How to Program Numberic Keypad as Function Keys

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

This page shows you how to set the number-pad keys as function keys, for {Windows, Linux, Mac}. For example, set a key to switch to browser, close tab, copy, paste, etc.

pc keyboard
the numeric keypad of a standard PC keyboard

Microsoft Windows

First, you need to install AutoHotkey. See: AutoHotkey Tutorial

Create a file with the following content.

; set number pad keys

NumpadDiv::Send ^{PgUp} ; previous tab
NumpadMult::Send ^{PgDn} ; next tab
NumpadSub::Send ^w ; close window

Name the file “numpad_keys.ahk”.

Now, double click the file to run it. It will run in the background, and now you can press the / * to switch to pre/next tab, and - to close tab.

For more examples, see:


For Linux, there are 2 things you need to do.

  1. Set a key to run a shell command.
  2. The shell command does action. It can send key combination such as 【Ctrl+c】, or {switch, close, launch, …} {windows, apps, tabs, …}.

For Linux desktops such as Gnome, KDE, Ubuntu Unity, Xfce, there's a GUI that lets you easily set a key to run a shell command. Look for it in your system control panel.

xfce keyboard setting panel 2013-06-01
Xfce keyboard setting panel

I recommend using the desktop GUI to set a key. Otherwise, you can use xbindkeys. See Linux: Xbindkeys Tutorial

For {switch, open, close} windows, see Linux: Add Key to Switch App

For sending key combinations such as 【Ctrl+c】, 【Ctrl+w】, 【Alt+Tab ↹】, use xvkbd. See: Linux: Set F2 F3 F4 to Cut Copy Paste ⌨


For Mac, by default, it's impossible to make the number pad do anything other than inputting numbers, because Mac does remapping at some low level.

You need tool to set keys on number pad, see: Mac Keyboard Software Guide .


Emacs: Bind Number Pad Keys

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Alternatively, you can get keypad that are programable by itself.

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