Easy key remap app.
June 13, 2009 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Software to easily remap key combinations on my Windows 7 laptop?

The software I've found to supposedly do this is a) overly complicated and b) only seems to be able to map an existing key to another existing key, whereas I want to map keys that are not on my keyboard at all(e.g.: ×, …, –, —) using some sort of ALT+key combination. Is there some easy to use application that will help me out?
This should be system wide and free is always nice.
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
posted by orthogonality at 12:50 PM on June 13, 2009

Best answer: Not sure if this is too complicated, but one way with AutoHotkey is to use Lexikos' custom build of AutoHotkey. A very basic script will do what you want on XP, Vista, and probably Windows 7. I've uploaded a zipped version of everything you need here that I'll leave for a while. Or follow 1-3 to get it from the source.

Note: Your antivirus may flag AutoHotkey as malware.

1. Get the standard version from here and unzip it into, say, C:\AutoHotkey.
2. Get the custom build here. Extract the file "AutoHotkey_L.exe" and rename it to "AutoHotkey.exe". Move it into the folder from 1., replacing the original AutoHotkey.exe.
3. Get this so you can compile the scripts. Extract "AutoHotkeySC.bin" and replace the one in C:\AutoHotkey\Compiler.

4. Now make a script with the key mappings you want. Use Notepad or your plain text editor of choice. The upside of using Lexikos' version of AutoHotkey is you can send Unicode characters with
 Send, {U+XXXX}
, where XXXX is the character code. Use the "charmap" utility in Windows to find the Unicode character codes for the characters you want to map to.

Modifier keys you may want to use are:
Alt = !
Shift = +
Control = ^
The script itself is simple, each line is a mapping. Below is an example script with 5 mappings. Text after the semicolon is considered a comment by AutoHotkey and is just there for explanation/reference of each mapping:

!+e::Send, {U+2026} ; alt + shift + e = elipsis
!+n::Send, {U+2013} ; alt + shift + n = en dash
!+m::Send, {U+2014} ; alt + shift + m = em dash
x::Send, {U+00D7}   ; x = multiplication sign. Note: no modifiers here, just 'x' gives ×
+F2::Send, {U+007E} ; shift + F2 = ~ (tilde)
Note that AutoHotkey mappings will usually (always?) override the built-in keyboard shortcuts of the program that has focus.

5. Compile your script. Open AutoHotkey\Compiler\Ahk2Exe.exe. Select the script file for "Source", and give the resulting exe file a name/location in "Destination". Hit "Convert".

6. Run the resulting exe. A tray icon will appear, allowing you to right-click it and exit.
posted by lmm at 3:51 AM on June 14, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks!
posted by signal at 8:01 AM on June 14, 2009

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