geekhack Community > Ergonomics

Ergonomics and modifiers?

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--- Quote from: T42 on Sun, 27 January 2019, 13:04:46 ---If you mainly type natural languages (and for many other uses), it certainly makes sense to move the numbers to less reachable keys, or to the shift layer as AZERTY does. I guess you still need to find a better place for exclamation mark and double quotes. Or you probably already have, but didn't want to put more effort in the quick-and-dirty image.  :)
--- End quote ---

Re exclamation mark and double quotes, my quick-and-dirty image actually did consider these two. I doubt that I exclaim enough for a relocated mark to slow me down. And, as to the double quotes, these are too tricky to be covered by a single key anyway. In Word, you need to define whether or not you want typographic ones, and if (like I do) you switch a lot between German and English, you can never be totally sure if Word will apply default, English or German formatting to any specific passages, and the typographic quotes look different in both languages (not only the top-versus-bottom position of the opening quotes but also the directions of curvature). Plus in German you have the option of using »...« as quotation marks, which I do occasionally. I use macros for all of these.

In fact I have remapped the (German) >< key to Home and the accent key left to backspace to End without any notable adverse effects on my writing speed. The only non-negotiable native position along the number row is the eszett ("ß"). I am slightly older than I care to be reminded of on a daily basis, so some things are too deeply ingrained, I guess. I consider myself a pretty good touch typist, but numbers or any of the secondary characters along the number row have never really been part of this system, with this one notable exception (as I’m sure you know, you cannot write two sentences in a row without requiring at least one "ß" in German).

What I didn't wholly think out (still haven't, and likely never will) is the implications for key combinations involving multiple modifiers (like Shift + Control + Alt + Win + NumpadSub or something).

Still impressed by the radical (and concrete!) steps you're taking…


--- Quote ---Still impressed by the radical (and concrete!) steps you're taking…
--- End quote ---
Thanks, Paleoboarder! I wouldn't call your layout conservative, either.  :)

Re Word: Interesting, although I know nothing about Word macros. But I too know that Microsoft works in mysterious ways sometimes.

--- Quote ---as I’m sure you know, you cannot write two sentences in a row without requiring at least one "ß" in German
--- End quote ---
Ja, das stimmt. Das ist mir auch noch nie gelungen. Oh wait... did I just write two German sentences in a row without an "ß"?

In the meantime, the round keycaps arrived quicker than expected. They feel noticably better for my weird finger placement. Only minor complaint is that while the caps themselves are as flat as they looked in the pictures, the stem protrudes approximately 2 millimeters. I'd prefer them as flat as possible.

BTW, I posted my Autohotkey script at and a photo of my keyboard.


--- Quote from: vvp on Mon, 04 June 2018, 03:27:54 ---Well, from what I read here you seemed like the most avid user trying to give dual role keys some heavy use. Most people seem to use them only as SpaceFn. That may be somewhat different since space is pressed by thumb. Please, report your experience with dual role keys if you ever return to them again.

--- End quote ---

I use dual role keys in my layout. I placed the modifiers as the dual keys on the bottom letter row, symmetrically for both hands. It works very well. When I really got used to them I sometimes just typed two letters instead of Mod+letter. I learned to type the modifier combination a bit slower and all is fine. Still it is way faster and/or more convenient than reaching the modifier keys somewhere else far away form the home rows. My only issue with them now is that I sometimes miss the correct hand position on the keyboard and press the wrong combo. I'm looking for something to put on the keycaps so I would recognize them by touch.

BTW, I've just read above about the One-shoot-modfiers, that's also smart. I have to try it.

I have shift to sprint pinky? I don't know, it just hurts really bad when i press shift to sprint. It is not comfortable. Should i bind it to caps lock instead? But again, not all games allow it ):


--- Quote from: Sintpinty on Mon, 25 February 2019, 18:15:13 ---I have shift to sprint pinky? I don't know, it just hurts really bad when i press shift to sprint. It is not comfortable. Should i bind it to caps lock instead? But again, not all games allow it ):

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lt's really a shame that not all games allow full remapping. But AFAIR all games I played after switching to the thumb for sprint, jump, and duck (more than 15 years ago, I guess) allowed at least those and other basics to be remapped. Which games do you mean which don't?
One group of often non-remappable controls are number keys for weapon selection. That was especially annoying when I was still using the Thrustmaster Tactical Board on a Windows version where its software didn't work. By default, it has the number keys (only 1 .. 9) on the silver keys around the central arrow keys.
Anyway, maybe you should get a programmable keyboard (with onboard mapping for full compatibility) or hasu's USB to USB converter to get past the games' limitations.
As for the pinky / sprint usage, here's my current (left hand) gaming setup:

* Home, PgUp, NumLock = left, forward, right (ring, middle, index finger home row)
* End, PgDown, Numpad7 = <depending on game>, back, <depending on game> (ring, middle, index finger lower row)
* Numpad4, Numpad5, Numpad3 = duck, sprint, jump (thumb); I replaced 0, period, 1, 2 with flatter keycaps so that they don't get in the way.A drawback is that duck+jump is impossible and sprint+jump is hard. But in the games I play, that was rarely a problem. Sometimes I reordered the three, depending on which combination (or rapid succession) a game needed. Maybe I should just grow a second thumb on my left hand though ;-)


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