Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard on Windows
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 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.
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||Home||Also works in combination with Shift key for selecting text.|
|Right||End||Also works in combination with Shift key for selecting text.|
|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. |
|Escape||Ctrl-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?|
|Tab||Alt-Tab||Alt-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|
|F10||Mute||Yes I know, its Left Windows+Fx instead of Fn+Fx. But remember what I said about the Fn key not sending a scan code?|
|G||Launch browser to Google.||Sorry Windows Live, the Windows guys already took Windows+L for lock computer.|
|W||Launch browser to Wikipedia.|
- Apple Wireless Utility - This is a ready to run EXE made specifically for the Apple Wireless Keyboard. Download it, and add a short cut to your start up group. If you want the source it is here.
- Alternate Script - An updated source script with support for the eject button. Thanks to Bohdan A. Snihurowych.
- Registry Mapping - Use one of many free utilities to modify your registry to remap keys. This has the advantage that no background software needs to run, but you are limited to simple replacements like making F11 do page up, and F12 do page down. Where do you put the delete key? ` seem ok to you for delete?
- Apple Bootcamp - You can install the Apple Keyboard driver from Bootcamp. The link at the bottom of the page here has it for download. However this only adds some features such as page up, page down, home, and end. What about insert? Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Very important in Windows!). Also, the bootcamp drivers do not work in Windows 64 bit.
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