MultiKeyboard Macros can of course work with your primary keyboard but also (and that’s the clever part) with aan dditional 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 additional HID keyboard needs to be a different model to be absolutely positively recognized by MKM as a different keyboard
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 “keyboard shaped USB object” 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 KsUSBOs (“keyboard shaped USB objects”) may or may not work - depending on their drivers (and the weather)
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 up most care to be absolutely 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 or logs keystokes on your computer and never sends any data anywhere else over the network - it doesn’t even 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 mass market things like keyboards most manufacturers do not actually bother to write one to the USB chip. They simply clone the chips with whatever serial the first one had there (which may be blank or often some garbage). So there is no reliable way to distinguish one keyboard from another if they are the exact same model and revision, because they also have the same exact serial number. They are a literal carbon copy of each other and you just don’t really know which one you pressed the key on. This issue will be important 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 and may have the same chip inside.In some situations two exact same keyboards when bought at different times may actually have different revision number (for example logitech is good in keeping track of all their devices) and so they may also work.
Why my (insert brand name here) keyboard says it is by some other manufacturer?
That’s how manufacturing world rolls these days. There are companies such as Microsoft or Logitech that indeed do make their own USB devices and sign them as such in the USB chip, 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! You will hardly find keyboard that is in fact Lenovo, Acer, Dell etc. inside.
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)For more, see DIY Keyboards
If you think that this keypad was created by cutting off middle of standard keyboard… then you are right!
Do I have to use the scripting language?
Not at all. All the basic functionality can be just done visually - like sequence of macros, key shortcuts, opening app etc. In fact that was all the version 1.x had and it was still plenty for most users. However with scripting you can do infinitely more. The script can create a special macro logic for example (press Modifier key before you press a macro key etc..) but also work with clipboard, extract text under cursor, process it, send it to keyboard buffer, create multiple clipboards and much more. It is something that very few macro application have to this extend.As time goes, people will figure out a clever way how to use the script for more than we suggested.
How about a single keyboard?
There are many keys on normal keyboards that may not be fully utilized - you may for example redefine some of the less used F keys or keys on the numerical keyboard part. However if you decide to redefine the numerical side of your primary keyboard make sure you set the NumKey to ON first and uncheck: Ignore Num Lock key when defining the key, otherwise you will be redefining also the keys for arrows, PgUp/Down etc…and that’s not probably what you want.
Naturally a single numerical keyboard and a single full size keyboard will always have different model numbers, so no issues there.
Not the same Models please!
Not the same Models please!
Each Numerical keyboard is different model - All is OK
Each full size keyboard is different model - All is OK
Both applications follow each other very closely as the features go. The Multi-Keyboard Macros uses multiple USB alpha-numerical or numerical keyboards as the macro triggers and MIDI Keyboard Macros use various MIDI devices instead, that are normally under-utilized outside music application. It is probably easier to start with Multi-Keyboard Macros - USB keyboards and numerical keyboards are plentiful (and you probably have few unused in your home).MIDI Keyboard Macros can do a few more tricks because MIDI pads and keys also have velocity data. We can also use various Sliders and Knob controls for some extra special actions.Despite the similar looks and very close feature set, the way they utilize their input devices is quite different.
Check MIDI keyboard Macros
MIDI keyboard Macros is a sister application. Turn your MIDI pads, keyboards or controllers into the most sophisticated Macro trigger boards, app launchers, clipboard processor and more.