Why Programable Keyboards Are Better Than Software Key Remap
Here is why using programable keyboard is better than using software (such as AutoHotkey, Karabiner, xmodmap) to remap keys:
Advantages of Programable Keyboard Over Operating System Key Remap
- 100% Reliable. Your custom key or macro will work in any operating system, any machine.
- Program once, plug in to any machine running any Operating System, and all your remap and macro works. (example: bring to work, home, travel.)
- Driverless programable ones let you program the key by just pressing keys, without starting a software.
Key mapping via firmware is reliable. Because the keyboard sends the desired keycode directly to operating system. For example, say you want CapsLock to send Ctrl. With firmware, the CapsLock sends Ctrl directly to operating system. With key remapping software in OS, the keyboard still sends CapsLock signal, the OS receives it, and changes it to Ctrl.
Problems with Key Remap by Software on Operating System
- When you plug in the keyboard on another machine, such as at work, you need to configure that machine first.
- On Windows, certain keys can't be remmaped, such as ❖ Window+L.
- On Windows, many games ignore Operating System level key remaps to prevent cheating.
- On Windows, AutoHotkey and Microsoft PowerToys do not work when the app need privilege, such as when in Windows Task Manager or in Registry Editor
- when system boots before Windows is loaded, your custom key doesn't work, such as editing system bios.
- On MacOS, it remaps your numpad keys, so it's nearly impossible to make number pad keys do anyting else while not changing your number row keys.
- On MacOS, depending on the software, it's difficult remove some default keys, such as ⌘ command+c.
- In Linux, most key remap such as xmodmap or xbindkeys won't work in Linux: Virtual Terminal or single user mode or boot screen.