customize keyboard navigation keys

April 11, 2023

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Remapping 101: How to change your keyboard key output

Your PC or laptop keyboard doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. If you’re not a fan of certain key placements or find that you aren’t using some of your keys, you can rearrange the functions of your keys however you like. Most keyboards are laid out in the same way, but Windows 11 features  allow you to make the necessary adjustments to help you type more comfortably. Learn how you can remap your keys and change keyboard outputs on Windows 11 .

Why remap your keyboard?

If you’re used to a standard keyboard layout, you may not initially see the value in remapping your keys. Here are some common reasons for changing keyboard outputs:

  • Typing on a foreign keyboard. If you want to type in any language besides English, it can be difficult to type seamlessly on an English-only keyboard. By switching your key functions, you can cater to different language settings.
  • Using your keyboard for PC gaming. PC gamers rely on their keyboards to play their favorite games. Remapping your keys to best suit your gaming needs can improve performance and make your frequently used keys more accessible.
  • Repurposing underused keys. Not everyone uses their keys the same way. If it seems like a key that you don’t often use is taking up valuable space on your keyboard, you can reassign its function to find a good use for it and increase productivity.

Popular QWERTY alternatives

You may notice that top row of letters on your keyboard, going left to right, spells QWERTY. However, there are other popular keyboard layouts that can help you type faster or more comfortably. Learn more about each layout and how they might benefit your typing:

  • AZERTY. The AZERTY layout simply moves the output of the Q , W , and M keys. It is most often used in France and other surrounding countries.
  • Dvorak. The Dvorak layout puts the most used keys in the middle row, which decreases finger movement. This typing method can help reduce strain in your fingers, which makes for a more ergonomic experience.
  • Colemak. The Colemak layout offers a slight improvement on the Dvorak layout. It also places the commonly used keys in the middle row, but it keeps the useable features of the QWERTY layout intact.

How to remap your keys on Windows 11

The easiest way to change your keyboard functions on Windows 11 is to use the Keyboard Manager  utility. The Keyboard Manager is one of many utilities available in Microsoft PowerToys , which are a collection of productivity tools that allow users to customize their Windows experience.

How does Keyboard Manager work?

Once you’ve downloaded PowerToys onto your device, select Keyboard Manager and toggle Enable Keyboard Manager. You’ll find separate sections for remapping keys and remapping shortcuts, each of which can be adjusted to your liking. Some keys and shortcuts cannot be remapped in Keyboard Manager, and these limitations are highlighted on the platform. PowerToys must be running for the key mapping to work, so make sure you don’t close out of the program after making your selections.

What other keyboard mapping functions are available on Windows?

If you are still running Windows 10 on your PC, you can download Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator  to create your own keyboard layouts. Microsoft keyboard users can also try the Mouse and Keyboard Center  app to get the most out of the customization features within the accessories. Other keyboard mapping options can be downloaded on Microsoft Apps .

By learning how to remap your keys, you can break the mold and take control of how you use your keyboard. Shop for Microsoft Keyboards  to find the perfect keyboard to test your remapped keys on Windows 11 .

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How to Remap a Keyboard in Windows 10

Use Microsoft PowerToys to reassign keys and change keyboard shortcuts

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What to Know

  • Download Microsoft Power Toys, open it, and then go to Keyboard Manager > Remap a Key or Remap a Shortcut .
  • To reset keys and shortcuts to the default, select the Trashcan icon beside the entry.
  • If you have an external keyboard and mouse, use the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center tool to customize both.

This article explains how to remap a keyboard in Windows 10. Instructions apply to external keyboards and the built-in keyboards of Windows-based laptops.

How to Change a Keyboard Layout in Windows 10

The easiest way to customize your keyboard is by using PowerToys, a free program made by Microsoft. It allows you to reassign keys and change your keyboard shortcuts using a simple interface. PowerToys also enables you to personalize the layout and appearance of the operating system.

Can You Reassign Keyboard Keys?

Follow these steps to reassign keys in Windows 10:

Download Microsoft Power Toys and install it on your PC.

Open Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar.

Select Remap a Key .

If the keyboard options are grayed out, select the Enable Keyboard Manager switch.

Select the Plus ( + ) under Key .

Under Key , choose the key you want to reassign from the drop-down menu, or select Type and enter a key.

Under Mapped To , choose the new key. If you want to switch two keys, repeat steps 5 and 6 to create another entry, reversing the keys.

To reset the key to its default, return to this screen and select the Trashcan icon beside the entry.

Select OK .

Select Continue Anyway , if you see a notice telling you you'll no longer be able to use the keys for their original purpose.

How to Remap Windows 10 Shortcuts

You can change keyboard shortcuts for specific apps or your whole system:

Open Microsoft Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar, then select Remap a Shortcut .

Select the Plus ( + ) under Shortcut .

Choose the key you want to reassign from the drop-down menu under Shortcut or select Type and enter a keyboard shortcut.

Under Mapped To , choose the new key or shortcut.

Under Target Apps , enter the name of an app (if you leave this section blank, the change is applied system-wide).

How to Reset Keyboard Mapping

To set your key reassignments back to the defaults, go to Keyboard Manager in PowerToys, select Remap a shortcut , and then select the Trashcan icon beside the entry you want to delete.

How Can I Customize My Keyboard?

PowerToys lets you reassign keys and shortcuts, but some keyboards come with customization software that gives you even more control over how your device works. For example, you could create multi-key macros and insert blocks of text with a single keystroke. You can customize both with the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center tool if you have an external keyboard and mouse.

If you need to reassign a key because it isn't working, you can enable the Windows 10 on-screen keyboard to access all keys.

Remapping a keyboard on a Mac works differently than on a Windows PC. While you can't wholly remap the keyboard, you can set up custom shortcuts. Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard and click the Shortcuts tab. Select a shortcut and highlight its existing key combination. Then, type in your new key combination, which will replace the previous shortcut.

If you want a hotkey to access a different shortcut or command, download the Windows Mouse and Keyboard Center and connect the keyboard you wish to configure. Open the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center and choose the key you'd like to reassign, then select a command from the command list to become the key's new function.

You don't need to remap a Windows PC keyboard for use on a Mac, but you'll need to be aware of the Windows keyboard equivalents for Mac's special keys . For example, the Windows key is equivalent to the Mac's Command key. Also, key locations are different on a Windows keyboard. If you want to reassign a Windows keyboard key's location for use with your Mac so it's easier to find, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard . Select Modifier Keys , then switch the keys' functions to your liking.

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How to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

Change keyboard shortcuts in Windows if the default ones don't work for you

Man typing on Windows 11 laptop

You'll want to know how to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 if the default shortcuts just aren't cutting it for you. 

Perhaps you're used to a macOS keyboard, or switch between Windows and Mac for work/play like me — if that's the case, it's super useful to reconfigure the default Windows shortcuts so that they're the same as on Mac. You might also want to use a particular keyboard shortcut that feels more comfortable, if you have difficulties with your hand or finger movement, for example.

Whatever the reason, it's easy to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11, but it isn't obvious how to do so if you don't already know. Luckily, this guide is here to walk you through it.

To remap the default Windows keyboard shortcuts, we're going to be using the PowerToys (a suite of Windows tools for power users) Keyboard Manager. Read our guide on how to get PowerToys in Windows 11 if you haven't got the tools yet.

We've already covered how to remap keys in Windows using the Keyboard Manager, but the process for remapping shortcuts is a little different. Remapping keys also changes individual keystrokes, while remapping shortcuts changes keystroke combinations like Ctrl + C (copy). You can also remap specific shortcuts to work differently in specific apps, which we'll also cover in this guide.

If you're ready to get into the guide, so are we! All you need to do now is read on to find out how to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11.

Before you start: remap shortcuts with a little bit of caution as it can cause headaches down the line, but don't worry about messing things up permanently. You can always undo the remaps that you apply with a simple click of the trash can in Keyboard Manager.

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1. Open PowerToys and enable Keyboard Manager

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

First up, open PowerToys and select Keyboard Managers from the menu on the left. It should be on by default, but if it isn't, toggle on Keyboard Manager .

2. Select Remap a shortcut

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

Now select Remap a shortcut .

3. Click the + button

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

Click the + button to create a new shortcut map. 

4. Select your Physical Shortcut

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

You now need to select your Physical Shortcut . This is what keys you press in order to get the result of the existing shortcut you don't like. For example: I am going to set Ctrl + Up Arrow as my Physical Shortcut, mapped to Ctrl + C. That means when I press Ctrl + Up, I will get Ctrl + C (copy).

You have two options to select your Physical Shortcut. Click the dropdown and select a shortcut , or click Type and press the keys you want .

5. Choose your Mapped To keys

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

Now choose your Mapped To keys in the same way as step 4. As you can see in the screenshot, I have select Ctrl + Up as my Physical Shortcut and Ctrl + C as my Mapped To.

If you're typing your shortcuts as in the screenshot above, press OK when the correct keys appear.

6. (Optional) Select an app to use the new shortcut

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

You can now select a target app for the shortcut to work in. In the example above, I have selected only Microsoft Word for this shortcut to run in. You need to use the .exe name of the application : for word that's WinWord. Essentially use everything before the ".exe" on the application executable filename .

To use the shortcut globally, simply leave the Target Apps box blank .

7. Click OK when done

A screenshot showing how to remap shortcuts in Windows 11 using PowerToys

When you're happy, click OK to save your changes.

Don't worry if you don't like your new shortcut. To delete a shortcut, simply follow steps 1-2 to return to the Remap shortcuts page and click the trash can icon next to the shortcut you want to delete .

It's as easy as that! You can now create all the shortcuts you like. If you'd like to read more ways to use PowerToys, we can show you how to use PowerRename to bulk rename files and how to keep your computer awake with PowerToys Awake . You might also be interested in learning about how to customize the Windows 11 Start menu , if you aren't a fan of how it looks or works.

Peter Wolinski

Peter is Reviews Editor at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he's an avid photographer, specialising in architectural and portrait photography. When he's not snapping away on his beloved Fujifilm camera, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, riding his motorcycle, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots. 

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How to Remap Keyboard in Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista

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Remap Keyboard in Windows 10 Using Third Party Tools

Why the need of remapping windows keyboard.

  • If you break any of the keys on the keyboard or it stops working on its on, remapping your Windows 10 keys is a good option.
  • If you work interchangeably on Windows and Mac and want to use a Windows keyboard on Mac . I have found that remapping left Alt button to Ctrl helps a lot.
  • If you use your PC primarily for gaming, than remapping some keys can help you improve your gameplay.
  • If you work a job where you have to use one key a lot, remapping it to a key which is easily reachable can improve your workflow.

So, if any of these reasons make sense to you, here is how you can remap keyboard on your Windows 10, 8,7, and Windows machine.

Remap Keys on Windows 10 with SharpKeys

  • On the main screen of SharpKeys, click on “Add.”

Add Key

  • This will open a key mapping window. Here, from the left pane, select the key that you want should perform some other action . And from the right pane, select the key whose function you want it to perform . You can also click on “Type Key” available at the bottom of both the panes, and then tap your desired key to make that selection. Once you’ve made your selection, click on “OK” to continue. On my computer, I wanted to turn off the Scroll Lock, so I selected “Special: Scroll Lock” from the left pane and “Turn Key Off” from the right.

Select Keys

  • When you come back on the main screen of the tool, you should now see the entry of the remapping that you want to do. To finalize this, click on “Write to Registry.”

Write to Registry

Reassign Keyboard Keys in Windows 10 Using Other Tools

1. keytweak.

KeyTweak is a tool which offers multiple ways – three, to be precise – to remap a key. The first is using the virtual keyboard. This method allows you to choose a key that you want to map, and then select the key, from a drop-down menu, to which you want to map it. The second way, the Half Teach Mode, works very similarly. The third (and the last) way is the Full Teach Mode. This allows you to press both the from and to mapping keys. Using this tool can get a bit of confusing as this uses scan-codes instead of the usual characters.

KeyMapper

2. Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator

Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator

3. AutoHotkey

AutoHotkey takes a different approach for remapping the keys. Instead of the standard registry tweaking, it allows you to create scripts that you can run . A major advantage that you get with this tool is the ability to export the scripts as executable files. Though this does not have an interface as such, the steps for creating and executing scripts can easily be found in the tutorial of the tool. This tool brings more features and is really powerful. Not only you can remap keyboard keys but you can also create key binds, create keyboard executable automation, and more . Note that all these pro features also mean that you will have to invest time in learning this app. If you just want to remap your Windows keyboard, the above tools will be more than enough.

AutoHotKey

4. Key Remapper

4. Key Remapper

Remap Keys on Windows 10 with PowerToys

How to Remap Keyboard in Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista

Install: ( Free )

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you fix keyboard typing wrong characters, why is my laptop not typing, how do i change my laptop keyboard back to normal, what are keyboard hotkeys, how do you fix keys on a laptop keyboard.

You’ll have to replace the laptop keyboard or remap the non-functional keys with functional ones using one of the apps like SharpKeys, KeyTweak, or PowerToys.

What is key mapping?

How do i unlock my keyboard on windows 10, why are my keyboard buttons messed up, how do you check if all keyboard keys are working, remap keyboard in windows 10 easily with these tools.

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Thanks, works like a charm.

tried keytweak and it worked for me

Programmable keyboard like Corsair. Take it with you.

I think it’s better to go with standard one: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/mouse-and-keyboard-center-download-f5b10905-7887-eedb-2f1c-d0737a36a3b2

Works with microsoft products only

Thanks will try. I spilled beer over my keyboard, cleaned it, almost all keys work except k and p for some reason. So i will switch keys with ; or [

Another reason to need this: my Lenovo Yoga 510 has the right-hand shift key *outside* the up arrow, meaning I keep hitting UP and finding I’m typing in the middle of the line above, when I meant to capitalise a word. I might eventually get used to this but looked for a way of remapping instead – a new skill for me, delighted to find it can be done. Off to try SharpKeys now, and if it’s easy as it sounds, I can see myself customising my keyboard in lots of ways… Having a right-hand Function key instead of the AltGr that I almost never use, for example… yabbadabbadoo, fun fun fun.

Thx for add end of the software, i really like that software :3 (i am not friend with that person, i am a person download this software for osu)

ANOTHER REASON TO REMAP: If you have a weak right hand pinky like me, you can remap the Shift key to the never used (by me anyway) but thumb-pressable right ALT key (just to the right of the spacebar).

I want to be able to press the “star” key and have it print my name. I could do this in windows 7.

AutoHotKey can do that. See the description in the article above.

Todas o no servían o era demasiado complicadas Excepto por la 4. Key Remapper

Muchas gracias

Do any of these solutions let you quickly switch between mappings? A *lot* of laptop keyboards nowadays are coming without the embedded numeric keypad, and it’s driving me nuts – I don’t want to have to carry a separate keypad that is easily broken or lost. The ability to quickly switch between normal and custom with a quick keypress would be invaluable.

I have a laptop PC with a US key layout. Which is mostly OK, except that I have the machine set to UK, and I also sometimes use a separate UK keyboard. If I remap the keys so that they do what they say on the keycaps, it will be wrong when I plug in the external keyboard.

Is there a way to have a different keyboard map depending on whether an external keyboard is attached or not?

Willing to use AutoHotKey if it’s clever enough.

thnx a lot realy helped me <3

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How-To Geek

How to remap any key or shortcut on windows 11.

Swapping all of the vowels on your friend's keyboard isn't an officially listed use, but...

Quick Links

Download powertoys from microsoft and install it, use powertoys to remap keys or shortcuts, alternative solution: remap keys in windows 11 using sharpkeys.

Microsoft PowerToys is a handy utility for Windows that lets you customize all sorts of things about Windows---everything from the behavior of windows on your screen to your keyboard shortcuts. Here's how you can use PowerToys to remap your favorite (or least favorite!) shortcuts.

PowerToys doesn't come preinstalled on Windows; you need to download it manually. Microsoft recommends that you download PowerToys directly from GitHub . You should grab the latest version --- it'll always be the one nearest to the top.

Related: What Is GitHub, and What Is It Used For?

Make sure that you grab the correct version for your PC. Most Windows desktops and laptops out there use 64-bit Intel or AMD processors, so download the installer that has "x64" in the name somewhere. Click the ".exe" file once it has finished downloading and follow the prompts.

ARM-based processors are gradually becoming more common in PC, so it is possible your have one. You can always see what CPU is in your PC , and then look up the model number to be sure. Alternatively, you can just guess --- if you try to install the wrong one, you won't hurt your computer, you'll just see an error message.

The other option is to install PowerToys from the Microsoft Store.  Just click "Install" and everything will be handled automatically. The only slight downside is that the version on the Microsoft Store is updated a bit more slowly than the version on GitHub, so you'll have to wait a bit longer for bug fixes.

If you want you can install PowerToys via a command line as well. Open up Terminal, make sure it is a PowerShell tab, then copy and paste 

into the window and hit Enter.

Launch PowerToys and click on "Keyboard Manager" on the left-hand side.

Ensure that "Enable Keyboard Manager" is toggled to the "On" position --- it should be by default. There are two choices: "Remap a Key" and "Remap a Shortcut."

The names mostly speak for themselves. "Remap a Key" lets you map a key to a different key, a key to a shortcut, or a key to a function.

Related: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

As a silly example, you could use "Remap a Key" to map the "T" key to "Ctrl+V" so that pressing "T" would trigger the paste function. You could map the "[" and "]" keys to "Volume Down" and "Volume Up," respectively.

You can select a key, shortcut, or function, using the drop-down menus, or you can click "Type." If you click "Type," you just need to press the key you want instead of scrolling through the list.

You're mostly constrained by the fact that there aren't many keys on your keyboard that can reasonably be rebound to other keys, shortcuts , or functions without impinging your ability to use your computer normally.

"Remap a Shortcut" is more useful in that regard. Unlike "Remap a Key," "Remap a Shortcut" allows you to combine multiple keystrokes and map them to another shortcut or function, and you can even make the remapping application specific. That gives you a ton of flexibility and lets you work around almost any preexisting shortcuts that might cause a conflict.

Related: 30 Essential Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows 10

Select your new key combination, select the shortcut or function you want to map the new key combination to, and then pick the application you want to use it with.

Leave "Target App" blank to make the remap system-wide. If you want a remap to apply only to a specific program, you need to enter the program's executable name into the box.

You can open Terminal and enter the command "tasklist" to get a list of the processes currently running. It will display the name you need to enter into the "Target App" box under the "Image Name" column.

Now instead of mapping "[" and "]" to "Volume Down" and "Volume Up," you can map "Ctrl+[" to "Volume Down" and "Ctrl+]" to "Volume Up," and you don't need to worry about messing with your ability to insert brackets or curly brackets at all. If you wanted, you could map "Ctrl(Left)+Shift(Right)+T" to "Delete" and make it only apply in GIMP.

Plenty of applications let you remap shortcuts or functions within their settings, but some don't --- they're ideal candidates for the PowerToys remapping utility. Microsoft specifically warns that it may not work well in games , though, so test it thoroughly before you join a competitive match.

The one drawback to using PowerToys is that the utility needs to be running if you want to keep the key remapping working. Windows actually supports built-in key remapping via the Registry, but it's so complicated that you're better off using the open source SharpKeys application to handle it.

SharpKeys will allow you to remap any key to any other key, on any version of Windows, and you can even delete the application when you're done. The limitation? It can't handle shortcut key combinations, so you couldn't remap ALT+C to CTRL+C, but you can use it for things like disabling or remapping the Caps Lock key .

Simply install the application from the Microsoft Store or their Github repository, launch it, and then you can click the Add button from the interface to bring up the Add New Key Remapping dialog. From there, you can map from one key to another easily.

SharpKeys has worked in every version of Windows since at least Vista, so you can definitely use it for remapping keys on Windows 10 as well .

customize keyboard navigation keys

How to remap keyboard keys on Windows

There are plenty of reasons you might want to rebind your computer keys. Since this feature changes how your computer interprets each keystroke, you can use rebindings to reroute broken or missing keys, set up cool keyboard layouts, or trigger powerful macros on brand-new custom keyboards . We’ll show you how to rebind keyboard keys on computers running Windows, as well as how to remap shortcuts to new keyboard combinations.

What to know before remapping your keys

While customizing keyboard shortcuts can level up your productivity, you may assume the process requires computer registry edits or third-party software. In truth, it's easier than you may think, and all you need is the official Microsoft PowerToys app.

Microsoft PowerToys is available as a free app for Windows 10 and 11, but it is not compatible with Windows 7 or 8. If you still use those older operating systems, we recommend you upgrade OS regardless, not just because you will get to use PowerToys — Microsoft no longer supports these systems, so they no longer receive crucial security updates . Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn't provide free Windows 10 upgrades anymore, but Windows 11 Pro is regularly sold at a significant discount and brings a host of productivity improvements along with it.

For those seeking some alternative productivity hacks, many modern keyboards and gaming mice include third-party tools that let you configure complex macros. And if you are comfortable making registry edits, you could always disable intrusive suggestions in Windows 11 for a more streamlined Windows experience. For most people, however, PowerToys offers the best key remapping solution.

What is Microsoft PowerToys?

Microsoft PowerToys is a collection of first-party tools designed to help Windows 10 and 11 owners fine-tune their experiences. This program suite lets users alter colors across multiple apps, pin program windows to the front of the screen, and easily resize images. Microsoft regularly updates PowerToys with popular third-party tweaks and customizations, including (for the purposes of this article) the Keyboard Manager that lets you remap your keys.

How to install PowerToys from the Microsoft Store

The easiest way to find and install Microsoft PowerToys is to use the Microsoft Store that comes with every copy of Windows 10 and 11:

  • Open the Microsoft Store by searching for it in the Start menu or clicking on its icon in the taskbar .
  • Within the Microsoft Store, enter PowerToys into the search bar at the top.
  • Select the first result (it should be labeled as a free Developer Tools app provided by Microsoft Corporation).
  • Click Install.
  • Wait for the program to finish downloading. You might need to click on a pop-up window to finish the installation.

While the Microsoft Store should streamline the installation process, if you have removed the store from your computer or can't sign in to your Microsoft account (or perhaps just don't like using their app store), you can also download Microsoft PowerToys from other sources in a pinch.

How to install PowerToys from GitHub

Microsoft also offers the PowerToys program through GitHub. While this website isn't as straightforward as the Microsoft Store, you can install previous or beta versions of PowerToys if the latest official version isn't working for you. To install from GitHub, follow these steps:

  • Browse the GitHub releases page for Microsoft PowerToys .
  • Locate the release version you want. You may find it easier to browse releases by selecting Tags at the top.
  • Under Installer Hashes , download the executable file for the version you want. Make sure you select the correct architecture for your PC. If you are unsure, download the x86 version.
  • Once downloaded, open the executable file and follow the installers instructions.

Regardless of where you received your copy of Microsoft PowerToys, once the app is installed, you are ready to remap your keyboard.

How to use PowerToys to remap keys

Microsoft PowerToys includes a whole suite of features designed to help improve your Windows experience, including the ability to remap keys. Follow the steps below to set up a basic keyboard binding:

  • Open PowerToys .
  • Scroll down through the PowerToys sidebar and select Keyboard Manager .
  • Verify that Enable Keyboard Manager is on. If it isn't, click the toggle to turn the feature on.
  • Select Remap a Key .
  • Select the + Add key remapping button in the new window. Close
  • Click the Select button in either the left or right-hand boxes.
  • Tap on the key you want to remap. Then repeat the process with the other Select button and other key you want to serve as the new target.
  • Alternatively, you can click on the left and right-hand dropdown menus and pick the keys from their selections.
  • Click OK in the top right-hand corner of the window to save your changes.
  • Verify your new keybinding has appeared in the main PowerToys Keyboard Manager window.
  • Close PowerToys and try out your keybinding.

Remapping a keyboard shortcut in PowerToys

PowerToys also lets you remap an entire keyboard shortcut. Here’s how to do that:

  • Open PowerToys and select Keyboard Manager in the sidebar.
  • Select Remap a shortcut.
  • Select the + Add shortcut remapping button in the new window.
  • Make sure the action from the Action dropdown menu is set to Send key/shortcut .
  • Click the Select button (the one that looks like a pencil) in either the left or right-hand boxes.
  • Tap on the keys you want to remap. You can (and should) hold down multiple keys at once, e.g., CTRL and C .
  • Repeat the process with the other Select button and other keys you want to serve as the new shortcut or target.
  • Alternatively, you can click on the left and right-hand dropdown menus and pick the keys from their selections. Please note that the shortcut to remap needs to start with a modifier key (e.g., CTRL or SHIFT ), but the target of the remapping does not. Close
  • If you want to restrict the rebinding to a specific application, enter its name in the Target App field. If you don't, the shortcut rebinding will apply globally to all programs.
  • Select OK to save your selection, and try it out!

You can also use the shortcut remapping function to bind different actions to unique shortcuts. For instance, if you want to open a URL by holding CTRL + D (or any other shortcut), you can do so with Microsoft PowerToys. However, the more complicated actions require progressively deeper programming knowledge.

How to remove a keybinding

Removing a keybinding is similar to adding one. Here's how to do it:

  • Click on the Delete mapping button (the one that looks like a trash can ) to the right of the keybinding you want to delete.
  • Click OK to save your changes.

You can also delete shortcut rebindings the same way. Just go into the shortcuts remapping section and follow the rest of the instructions above.

Playing with PowerToys

Once you get the hang of using Microsoft PowerToys to rebind individual keys and keyboard shortcuts, you can add so much functionality to your computer. Rebinding shortcuts in specific applications is only the beginning; get creative and set up some cool macros to streamline your day-to-day workflow.

This article only scratches the surface of what’s possible with PowerToys, and Microsoft is constantly updating the program . Early versions of new Windows customization features are often developed and previewed on PowerToys before releasing in mainline versions of the Windows OS. Keep an eye out for the next big app.

How to remap keyboard keys on Windows

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Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10

Speed up your workflow and get rid of repetitive tasks

Author avatar

Want to know how to create keyboard shortcuts to do anything on Windows 10? This guide will help. Surprisingly, it’s quite easy to create a quick keybind that can open programs, perform repeatable tasks, and speed up your workflow.

I’ll suggest a number of different options you can use to make keyboard shortcuts and provide some examples of how you can use them to their max potential.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 1

Open Programs Quickly

I can see this shortcut option being useful for a large number of Windows 10 users. It’s quick and easy to set it up so that a quick shortcut can open any executable file. Here’s how to do it.

First, download the WinHotKey program from Directedge . It’s free to use. It’s a bit old, but it works and it’s clean. Once downloaded, go through the installer wizard, then launch WinHotKey. In WinHotKey, click New HotKey in the top left.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 2

In the new window that appears, give the hotkey a name . After, choose what combination you’d like to trigger the shortcut. For example, I chose to do Windows+F2. After, you can click the Browse option to find the location of the executable you’d like to open.

Alternatively, you can just copy and paste the location. WinHotKey will automatically grab the application icon so that you are given visual context about it. You can now open your program with the hotkey you’ve specified.

You must make sure that your keyboard shortcut doesn’t conflict with any existing shortcuts, either Windows defaults or from within the WinHotKey interface. For example, Alt+F4 couldn’t be used. It’s best to stick to Windows + ’X’ combinations to avoid conflicts.

Automatically Type Text

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 3

If you consistently type the same sentences or words, you can automate it with WinHotKey too. To do this, click New Hotkey in WinHotKey, then click the drop down box under I want WinHotKey to: and select Type some text .

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 4

Now, type or paste the text into the box at the bottom of the new hotkey window. Finally, make sure to choose a new keyboard shortcut you haven’t used before.

There isn’t a limit on how many characters you use with this shortcut, but if there is a line break in anything you paste, it will end there. So, it’s best for copying single paragraphs, things like hashtags for Instagram or social links for YouTube descriptions.

Open Folders and Documents in Windows 10

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 5

WinHotKey can also be used to quickly open specific folders and documents within Windows 10. You can simply select the Open a Document or Open a Folder options under the I want WinHotKey to: dropdown box and then follow the same steps as above.

This time though, you’ll need to browse to a specific file or application. If you choose the open document option, most documents will work, so long as you have a supporting application defaulted to open those kinds of files. From my testing, I could get Photoshop, office apps like Excel, PDF files, and text files.

If a file didn’t work, Windows 10 will ask you to choose a default application for that file type, and then future hotkeys with that file type would then also work.

Use Autohotkey for Emojis

AutoHotkey is another application for Windows 10 that can help you to create more complex keyboard shortcuts. This software can be used to automate a large number of different tasks. You can download Autohotkey from their website for free.

Once you’ve downloaded it, extract the file to a memorable location. Then, in the directory, double click an .ahk file , then when asked, choose to browse what application should be used to open such files. Next, browse and navigate to AutoHotkeyU64 . This will allow you to run AutoHotkey scripts by double clicking them.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 6

It’s very easy to use emojis on a smartphone, but there isn’t any easy way to do this on a computer by default. With Autohotkey, you can set up a number of emoji shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 7

Creating a hotkey extension can be quite complex, but thankfully there are dozens of great autohotkey scripts on the internet. For creating emojis, we’d suggest this one .

On the page shared above, click the Raw button to be taken to a raw text file. Next, press Ctrl+A to select the entire code. Then press Ctrl+C to copy it all. After, open a Notepad file and paste the code there.

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10 image 8

Now, click File in Notepad, then click Save as . Navigate to the directory you extracted Autohotkey. Next, click the Save as type drop down box and select All files. Now, name it Emoji.ahk and click Save.

To use this hotkey script, you’ll need to double click it each time you start your PC . After, you can type emoji codes like :smiley: to automatically use emojis. At any time, you can refer back to the Github link above to see which codes are used for each emoji.

More Advanced Autohotkey Scripts

The potential for more advanced Autohotkey scripts is quite impressive. You can read up on some of the best scripts here .  Some examples include the following:

  • Magnify the screen with keybinds
  • Use mouse gestures
  • Drag windows easily
  • Quickly access your favorite folders
  • View upload/download speed via a small on-screen overlay

I hope that this guide on using Windows keyboard shortcuts has been useful. Did you learn anything? I hope so. Did you struggle with any of the suggestions in this guide? If so, send me a Tweet and I’ll be happy to help out as soon as possible.

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Ollie stumbled upon writing online whilst participating in a mobile network forum back in 2011. Since then, he has developed an incredible passion for writing about all sorts of tech from smartphones, PC hardware, software, and everything in between. Read Ollie's Full Bio

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HP PCs - Keyboard shortcuts, hotkeys, and special keys (Windows)

Discover useful keyboard features in Windows that can make navigation, tasks, and functions quicker and easier.

Common keyboard shortcuts

You can use key press combinations to perform common tasks in Windows.

customize keyboard navigation keys

Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts

Use key press combinations to quickly access common functions in Windows 10.

Keys with icons or symbols

Most keyboards come with special symbols applied to the function keys. Your HP keyboard might have extra keys or buttons with icons as well.

On most laptop keyboards, you must press and hold the fn key before pressing the key with the symbol or icon to perform the function.

Frequently asked questions

Review these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to find answers to common questions about keyboard shortcuts.

How do I change or disable a key?

You can use additional software to change the behavior of keyboard keys in Windows.

There are several free software apps for changing the behavior of keys, such as Sharpkeys, MapKeyboard, KeyTweak, Keyboard Layout Creator by Microsoft, and others. Search the internet for the name of one of these software applications or "keyboard mapping software" to learn more.

It is important to create a System Restore point before remapping keys in case you need to return to your original keyboard layout.

The fn key is a special key controlled by hardware. It cannot be remapped using software.

What do the function keys do?

Function keys allow you to perform an action by pressing a key instead of typing a character.

The action that happens for a function key depends on the software that is active when the key is pressed. Some software or apps might have functions for the keys, while others might not. If you press a function key while using an app and nothing happens, the app might not have a function programmed for that key.

Some function keys have a symbol printed on the key in addition to the function number. To activate the function that corresponds to the symbol, press and hold the fn key while pressing the function key. See Keys with icons or symbols for more information.

See the software help menu or support site to find out which keys are supported and the associated functions for those keys.

How do I turn the fn key on or off?

You can change a setting in the BIOS to change the Action Key mode setting.

Normally, you must first press the fn key to perform the secondary action of a function key, which is the action of the printed symbol on the key. Some notebook computers use a feature called Action Key mode that allows you to perform the secondary action without needing to press and hold the fn key first.

For more information, see HP Notebook PCs - How to lock or unlock the fn (function) key .

How do I type an at sign (@)?

On most keyboards the at sign (@) is created by pressing shift + 2 .

If your keyboard has more than one symbol on the number 2 key, press ctrl + shift + 2 to type the at sign. If the at sign is found on the letter Q key, press and hold the altgr key, and then press q to type the at sign.

Can I use my keyboard as a mouse?

Yes. You can use keyboard shortcuts to perform normal Windows tasks in place of actions that would normally be done through a mouse. Or, you can enable mouse keys to use the numeric keyboard in place of a mouse.

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to perform normal Windows tasks that would normally be done by using a mouse.

Use mouse keys (numeric keypad required)

Move the mouse pointer and click items in Windows by using the keys on the numeric keypad.

Press the Windows key + u to open the Ease of Access Settings screen.

Open the Ease of Access options for using a mouse.

Using the keyboard: Use the arrow keys and the tab key to highlight the Mouse option from the Ease of Access menu on the left side of the window, and then press enter .

Using the mouse: Click the Mouse option from the Ease of Access menu on the left side of the window.

Turn on mouse keys.

Using the keyboard: Use the arrow keys and the tab key (if needed) to highlight Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen , and then press space to make the selection.

Using the mouse: Click the slider for Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen .

If Num Lock is not enabled, press the num lock key to enable the numpad and Mouse Keys . The Mouse Keys feature is only on when Num Lock is enabled.

Press the following keys to perform mouse actions from the numeric keypad:

To move the pointer, press a number other than 5 in a direction that corresponds to the number's placement on the keypad. For example, press 8 to move the pointer up or press 1 to move the pointer down and to the left.

To left-click, press forward slash ( / ) and then press 5 .

To right-click, press the minus sign ( - ) and then press 5 .

To double-click (the left mouse button), press forward slash ( / ) and then press + .

To drag (hold the left mouse button), press zero ( 0 ).

To drop (release the left mouse button), press period or decimal point ( . ).

The speed of the mouse pointer might be slow after first enabling this feature. Increase the speed of the mouse pointer from the pointer options tab in mouse settings.

What do I do when some keys type the wrong characters?

Make sure that Num Lock is off by pressing the num lock key. If the problem persists, make sure that your keyboard input method in Windows matches your keyboard's country/region type. For example, if a QWERTY input method is used with a QWERTZ keyboard, some letters, such as Y and Z, do not produce the key press as labeled on the keys.

Additional support options

Try one of our automated tools or diagnostics

Enter a topic to search our knowledge library

How to change keyboard layout on Windows 10

If you have to use more than one keyboard layout on Windows 10, in this guide, I'll show you how.

Change keyboard layout

  • Chang layout
  • Remove layout

On Windows 10 , in the initial setup, you usually get prompted to configure additional keyboard layouts. However, you can always add or remove layouts if you don't choose the correct setting or must type in another language.

Typically, changing the input settings is uncommon, but there are many situations when you might need to. For instance, sometimes you may need to switch to the Spanish layout to write words that include special characters like "Ñ," or prefer a different layout, such as the United States-Dvorak.

Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 10 ships with easy settings to add, remove, and change layouts for hardware and touch keyboards.

In this how-to guide , I will walk you through the steps to manage keyboard layouts on Windows 10.

How to add keyboard layout on Windows 10

To add a new keyboard layout on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Open Settings .
  • Click on Time & Language.
  • Click on Language .
  • Under the "Preferred languages" section, select the current default language.
  • Click the Options button.

Language option

  • Under the "Keyboards" section, click the "Add a keyboard" button.
  • Select the new keyboard layout to add to Windows 10.

Add new keyboard layout

  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 to add more layouts.

Once you complete the steps, the new keyboard layout will be added to the device, and you can switch between them using the instructions below.

While changing layouts is straightforward, it'll reconfigure some of the keyboard keys, which means some of the keys may print a different character depending on the layout.

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To switch between keyboard layouts on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Click the Input Indicator icon in Taskbar (bottom right).
  • Select the new keyboard layout.

Windows 10 change keyboard layout from taskbar

  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 to switch back to the default layout.

After you complete the steps, you can start typing with the new keyboard layout.

Enable Input Indicator

If the Input Indicator is not present in the Taskbar, you can enable it through the Settings app.

To enable the Input Indicator on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Click on Personalization .
  • Click on Taskbar .
  • Under the "Notification area" section, click the "Turn system icons on or off" option.

Turn system icons on or off

  • Turn on the Input Indicator toggle switch.

Windows 10 enable Input Indicator

Once you complete the steps, the icon will appear in the Taskbar's notification area to access the layouts and switch between them. You can also use the "Windows key + Spacebar" keyboard shortcut to cycle between the available keyboard layouts quickly.

How to remove keyboard layout on Windows 10

To remove a keyboard layout on Windows 10, use these steps:

  • Under the "Keyboards" section, select the keyboard to remove from the list.
  • Click the Remove button.

Windows 10 remove keyboard layout

  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 to remove additional layouts.

Once you complete the steps, the keyboard layout will be removed from the device.

More resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

  • Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
  • Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

Mauro Huculak

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

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customize keyboard navigation keys

customize keyboard navigation keys

Use the keyboard to work with the ribbon

Do tasks quickly without using the mouse by pressing a few keys—no matter where you are in a Microsoft 365 app. You can get to every command on the ribbon by using an access key—usually by pressing two to four keys.

In this topic

Use keytips to access the ribbon, keyboard shortcuts for keytips, change the keyboard focus without using the mouse, other useful keyboard shortcuts for the ribbon.

To show the KeyTips and to place the focus on the selected ribbon tab, press the Alt key. KeyTips are shown for the ribbon tabs and for the buttons on the right side and in the header.

KeyTips shown over each option in the ribbon in Word.

Tip:  For a list of the most often used keyboard shortcuts that represent the KeyTips, see Keyboard shortcuts for KeyTips .

Press the one or two letters shown in the KeyTip over the command you want to use. Depending on which letter you pressed, you might see additional KeyTips. For example, if the Home tab is active and you pressed N, the Insert tab is displayed, along with the KeyTips for the groups in that tab. If the selected command is a split button (that is, a button that opens a menu of additional options), pressing the KeyTip will open the menu.

Continue pressing letters until you press the letter of the specific command you want to use.

Tip:  To cancel the action you’re taking and hide the KeyTips, press the Alt key. To go back a step and see the previous KeyTips, press Esc. If you are at the first step, pressing Esc hides the KeyTips and moves the focus back to the document.

Top of Page

The keyboard shortcuts in the following table can be used to activate the KeyTips described in Use KeyTips to access the ribbon . The table lists the most often used keyboard shortcuts in a Microsoft 365 app.

Another way to use the keyboard to work with the ribbon is to move the focus among the tabs and commands until you find the feature you want to use. The following instructions describe how to move between the following main regions in the ribbon:

Area A: Ribbon tabs

Area B: Lower ribbon

Area C: Header

Ribbon in Word, showing the main regions of the ribbon.

To place the focus on the selected ribbon tab (Area A), press Alt.

To move the focus to and select a different ribbon tab, press the Left or Right arrow key. The focus will also move to the buttons on the right side and loop back to the left side.

To move the focus from the ribbon tabs to the lower ribbon (Area B), press the Tab key until you reach the first button on the lower ribbon.

To move through the commands, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab.

Note:  You can also use the arrow keys to move through the commands, but when the focus is on a command that is a text edit field, you need to press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to move the focus to the next or previous command.

Tip:  You can press Ctrl+Left or Right arrow key to jump to the previous or next section of the lower ribbon.

To perform a command, press Spacebar or Enter. If the selected command is a split button, press Alt+Down arrow key to expand the dropdown menu.

Tip:  To collapse a dropdown menu, press Esc. If no dropdown menu is expanded, pressing Esc will move the focus back to the document.

To move the focus to the header above the ribbon (Area C), with the focus in Area A, press Shift+Tab. To move through the commands in the header, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab.

Note:  You can also use the Left and Right arrow keys to move through the commands, but when the focus is on a command that is a text edit field, you need to press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to move the focus to the next or previous command.

Use keyboard shortcuts to create PowerPoint presentations

Use a keyboard to customize the Quick Access Toolbar

Keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft 365

Keyboard shortcuts for the File menu in Microsoft 365 for Windows

Microsoft 365 help & learning

Do tasks quickly without using the mouse by pressing a few keys—no matter where you are in a Microsoft 365 app.

You can use the keyboard to work with the ribbon and move the focus among the tabs and commands until you find the feature you want to use. The following instructions describe how to move between the following main regions in the ribbon:

Ribbon in Word for Mac, showing the main regions of the ribbon.

To navigate the Microsoft 365 for Mac apps with the keyboard, first do one of the following to turn on the macOS keyboard navigation setting:

In macOS Ventura 13.0 or higher, go to System Settings > Keyboard , and then turn on the Keyboard navigation switch.

In earlier macOS versions, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts tab, and then select the Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls checkbox.

To place the focus on the selected ribbon tab (Area A), press F6 repeatedly.

To move the focus to a different ribbon tab, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab, and then press Spacebar to select it.

Tip:  If you want to move the focus to the buttons on the right side of the ribbon tabs, continue pressing the Tab key.

To move the focus from the ribbon tabs to the lower ribbon (Area B), press the Tab key repeatedly.

To move through the commands in the lower ribbon, press the Tab key or Shift+Tab.

To perform a command, press Spacebar. If the selected command is a split button, press the Down arrow key to expand the dropdown menu.

Tip:  To collapse a dropdown menu, press Esc. If no dropdown menu is expanded, pressing Esc will do nothing. If you want to move the focus back to the document, press F6 repeatedly.

To move the focus to the header above the ribbon, press Shift+F6 once.

You can access the ribbon by using KeyTips that are shown over each command available in the current view.

To display the KeyTips, do one of the following:

On Windows, press Alt+Period.

On Mac, press Control+Period.

KeyTips shown over each option in the ribbon in Word for the web.

Press the one or two letters shown in the KeyTip over the command you want to use. Depending on which letter you pressed, you might see additional KeyTips. For example, if the Home tab is active and you pressed N, the Insert tab is displayed, along with the KeyTips for the groups in that tab.

Tip:  To go back a step and see the previous KeyTips, press Esc. If you are at the first step, pressing Esc hides the KeyTips and moves the focus back to the document.

Another way to use the keyboard to work with the ribbon is to move the focus among the tabs and commands until you find the feature you want to use. The following instructions describe how to move between the four main regions in the ribbon:

Area C: Buttons in the upper-right corner

Area D: File menu

Ribbon in Word for the web, highlighting the four different areas: Ribbon tabs in Area A, lower ribbon in Area B, upper-right corner in Area C, and the File menu in area D.

To place the focus on the selected ribbon tab (Area A), do one of the following:

To move the focus to and select a different ribbon tab, press the Left or Right arrow key. The focus will loop between the left and right sides.

To move the focus from the ribbon tabs to the lower ribbon (Area B), press the Tab key once.

Press the Left or Right arrow key to move through the commands. The focus will loop between the left and right sides. In the Classic Ribbon layout, the focus will move through the commands row by row.

Note:  When you move the focus to a command that is a text edit field, you need to press the Tab key or Shift+Tab to move the focus to the next or previous command.

Tip:  If you are using the Single Line Ribbon layout, you can press Ctrl+Left or Right arrow key on Windows to jump to the previous or next section of the lower ribbon.

To perform a command or open a dropdown menu, do one of the following:

On Windows, press Spacebar or Enter.

On Mac, press Spacebar or Return.

To move the focus to the upper-right corner (Area C), with the focus in Area B, press the Tab key once. To move through the commands in area C, press the Left or Right arrow key. The focus will loop between the left and right sides.

To move the focus to the File menu (Area D), with the focus in Area C, press the Tab key once.

Tip:  To move the focus to the header above the ribbon, press Shift+Ctrl+F6 on Windows or Shift+Command+F6 on Mac.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk .

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Introduction to Web Accessibility

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Keyboard Accessibility

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The experts at WebAIM can audit your web site and provide a detailed report to help you remediate accessibility and WCAG compliance issues.

Introduction

Ensure that all content can be accessed with the keyboard alone.

Keyboard accessibility is one of the most important aspects of web accessibility. Many users with motor disabilities rely on a keyboard. Some people have tremors which don't allow for fine muscle control. Others have little or no use of their hands, or no hands at all. In addition to traditional keyboards, some users may use modified keyboards or other hardware that mimics the functionality of a keyboard. Blind users also typically use a keyboard for navigation. Users without disabilities may use a keyboard for navigation because of preference or efficiency.

Potential Problems

There are many ways that a webpage can introduce difficulties for users who rely on a keyboard for navigation. Below are a few of the most common issues.

Focus indicators

A keyboard user typically uses the Tab key to navigate through interactive elements on a web page—links, buttons, fields for inputting text, etc. When an item is tabbed to, it has keyboard "focus" and can be activated or manipulated with the keyboard. A sighted keyboard user must be provided with a visual indicator of the element that currently has keyboard focus. Focus indicators are provided automatically by web browsers. While their appearance varies based on the browser, the focus indicator is typically shown as a border or highlight (called an outline) around the focused element. These outlines can be hidden by applying outline:0 or outline:none CSS to focusable elements.

Avoid outline:0 or outline:none or other styles that remove or limit visibility of keyboard focus indicators.

In addition to the default outline, you can use CSS to make the focus indicator more visually apparent and keyboard-friendly by ensuring the focus indicator is highly visible with sufficient contrast, and by adding a background color or other visual focus style to links and other interactive controls. The outline can be styled to match your site design but should be readily detected when navigating with the Tab key.

Navigation order

As a keyboard user navigates through the page, the order in which interactive items receive keyboard focus is important. The default keyboard navigation order must be logical and intuitive. This generally means that it follows the visual flow of the page—left to right, top to bottom. For most pages this means header first, then main navigation, then page navigation (if present), and finally the footer. This navigation order (and also the reading order for screen readers) is determined by the web page's source code. For best results:

  • Structure your underlying source code so that the reading/navigation order is correct.
  • Then, if necessary, use CSS to control the visual presentation of the elements on your page.
  • Do not use tabindex values of 1 or greater to change the default keyboard navigation order.

Items that should not receive keyboard focus

Links, buttons, and form controls are natively accessible to keyboard users, so should be used for interactivity whenever possible. Page elements that are not interactive to mouse or touch users should not be made keyboard focusable (such as by using tabindex ). Making non-interactive elements keyboard navigable will cause confusion.

Note: An <a> element is only keyboard accessible or presented to screen reader users as a link when it has a non-empty href attribute. <a> (without an href attribute) or <a href=""> (no href attribute value) should not be used for links.

Inaccessible custom widgets

If a native HTML element is not sufficient, then a custom-made control or widget might be necessary. All custom controls must still be accessible to keyboard users. You may need to use tabindex="0" to ensure an element can receive keyboard focus. ARIA may also be necessary to ensure that the control or widget is presented correctly to screen reader users. The ARIA Authoring Practices outlines necessary keyboard interactions and ARIA coding necessary for many types of custom widgets. To be made highly accessible the following must occur:

  • The interaction is presented in an intuitive and predictable way
  • JavaScript event handlers work with a keyboard and a mouse.
  • The interaction uses standardized keystrokes.

Lengthy navigation

Sighted mouse users are able to visually scan a web page and directly click on any item. Keyboard users must press the Tab key or other navigation keys to navigate through the interactive elements that precede the item the user wants to activate. Tabbing through lengthy navigation may be particularly demanding for users with motor disabilities.

Long lists of links or other navigable items may pose a burden for keyboard-only users. The following best practices can facilitate efficient keyboard navigation:

  • Provide a "skip to main content" link on the page.
  • Use a proper heading structure .
  • Provide regions or ARIA landmarks ( <main> , <nav> , etc.)

Keyboard Testing

Testing with a keyboard is an essential part of any accessibility evaluation.

The following table includes many of the most common online interactions, the standard keystrokes for the interaction, and additional information on things to consider during testing.

The ARIA authoring practices document provides additional information for these and other common interactions. Be sure to test keyboard accessibility on mobile devices—users with disabilities often utilize an external keyboard with phones and tablets.

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Customize keyboard layout including navigation keys

I know how to customize the keyboard layout as explained here . it works with symbols and numbers, but how can I assign navigation keys?

What I want to do is to assign the arrows and other navigation keys to use them with alt gr:

  • Alt Gr + s = Left
  • Alt Gr + d = Down
  • Alt Gr + f = Right
  • Alt Gr + e = Up
  • Alt Gr + t = Prev page
  • Alt Gr + v = Next page
  • Alt Gr + a = Home
  • Alt Gr + g = End
  • Alt Gr + z = Delete
  • Alt Gr + q = Escape
  • Alt Gr + r = Insert
  • keyboard-layout

Artur Meinild's user avatar

I found the solution here

and these changes did what I wanted. Now I can use the directions and numbers without moving my hands position.

First, run xev and press the keys to find their keycodes.

Create a script with the following:

Give the script execution permissions with

To make this permanent, add this command to the startup applications:

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customize keyboard navigation keys

Community Tutorial: Common UI Plugin - Keyboard Navigation

Common UI is a great Plugin; however, the documentation is sparse right now and people are having issues with Keyboard Navigation. I managed to get Keyboard Navigation to work! This Tutorial explains my clean(ish) implementation. https://dev.epicgames.com/community/learning/tutorials/B5R6/unreal-engine-common-ui-plugin-keyboard-navigation

It would be great if you did a video version of this because I’m really having trouble with hovering keyboard, Gamepad and mouse navigation.

I followed trhe guide and everything works great except the Confirm input action. For some reason it just doesn’t work.

I defined a “Confirm” input action in my table and bound it to Enter on the keyboard but it just doesn’t work.

Did you set the Triggering Input Action for your Button to Confirm? In your Widget Blueprint, with your Button selected, the Triggering Input Action should look as mine does in the picture at the bottom of the Tutorial.

Thanks for the idea springboard. For what it’s worth, while I’m having no luck get things to look selected (everything matches your setup, afaict), the hovering is working nicely. Also, so far, focus is interchangeable between all 3 input types, every time I’ve tested it, though there’s occasionally like a hitch when swapping between them too fast. (i.e gamepad will move from last hovered mouse button, and keyboard will move from where gamepad left off, and mouse can hover anything, but appears to start from last hovered… I think. Part of that hitch thing. It seems more like they just aren’t reading where they are until you move, except the mouse, which sometimes reads immediately, and sometimes has to focus a new button. At least in my testing.) Hope that’s somewhat helpful regarding your note near the Set Keyboard Focus node.

If you want a Button to be Selectable, be sure to fill out the Selected section of your Button Styles. My Buttons for selecting a Server or Remapping Key Bindings use these Styles:

image

Of course, the Selectable checkbox will need to be enabled in the Button’s settings.

I haven’t worked on the TODO note any further since making the Tutorial! I’ll likely need to dig into CommonUI’s code and find how Gamepad inputs are managed. There must be some state or reference deep down to track the last UI Element the Gamepad was “hovering”. Making the Keyboard and Mouse update this state/reference will fix it! In the grand scheme, it’s a pretty small detail.

Yeah, that was poor wording on my part, haha. I meant they never look pressed . They are firing, just not updating in appearance. I assume that I customized something, somewhere, that is messing with that, though. Kinda doing a whole UI overhaul using Lyra as a model, and it’s hard to keep track of what that changed in addition to what I changed on top of that.

Kind of compounds that whole “sparse documentation” thing.

You know how it goes…

Hello, thanks for the great tutorial. Focusing is working, but I have problems with Input Action Confirm. Please help me.

It works only in case when I’ll click with the mouse button at WBP_UiButton. At this point, Enter is working. But. Also works Spacebar but this key I don’t have bond anywhere. I need to unbind Spacebar.

When I will select another button by the arrow key, Confirm does not work (Event “On Button Base Clicked” didn’t call). It works again when I click on the Button with the mouse. I need to have correct navigation by the keyboard.

I need to bind navigation to W, A, S, D keys.

What is strange, if I remove “Input Data” from “Project Settings” and also from Button->“Triggering Input Action”, Enter and Spacebar are still working.

Thanks a lot for any suggestions to fix it.

I didn’t realize Spacebar works as a “Confirm”! That’s interesting. There are some additional navigation rules like Tab and Shift + Tab going to the next Button and previous Button respectively. I wonder if these are documented somewhere!

For #2: make sure the Default Triggering Input Action is set on the CommonUI Button (both in the WBP, and in the Menu containing instances of the WBP as updating the Blueprint doesn’t always update existing instances). Also make sure the Triggering Input Action is set in the “On Focus. . .” Events in your Blueprint. Both of these are hopefully clearly explained in the Tutorial!

For #s 1, 3, and 4: Unreal has some navigation rules coded outside of the CommonUI Plugin. To unbind Spacebar, you’ll have to write some C++ to override these rules. Binding W, A, S, and D to navigation would likely also need to be done in C++. I haven’t looked into this very much, but FNavigationConfig’s Constructor looks like a promising place to start. Also, FNavigationConfig::GetNavigationActionForKey() appears to be where Enter and Spacebar are “bound”. (Filepath: UE_5.1\Engine\Source\Runtime\Slate\Private\Framework\Application\NavigationConfig.cpp).

I suppose there may be an alternative approach - like consuming Spacebar inputs before they are passed down to Slate, effectively “unbinding” it. Maybe a “dummy” CommonUI Action could be bound to Spacebar and it be set to consume the input? Hard to say without testing!

I have the same problem when i pause the game. Escape button doesn’t work when I enable the widget. How can I activate the escape button?

Have you found a solution?

I am in a slightly better situation now. I changed CommonButtonBase to CommonBoundActionButton and derived it into my Button. I added it to CommonActivatableWidget. When I activate CommonActivatableWidget, the triggering actions start working.

Navigation also starts working with CommonActivatableWidget, along with arrows. I disabled/edited the arrows in the derived C++ class from FNavigationConfig. Now, in the constructor, you can change the binding, as in FNavigationConfig. You can set it in c++:

FSlateApplication::Get().SetNavigationConfig( MakeShared<FMySlateGameNavigationConfig>() );

I have found out that it does not matter if you have set “Input Data” in Project Settings. It is just a default property that will be added to Triggering Actions when you create a widget.

However, I am still working on understanding other things in CommonUi.

I have followed your tutorial but I am facing a wall with commonUI:

1- Right now it does not matter which keys i set on the input data for default click and back actions, click is always space and none of the keys I set up work, only the default one for click, this happens to me both in the gamepad and keyboard. It must be a bug. So i can only move with arrow keys and select with space.

2- When i set focus on a button with the “setFocus” or “setKeyboardFocus” upon widget activation I can not select the button with the space bar, I can only select it after I have moved once with the arrow keys and the blue outline appears around the key (i haven’t disabled the render focus for testing purposes). So at the very beginning of opening and activating a widget the focus is set into a button but i can not select it until I move.

And yes I have checked all the default triggering actions in the screenshots shown in the guide.

I have the same issue, I am pretty sure everything is setup correctly but if I have different buttons, the one that is setup as default does not get pressed until I move around the button list first.

Did you find any solution?

I don’t know if it helps, but I have come with another solution for the keyboard OnHovered behavior using SetSelectedInternal when add/remove from FocusPath. I think it is more simpler, you only need to set the Normal Hovered and Selected Base with the same brush and Normal/Selected Pressed so it behaves the same way.

Screenshot 2023-05-02 at 10.04.23

In my case, all your setup worked perfectly, except for the confirm button, I had it set up on Enter and it seems to only work using Space Bar. Do you have insight on this by any chance?

Edit: Also, I can see that if the mouse is still hovering another button and I use the arrow keys, not both will be set as “hovered”, yes Space Bar only works on the one I move to with the arrow keys, but It could cause confusion.

I know this Topic is some older one… but… I managed to make the Buttons get hovered by the keyboard keys… Nice…

But… when i hover one with the mouse and tap a keyboard key… i have two hovered buttons…

And… how can i set a Button to be focused on startup of my Menu? I tried to SetFocus and SetKeyboardFocus inside the EventOnActivated, getting the focused Widget via the overridden GetDesiredFocusTarget Function… but the first button (is set inside the function) is not selected and hovered… i still need to hover it with the mouse first, in order to have keyboard cursor input working…

I’ve had the same issue as you where the input data doesn’t make a difference. I’ve also had the weird behavior where I would have to move selection with the keyboard before space bar works. Hitting tab makes it focus to the current button correctly (subsequent tabs move the focused element).

Spacebar

This calls a c++ method in my derived UCommonButtonBase that calls HandleButtonClicked()

Also, Common UI docs were updated. If anyone is looking to change the arrow key or space bar behaviors, the “Customize Navigation in Your UI” section here is useful

This worked for me. There is a weird bug though. Let’s say I hover with mouse and then press the keyboard key, the hovered button is still highlighted. Now I have 2 hovered buttons. I think @BDC_Patrick is referring to the same issue

Please base on your tutorials. What was “Default Input Action Row and Null Input Action” set as? You did’nt Show thier Default value. @Patterson

When creating the variables, do not set a value for either. Default Input Action Row is used in Event OnInitialized to keep a reference to the Button’s default setting and Null Input Action is used in the same Event to set the Button’s Triggering Input Action to nothing.

The Button should have a Triggering Input Action set to whatever value you desire and this must be set both in the Button’s Blueprint and any instance of the Button in a Widget Blueprint (i.e., updating the Button’s Blueprint doesn’t seem to update the settings in existing Instances).

The flow is: -Button is added to a Widget Blueprint and its Triggering Input Action is set to whatever is desired when the Button is Hovered by Mouse or by Keyboard. -On Runtime, Button is Initialized and its Triggering Input Action is stored in Default Input Action Row and set to Null. It won’t respond to Inputs when it isn’t Hovered. -Button is Hovered by Mouse or Keyboard and its Triggering Input Action is set to the Default Input Action Row. It will respond to Inputs.

This is how only one Button - the Hovered one - will respond to an Input.

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customize keyboard navigation keys

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Remap Your Keyboard

    Once you've downloaded PowerToys onto your device, select Keyboard Manager and toggle Enable Keyboard Manager. You'll find separate sections for remapping keys and remapping shortcuts, each of which can be adjusted to your liking. Some keys and shortcuts cannot be remapped in Keyboard Manager, and these limitations are highlighted on the ...

  2. Shortcuts, Hotkeys, Macros, Oh My: How to Remap Your Keyboard

    Click Keyboard Manager, then select Remap a key to re-assign individual keys or Remap a shortcut to assign hotkey combinations to a single key. Click the + button, then set the key and map it to a ...

  3. How to Remap Any Key or Shortcut on Windows 10

    After you install it, launch PowerToys Settings, then click "Keyboard Manager" in the sidebar. In the "Keyboard Manager" settings, click "Remap a Key." When the "Remap Keyboard" window pops up, click the plus button ("+") to add a new key mapping. After that, you'll need to define which key you want to remap (in the "Key:" column), and what key ...

  4. Customize keyboard shortcuts

    Use a mouse to assign or remove a keyboard shortcut. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon. At the bottom of the Customize the Ribbon and keyboard shortcuts pane, select Customize. In the Categories box, select the category that contains the command or other item that you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to or remove a keyboard shortcut ...

  5. How to Remap a Keyboard in Windows 10

    Follow these steps to reassign keys in Windows 10: Download Microsoft Power Toys and install it on your PC. Open Power Toys and select Keyboard Manager in the left sidebar. Select Remap a Key . If the keyboard options are grayed out, select the Enable Keyboard Manager switch. Select the Plus ( +) under Key .

  6. How to change keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11

    Learn how to customize keyboard shortcuts in Windows 11 with this easy guide. Find out how to change, create, or delete shortcuts for your convenience.

  7. How to Remap Keyboard in Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista

    1. KeyTweak. KeyTweak is a tool which offers multiple ways - three, to be precise - to remap a key. The first is using the virtual keyboard. This method allows you to choose a key that you want to map, and then select the key, from a drop-down menu, to which you want to map it.

  8. How to Remap Any Key or Shortcut on Windows 11

    Launch PowerToys and click on "Keyboard Manager" on the left-hand side. Ensure that "Enable Keyboard Manager" is toggled to the "On" position --- it should be by default. There are two choices: "Remap a Key" and "Remap a Shortcut." The names mostly speak for themselves. "Remap a Key" lets you map a key to a different key, a key to a shortcut ...

  9. How to Customize Your Computer Keyboard

    Double-click on the setup.exe file to install the keyboard layout. Reboot your computer. After you sign back into Windows, you should see the name of your current keyboard layout displayed in the ...

  10. How to remap keyboard keys on Windows

    Select Remap a shortcut. Select the + Add shortcut remappingbutton in the new window. Make sure the action from the Actiondropdown menu is set to Send key/shortcut. Click the Selectbutton (the one ...

  11. List of all Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts: The ultimate guide

    Windows key + Spacebar: Change keyboard layout and input language. Windows key + Tab: Open Task View. Windows key + Ctrl + D: Create a virtual desktop. Windows key + Ctrl + F4: Close active ...

  12. Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts for Anything in Windows 10

    Once downloaded, go through the installer wizard, then launch WinHotKey. In WinHotKey, click New HotKey in the top left. In the new window that appears, give the hotkey a name. After, choose what combination you'd like to trigger the shortcut. For example, I chose to do Windows+F2.

  13. HP PCs

    Discover useful keyboard features in Windows that can make navigation, tasks, and functions quicker and easier. ... You can use additional software to change the behavior of keyboard keys in Windows. There are several free software apps for changing the behavior of keys, such as Sharpkeys, MapKeyboard, KeyTweak, Keyboard Layout Creator by ...

  14. Keyboard shortcuts in Windows

    Windows logo key + Shift + Left arrow or Right arrow. Move an app or window in the desktop from one monitor to another. Windows logo key + Spacebar. Switch input language and keyboard layout. Windows logo key + Ctrl + Spacebar. Change to a previously selected input. Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter. Turn on Narrator. Windows logo key + Plus (+)

  15. How to change keyboard layout on Windows 10

    Open Settings. Click on Time & Language. Click on Language. Under the "Preferred languages" section, select the current default language. Click the Options button. (Image credit: Mauro Huculak ...

  16. Use the keyboard to work with the ribbon

    The keyboard shortcuts in the following table can be used to activate the KeyTips described in Use KeyTips to access the ribbon . The table lists the most often used keyboard shortcuts in a Microsoft 365 app. To do this. Press. Open the File page. Alt+F. Open the Home tab. Alt+H. Open the Insert tab.

  17. WebAIM: Keyboard Accessibility

    The default keyboard navigation order must be logical and intuitive. This generally means that it follows the visual flow of the page—left to right, top to bottom. ... All custom controls must still be accessible to keyboard users. ... Keyboard users must press the Tab key or other navigation keys to navigate through the interactive elements ...

  18. Customize keyboard layout including navigation keys

    I know how to customize the keyboard layout as explained here. it works with symbols and numbers, but how can I assign navigation keys? What I want to do is to assign the arrows and other navigation keys to use them with alt gr: Alt Gr + s = Left; Alt Gr + d = Down; Alt Gr + f = Right; Alt Gr + e = Up; Alt Gr + t = Prev page; Alt Gr + v = Next ...

  19. Community Tutorial: Common UI Plugin

    I need to have correct navigation by the keyboard. I need to bind navigation to W, A, S, D keys. What is strange, if I remove "Input Data" from "Project Settings" and also from Button->"Triggering Input Action", Enter and Spacebar are still working. Thanks a lot for any suggestions to fix it.

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  21. Elektrostal

    In 1938, it was granted town status. [citation needed]Administrative and municipal status. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Elektrostal City Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Elektrostal Urban Okrug.

  22. Category:Gorodok factory

    Media in category "Gorodok factory" The following 41 files are in this category, out of 41 total.

  23. Time in Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia now

    Sunrise, sunset, day length and solar time for Elektrostal. Sunrise: 04:25AM. Sunset: 08:21PM. Day length: 15h 56m. Solar noon: 12:23PM. The current local time in Elektrostal is 23 minutes ahead of apparent solar time.

  24. File:Flag of Elektrostal (Moscow oblast).svg

    Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.