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Key Tweak

Friday, March 23rd, 2007 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help
 
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Q:
Often times, when I’m playing a game on my computer, I accidentally hit that key on my keyboard that has the little flying flag on it. Whenever I do that, my game gets messed up. Is there an easy way to disable that key while I’m playing my game and then maybe turn it back on when I’m finished? Please help!

A:
That is a very good question. (You guys really do ask a lot of great questions!) First off, I’m going to tell you what that key with the little flying flag on it is. It’s called the Windows key and it can be found in two locations on your keyboard. On the left side, it is wedged in right between the Ctrl and Alt keys and on the right side, it is placed right beside the Alt key. It does look like a flying flag and it is also one of Windows’ main symbols.

Now that you know where to find the Windows key, what does it do? Well, push on it and see. Its main function is to bring up your Start menu. It can be used in conjunction with a lot of other keys to do several other functions as well though. You can read here for some of those, if you’re interested. So, as you can see, the Windows keys are located in pretty common areas of the keyboard, so it’s very easy to accidentally hit it while you’re trying to do other things. And as the person who asked this question pointed out, it can sometimes mess things up. Whether you’re playing a game or working in another program, an accidental push of the Windows key can really throw things out of whack.

To try and prevent that from happening, you can relocate the Windows key when you know for sure you won’t need it. There are actually a couple ways of doing this, but it really comes down to what type of keyboard you have. It depends on the keyboard, as well as, the kind of software you may have installed on your computer for the keyboard. Okay, I think I’ve prepped you enough. What do you say we get started?!

The easiest way to do this is to use a program called KeyTweak. It is a small, yet strong, utility that allows you to remap where the keys on your keyboard are. KeyTweak is also 100 percent free, so you don’t have to worry about paying any fees to make this work. Now, I know we’re mainly talking about the Windows key today, but with KeyTweak, you can play around with any of the 108 keys that are found on your keyboard. So, if you’re having trouble with another key, you can follow these same instructions for that too.

Also, if you’ve ever tried to do this procedure through other Web sites’ instructions, your keyboard may be all out of sorts. If that’s the case, you probably haven’t been able to get it back to normal yet either. Well, KeyTweak will also help with that. It will help to correct any improper remaps that you may have tried to do before. How cool is that?!

The first thing you need to do is download KeyTweak, which can be done right here. Click on the link at the top of the page that says “Download: KeyTweak – Keyboard Remapper v2.2.0.” Click Run twice and then hit the I Agree button when the next window comes up. Click Install and then Close. Next, go to your Start menu and find the KeyTweak entry. (It won’t put an icon on your desktop for you, so you have to find it through the Start menu). Once you have all that done, you can go about finding the keys you want to tweak.

The keyboard you’ll see on your screen is numbered, so you’ll have to kind of guess which key is which. But, if you roll your mouse over the number, it will tell you what key that is. Just click on the number you want to remap and then choose where you want to put it. Just for your information, the Windows keys’ numbers are 59 (on the left) and 63 (on the right). If you accidentally hit one of those more than the other, remap that one only. The choice is yours, but it’s better to keep the remapping to a minimum, since there are two Windows keys.

So, you’ll want to choose a spot for the Windows key to go. If you don’t use the whole left side of your keyboard very often (like the numberpad) area, remap it to a key over there. For example, you may want to remap number 59 to number 105, which is the minus key on the numberpad. That’s a key that is not used a whole lot and chances are, your fingers won’t accidentally hit it while you’re trying to play your game, etc.

That’s just one example, but you can remap whatever you’d like. If there are other keys that really bother you sometimes, move them around. That’s what KeyTweak is for. Now, it may take a little bit of time to get used to this new program, but read it over and familiarize yourself with it before you take any drastic measures. There is a Help file, so if you have any further questions, just click on that and you should be able to find your answer. Also, if you run into any problems and you don’t like the way you did something, just hit the Restore Defaults button and it will all go back to normal.

Once you get the hang of KeyTweak, I think you’ll really like it. It will really help you to keep your keyboard keys in line and from now on, you can have them just the way you want them. You can’t complain about that, can you?!

~ Erin

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