SharpKeys is a utility that manages a Registry key that allows Windows to remap one key to any other key. Included in the application is a list of common keyboard keys and a Type Key feature to automatically recognize most keyboard keys. It was originally developed in C# using .NET v2 but has been updated to support .NET 4.0 Client Profile
Call for feedback!
I finally merged the code change that changes the way keys are entered into the list, which includes looking for triple-byte keycodes and should enable the ability to remap Alt+Gr. What I don't know is if it works or not, so if you successfully or unsuccessfully remap the Alt+Gr key, please let people know in the Issues section - thanks!
This is something that I've thrown together to help people out with their keyboard 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 wouldn't hit it anymore, but I found something better in Windows XP, as well as 2000, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. 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 Lock 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 having too look up scan codes could be painful... hence SharpKeys.
SharpKeys is not responsible for any of the keyboard remapping functionality - it simply exposes a Registry key that controls how Windows remaps keys and has been available to us since Windows 2000. The list of keys that are included in the application are from most of the US-based keyboards that I've used over the years and is not guaranteed to be 100% complete for world keyboards.
Where can I get the compiled version?
Click the Releases button in the header above or go to https://github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys/releases directly
How do I use it? 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 successfully updated
- Close SharpKeys and either log out (and back in) or reboot to enforce the new mappings
Things that SharpKeys will do:
- Map an entire key to any other key - e.g. you could remap Caps Lock to a Shift key
- Remap more than one key to one single key - e.g. you could remap every key on a keyboard to the letter Q
- Force you to look for the Left or Right ALT key in the list of available keys because Type Key cannot scan for ALT
Things that SharpKeys will not do:
- Allow you to swap two keys with each other - e.g. you can’t have Q and Z swap places because the remapping code would get confused
- Map multiple key presses to one key - e.g. it will not support an attempt to remap Ctrl+C to the F5 key
- Map mouse clicks to any key
- Support certain hardware keys that never make it to Windows - e.g. Logitech’s volume buttons or most Fn keys
- Support multiple mappings for different users - the Windows key being tweaked is for an entire machine
- Protect you from yourself - if you disable your DEL key and can’t login because Ctrl+Alt+Del doesn’t work now, you’ll have to reformat
Additional FAQ and answers
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.
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.
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, they are interpretted by the hardware and never get passed onto the OS, no matter how they appear to work... if Windows doesn't see the key, there's no way for the key to be remapped by Windows.
Q: Type a Key shows 00_100 - can I remap this key?
A: 00_100 is a catch all code that Windows reports when a key is captured by hardware or some other driver so there's no way to successfully remap that key, especially since multiple keys can return the same 00_100 code.
Q: Type a Key shows Unknown Key - can I remap this key?
A: Odds are this is just a key that has never been seen by SharpKeys before so it doesn't know what to do with it. Open an issue on this site for the this project and someone from the Open Source community can look into adding it.
Hope for GitHub contributions:
- A more complete list to support more international keyboards
- An import/export functionality that allows people to swap keymappings easier
- Continued support for new .NET Frameworks