Custom keyboard layout (and Linux keys on Windows)

Do you know that it is possible to customize your keyboard layout by moving around keys or by adding new combinations? Have you wondered if it is possible to improve your keyboard so that it performs more tasks?

MKLC Main window

Download Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 from Microsoft Download Center.

options panel
Keyboard Layout Creator options panel

You can load an existing keyboard layout and start modifying it, or start from scratch with a new layout.

load existing keyboard layout
Load existing keyboard layout

You can see the effect of modifier keys (CTRL, ALT, ALT GR, SHIFT) and Caps Lock (SPCAP) to each different key. By left clicking on a key you can specify the Unicode value of the character that you want it to enter once pressed (e.g. U+007E for Tilde).  Further more you can also define new dead keys.

The advanced view allows for all key behaviours to be easily configured and reviewed.

configure key behaviour
Configure key behaviour

In the example above, I have made the [ò] key behave differently when caps lock (SGCAP) is active.

Once you have finished you can save your layout and build the setup file for it from the menu action “Project – Build DLL and Setup Package”. If you have already installed a custom layout with the same name, you need to uninstall it first. You can find your installed layout listed under “Programs and features”, as usual.

I have created this simple italian layout where I have added all characters usually available when working under Linux.

  • ~ Tilde on ALT GR + ì
  • ` Grave accent on  ALT GR + ‘
  • “ ” ‘ ’ Curly quotes (single and double) and so on…

You can download my source file mauro-keylayout-it.klc and extend it as you please.

EnjΩy hacking!

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