Daniel Hoelbling-Inzko talks about programming

Using a Mac Keyboard on Windows

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on September 15, 2009

I decided to do something really stupid: Spend 50€ on a Apple Keyboard.


Why? I was in the market for a keyboard that mirrors my laptop’s key press experience. The Apple Keyboard seemed like the perfect choice at first, and so I bought it at my local Apple retailer.

One thing I didn’t consider at the store was that on the Apple Keyboard ALT and Command have traded places, and the default mapping on Windows is Command = Winkey.

So, I found some handy guides on the internet on how to use the nice little program AutoHotkey to remap keys on the keyboard. So I could flip positions on Winkey and Alt.

Doing so with AutoHotkey is very easy and there are numerous scripts out there to do all sorts of crazy things. Here is the script I came up with after some time:

+F8::Send {Media_Play_Pause}
+F7::Send {Media_Prev}
+F9::Send {Media_Next}
+F10::Send {Volume_Mute}
+F11::Send {Volume_Down 2}
+F12::Send {Volume_Up 2}

Also I have found it important to run AutoHotKey as admin, otherwise all these key mappings are lost whenever you enter a UAC protected area.

Now that the Key mappings are all set up I have to say that I am really happy with the keyboard so far. The typing experience takes some time getting used to, but it’s really solid and well manufactured and I am not really all that sure if I’ll go back to my Natural Keyboard 4000 anytime soon. (I might if the Apple one proves to be discomforting after prolonged use, but that remains to be seen).

PS: Windows Live Writer on my main machine decided to break. As of now I can’t write blog posts on my computer any more and I have on explanation for that (besides some Exception text stating that Courier New has no regular cut). And I get really pissed off by that (and by the fact that WLW is saving my drafts in some obscure binary format I can’t read).

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