Dell / Microsoft / etc keyboards.
I never fail to curse them when using my T520... :hairout:
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

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stuck wrote:
18 May 2022, 15:02
NB I was being serious when I suggested asking locally for a hand-me-down keyboard. With a bit of luck you'll save it from landfill.
Thanks, Ken; you have remembered my predilection for A Second Use For Everything, and that pleases me no end.

I am not sure where in BonaVista I would go for a hand-me-down keyboard; the local high school, perhaps.
There is no "computer store" now since Kim dropped the BELL agency, which dealt only with smart phones anyway.
I may be the guy who possesses more than 50% of the computer junk in Bonavista, and even then, I tossed the bulk of my resources back in 2012.

In my any-day-now new topic I will list pros and cons of a standalone keyboard, and one of my choices is a USB-plugged keyboard. I suspect, but do not know, that most abandoned keyboards in Bonavista will be the old circular-plug type (from desktop chassis) or, if USB plugged, will have been abandoned because - well, the keyboards have suffered damage, like mine. and now I reflect on that, it might be especially true of high-school keyboards.

Cheers, Chris
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

John Gray wrote:
18 May 2022, 17:17
This is because Lenovo have, for unknown reasons, interchanged the physical location of Ctrl and Fn on many of their laptops, compared with Dell / Microsoft / etc keyboards.
John, they do this to frustrate the most intelligent people on the planet.
I speak from our shared experience :evilgrin:

Each time I switch keyboards I am frustrated by the positions of what ought to be common keys, such as <del>, <backspace>, <home>, and the like.
The bulk of my editing is done through the keyboard, so the <Shift>, <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys are vital to my work.

If car controls (washers, turn signals, brake pedals etc) were varied as much a skeyboards, the death rate wouldn't change much, but there would be a huge outcry from car drivers.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
19 May 2022, 09:20
.
I am not sure where in BonaVista I would go for a hand-me-down keyboard...
Is there not some sort of board in a shop, where people pin up 'for sale' or 'wanted' notices? Even in the 21st Century I think there's is such a bit of old tech in the Post Office in our village.

Or, given your apparent propensity to talk to everyone in Bonavista, how about simple word-of-mouth, "Know anyone who's got a working USB keyboard they don't want?"

As I said, if someone mentioned something like that to my wife she'd be very happy to 'help' me get rid of a piece of a 'junk' from our garage :laugh:

Ken

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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
19 May 2022, 10:43
As I said, if someone mentioned something like that to my wife she'd be very happy to 'help' me get rid of a piece of a 'junk' from our garage :laugh:
Yes, Ken, we do have pinup notice boards, and word of mouth still works, but society here is much reduced by the instituted fear of Covid, and social interactions are greatly reduced.

My main reason for not considering a used keyboard is the possibility that the used keyboard is full of toast crumbs, or is nearing the end of its life. Being forced to use the right-shift key is crippling my typing efforts, which are not great in the first place. The prospect of picking up a used keyboard and having it collapse within the next six months is not appealing.

If I lived in Toronto I could walk for fifteen minutes along College Street and pick up half a dozen spare keyboards with USB plugs, keep the one that suited me and store the rest.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by John Gray »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
19 May 2022, 11:11
My main reason for not considering a used keyboard is the possibility that the used keyboard is full of toast crumbs
It is not beyond the wit of man, or indeed me, to undo the 15-or-so screws that hold together my Dell keyboard and remove the assorted detritus which accumulates magically under the keys. The milky-white flexible plastic membrane can easily be washed under a warm tap, and the top half of the keyboard - that section without any electronical components - can go in a warm dishwasher for a short period without problems.

Were you to 'pop across' to the UK, I could supply you with several new Dell USB keyboards, and/or ever-so-many pre-owned ones, most of which could do with the dishwasher treatment.
However, this might not be cost-effective, and smuggling such valuable cargo in via Gander Airport might be frowned upon by your customs authority... :sad:
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Re: Mapping the <FN> key to the <Shift> key

Post by ChrisGreaves »

John Gray wrote:
19 May 2022, 12:14
ChrisGreaves wrote:
19 May 2022, 11:11
My main reason for not considering a used keyboard is the possibility that the used keyboard is full of toast crumbs
It is not beyond the wit of man, or indeed me, to undo the 15-or-so screws that hold together my Dell keyboard and remove the assorted detritus which accumulates magically under the keys. The milky-white flexible plastic membrane can easily be washed under a warm tap, and the top half of the keyboard - that section without any electronical components - can go in a warm dishwasher for a short period without problems.
Hi John; my point about toast-crumbs was that any second-hand keyboard in Bonavista was likely as not to be full of toast-crumbs, or more likely, potato crisp crumbs and globs of Pepsi-Cola whenever it is on special down at the convenience store (always).
I have no doubt that my keyboard is full of toast-crumbs and eyelashes or whatever part of me is falling off nowadays.
Kbd.jpg
This is my keyboard; the keys are free to move up and down, as are the three mouse bits. Everything else is a solid piece of plastic moulding, wall-to-wall.
Guts.jpg
This is what I call the guts of my machine, because I suspect it has a strong attractive force for bits of edible material. Not a good photo, I concede, but it is criss-crossed with flexible cable strips, one of which detached itself and made Chris cross while he searched for a micro-micro jigsaw piece that matched the socket, all the while with a laptop that, because of its ribbon cables, refused to "open wide".

Computers, like everything else man-made, have moved closer year-by-year to the disposable end of the spectrum. in 1983 I did not have to open the XT chassis to clean the keyboard, the keyboard was a separate module, and one could have bought a replacement and plugged the little circular plug into a card at the back of the XT chassis.

Today the place where toast-crumbs go to die is sealed inside the laptop case. Or if not sealed, hidden behind too many cables and screws and other crammed-tight slim-line chunks that make digging into it a risky procedure for someone like me.

There is a reason why my hair turned Gray :evilgrin: before it fell out.

Cheers, Chris
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