MultiKeyboard Macros work with any standard USB or Wireless keyboard that is HID compliant. You can recognize HID compliant keyboard easily: they can type characters as soon as you plug them in, even without any special driver.The only requirement is that each HID keyboard needs to be a different model to be positively recognized by MKM
Dedicated keypads and game boards that require a special driver are not HID compliant. Some of them may work once their driver is installed (for example Logitech G13). When you plug-in non HID keyboard it will not do anything at all before you install drivers. These devices are not really keyboards even if they may look like one but are called keypads. They do not have normal letters printed on them, rather just a generic pad numbers (or G1, G2.. as in logitech case)
If it doesn’t have normal letters it isn’t really a keyboard, it is a USB device with keyboard-like keys and it needs a driver!
Some of those keypads will install a virtual keyboard driver and that may make them work as a HID device. If these keys are mapped to keyboard keys, MultiKeyboard macro will see them as well.In any case, these non standard keypad devices will come with their own macro software. If the manufacturer doesn't make the drivers anymore then you are likely out of luck. (That’s why HID keyboards with MultiKeyboard Macros are better choice)
These keyboard shaped USB objects may or may not work - depending on their drivers.
How many additional keyboards you can plug to your computer ?
There is no physical limit - but they need to be all different models or revisions.
How to remember which key is for what?
If you have been watching as many art and craft videos on youtube as I did, you may already know that it is indeed a thing: people “decorate” their keys with WASHI tape. While I will leave the aesthetics of such act for you to judge, the fact is: this simple and effective idea would work well for the shortcut keyboards.
Example of WASHI tape craft projects - from google search
We build this application with the purpose to be used in our office and to be deployed on all our personal and business computers. Understandably, you may (and in fact you should!) have questions about an application that sits between you, the keyboard and the OS. We, therefore, build it with the upmost care to be safe without any ability to store or transmit data to the outside world.
If it has letters, it is very likely a HID compliant keyboard that doesn’t require any driver and can be used with our software.
It is very simple: Your privacy concerns are the same as our privacy concerns. So we made sure the application never stores anything temporary on your computer except what you see and define as the Macros and never sends any data anywhere else over the network - it doesn’t have such capabilities.
Labeling the keys does make big difference for productivity. Even if it is just with a sharpie. The normal keyboard key is about ½” x ½” (12x12mm) give or take, so any label/tape of that width will work. Sadly there doesn’t seems to be ½” square labels available easily.On the left picture AVERY 05167 return labels were used.
So wait, each of the keyboards need to be a different model?
Yes, the keyboards need to be different models or at least different revision number. The reason is that while we can retrieve serial numbers of the USB device, for things like keyboards most manufacturers do not bother to write one these days to the USB chip. They simply clone the chips with whatever the first one had there (which may be blank or a garbage). So there is currently no reliable way to distinguish one keyboard from another if they are the exact same model and revision. They are a literal carbon copy of each other. This issue may come to effect if you: 1) add more than one numerical keyboards: the two or more numerical keyboards cannot be the exact same models 2) add additional full size keyboard: the secondary full size keyboard cannot be the exact same model as the Primary keyboardIf two keyboards look identical and have just different label - it probably is the same re-branded keyboard.
NEW Version 1.20
Why my (insert brand name here) keyboard says it is some other manufacturer?
That’s how world rolls these days. There are companies such as Microsoft or Logitech that indeed do make their own USB devices, but most, even big companies do not bother making such small stuff like keyboards. Don’t be surprised by some of the exotic names of the devices!
There are many interesting DIY keyboard projects you can do in your spare time… although be warned, doing these things are not for faint hearted. Most common keyboards use thin foils as contacts and everything is sort of fit pressed together - hard to solder anything anywhere when needed. You can also go for fully custom solution including switches, 32u4 Arduino or other USB HID chip and your own case. Sky is the limit. (A good source for prepared USB HID boards are the silicone flexible “roll-up” keyboards that somehow appeared everywhere few years back but nobody actually wanted to use - the PCB inside has actually a connector that can be used to solder your own switches and you get the USB cable as a freebie)
If you think that this keypad was created by cutting off middle of standard keyboard… then you are right!