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Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard on Windows

1/1/2008

The Apple Wireless Keyboard (2007) edition is really amazing. But to use it on Windows, there are quite a few important keys missing. Many people have come up with various work arounds, but each one I tried left me feeling lacking. Instead, I have come up with a solution that I believe solves all the issues.

AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey is an amazing utility that lets you remap keys, and key combinations. It even has scripting support. I'm finding that use it now even on the computer without the Apple Wireless Keyboard. To save you time I have already figured out replacements for all the keys.

Keys

I have provided the source as well if you want to change it. However here are the key mappings that I worked out. The keyboard has an Fn key, which seems a great candidate to use. Unfortunately the keyboard does not pass through the Fn key with any scan code to Windows. That is, to Windows it is invisible and I am guessing that the Apple Boot Camp driver either sends a signal to program the keyboard, sends a signal to enable it, or simply reads it from the Bluetooth connection directly. I started out by using the Alt key, but found that the left command key (Windows key) was more comfortable. Since I only use it for key combos, it does not interfere with normal usage. In addition, if it conflicts with some program on your system I have set it to respond only to the left command key while ignoring the right one.

One wonders. What do Mac people do without page up and page down? Do they just like to click? Maybe clicking is more fun with only one mouse button?!?!?

Press Left Windows + this key
It does this
Notes



Navigation and Control


Up
Page Up
 
Down
Page Down
 
Left
HomeAlso works in combination with Shift key for selecting text.
Right
End Also works in combination with Shift key for selecting text.
BackspaceDelete
 
Alt + Backspace
Insert
This means Left Windows+Alt+Backspace. Insert is not used frequently in Windows, but it is important. Thus its not the easiest of mappings, but its the "alternate" of delete.



System Functions


EscapeCtrl-Alt-Delete
Yes I know Ctrl-Esc brings up the Windows menu normally. But with two Windows keys that do this, do you still need Ctrl-Esc as a reserved combination?
TabAlt-TabAlt-Tab actually works on the keyboard. But the Alt and Windows keys are swapped from normal. I found myself constantly pressing Left Windows+Tab anyways. After I shifted to using Alt-Tab, I realized it hurt my hand to force my thumb under my hand and that Left Windows+Tab was not only what had become natural to me with regard to positioning, but is more comfortable too. This is an anti-RSI mapping.



Alternate Function Keys


F10MuteYes I know, its Left Windows+Fx instead of Fn+Fx. But remember what I said about the Fn key not sending a scan code?
F11Lower Volume
 
F12Raise Volume




Extras

GLaunch browser to Google.
Sorry Windows Live, the Windows guys already took Windows+L for lock computer.
WLaunch browser to Wikipedia.

Download

Other Solutions

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Comments:

coffeeturtle on 11.06.2009 wrote: Yea, you can use FN and EJ via HID on Windows. Check out lexikos sample script for autohotkey. Press the keys and you'll see some scancodes. With a comple of if statements you'll have what you need. Tip -- you'll need a pair of boolean variables to track the keystates if you want to do a FN+EJ combination without a double press.
Chad Z. Hower on 11.06.2009 wrote: Thanks for letting me know! I'll dig into that later, and maybe even write my own program to talk to the HID BT device directly.
Patrick on 11.06.2009 wrote: WOW thats pretty cool ... i like the most that the Windows+Tab key makes Alt+Tab (mistyped it soo often before ;), and of course that you have now a del-key!!! (can't live without it, theres so much to delete) greez patrick
NN on 11.06.2009 wrote: thanks for program..now i can use pg up & down and Home , end key using apple wireless utility... hehehhe..you don't do any funky things with program...
Mr. Peter on 11.06.2009 wrote: I found this blog via Google and you're over my head (technically) - is there a way an idiot (moi) can get the Apple Wireless Keyboard (which is really nice) to work with my Treo 700W? Thanks!
Chad Z. Hower on 11.06.2009 wrote: I dont know if it will work with the Treo or not. The keyboard is a standard type device, so it depends if the Treo would support it. You have to pair it and see if the Treo picks it up.
name on 11.06.2009 wrote: if treo supports HID bluetooth profile,yes,and i am pretty sure yes ps:lots and lots of black/cold guiness for this utility
dbcalo on 11.06.2009 wrote: The script works great. One thing I'm having trouble with is the Esc key. Normally I would assume it to deselect things but it no longer does this. Any ideas?
Chad Hower on 11.06.2009 wrote: Not offhand - Esc works here.... Try a dialog or some place you know Esc does something for sure and see if it works.
dbcalo on 11.06.2009 wrote: It does work in certain instances like canceling a dialog box but for whatever reason it doesn't deselect highlighted text as it usually would.
Chad Hower on 11.06.2009 wrote: I dont think its the keyboard - likely something else on your system instead. See if a normal keyboard responds any different.
Al_Jouregensen on 11.06.2009 wrote: can please explain to me how these Apple Wireless Utility, and Alternate Script is used, because i can´t use the eject key or the print screen in these keyboard with the utility´s on, and if exists thes options where do i press in the keyboard to work? another thing is that the * + «» ~^ keys are wrongly confugured beacuse in realyty i press the key above thes commands to make it eork, if someone can help me or see this i will apreciate, sorry my mistakes i´m from portugal keep up the good work
Danger on 11.06.2009 wrote: That is a really complicated solution. I suggest this: http://www.misuzilla.org/dist/net/applewirelesskeyboardhelper/index.en
Al Jourgensen on 11.06.2009 wrote: Danger the page doesn´t open
omairhe on 08.09.2009 wrote: Uawks 2008.09.17 is a freeware application that allows pc users to use apple wireless keyboard. http://code.google.com/p/uawks/
Kudzu on 09.09.2009 wrote: Cool! Thanks!

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