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Last post Author Topic: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.  (Read 7018 times)

pilgrim

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'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« on: May 15, 2013, 10:28:26 AM »
When I am typing I frequently need to go back and edit things as I have a habit of hitting 2 keys at once, on my Netbook I can manage up to 4!

Two of the keys I use a lot when editing are 'Home' and 'End'.
On a full size keyboard that is not a problem but on my Netbook they are linked to the 'FN' key which is at the opposite end of the keyboard, making it at best extremely difficult for me to use them.

I am wondering if there is a way to find the commands that those two keys use so that I can set up shortcuts using different keys, as even if it is possible I would prefer not to remap any keys.
I have tried running a search but the only thing I turned up which was even slightly relevant was that the 'FN' key works differently to any of the others and cannot itself be modified.

Can anybody suggest a solution by this or any other means?
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 02:21:43 PM »
Forget the Fn key for a moment. Perhaps then you could reassign it to another key with the same means, but probably not (even most macro tools fail here), and your foremost problem is to have the Home and End keys somewhere, and here, no problem whatsoever IF you are willing to sacrifice some other keys; if you cannot find such keys, you must install a macro program, too, in order to sacrifice such keys all the same, but regain their original functionality by key COMBINATIONS via the macro tool.

Because the underlying problem is, you can reset keys within Windows, but not key combinations, and this means perhaps, you should start by looking if you can sacrifice two keys, and if not, forget the Windows ways, and start trialling macro tools instead (since if you have to use a macro tool anyway, why get into the Windows depths then, additionally?).

So, if you can sacrifice two keys, have a look at the tool SHARPKEYS, which will allow you to reassign the Home and End functions to those sacrified keys.

Bear in mind that there is the shiftlock key which would make a good Home key, and for Home, there might be another "special character" key somewhere you almost never use, depending on the language of your kb and the language(s) you're writing in (remember if ever you really need that sacrified, special character, you could always get it by the Windows characters table; for one usage per month, that might be acceptable).

The beauty of this registry-hacking solution lies in the fact that there won't be any additional tool running, but many a people prefer macro tools because of the extreme unflexibility of these hacks: Whenever you want to change these assignments, it'll be another half hour (first time: one hour or more, with the necessary identification of the relevant scan codes), to do the changes (and note the changes and store them away, with a "before" and "afterward" - or is this really necessary? I did it per hand; in Sharpkeys, it's probably much simpler to do and to monitor).

Here's how to do it by hand - or so I thought, in fact it's become a 404, and I couldn't get it anew from other source:

http://www.usnetizen...com/fix_capslock.php

I had retrieved the contents some years ago (but cannot copy them here since this would be against the law, and it's rather lengthy). Today at bits, Surfulater (for anyone who doesn't have such a tool already, and this 404 proves how important it is to have local storage, instead of just bookmark managers), half price.

The search terms would be "remap" / "remapping", etc. - but I suppose Sharpkeys will do.

Thinking of it, you will not only lose the basic character of that new End key, but also the special character that normally is attained by shift there, so it all depends on your needs for those special characters. On the other hand, there's plenty of macro programs that all avoid these problems, but on the contrary offer many new possibilities; some macro programs come with a free "lite" version, and in the end, that would perhaps be the best way to begin with.

When you trial such macro programs, pay attention to the most basic difference of them all: Each macro program is able to assign commands or characters or strings and so on to just SOME keys, and it's not possible to assign these to other keys, or then, to some keys just in combination with control, and so on, but not "flat", so the very first step is to check which keys CAN be assigned with something (and "flat", and / or in which combinations, shift, alt, control, windows key, and so on) - and with the next macro tool, all this is completely different again (and of course, they don't publish these severe limitations not in their offerings and neither in their manuals).

So it's a lot of work to choose the right macro tool (that would perhaps preferably go into the learning of a scripting language), and that's why in a case somebody needs just SOME re-assignments to begin with, a free tool - any free tool - is best, for these very basic things. Then, note the problems you will have with that tool, and when choosing a paid tool, pay attention there that it will not have the very same limitations as the free tool you're leaving. (The paid version of your free tool will very probably have the same limitations as the free version, with regards to which keys can be assigned which way.) Some tools could even assign commands to the Fn keys - in SOME notebooks, and not in others.

And in general, it's a good idea to reassign rarely-used flat and shift functions to the shift and control states of that same key, this way freeing the flat state for a frequently used function, meaning if you have a [/{ and a ]/} key, why not reassign them to (flat/shift/control:) Home/[/{ and End/]/}, respectively. (Attention, even these "flat state" and "shift state" reassignments could be impossible with numerous (even paid) tools, since it's "character keys" which often cannot be reassigned but for control state, depending on the respective tools.)

Or then, a total reassign of the F keys, of course, which should be possible with every such tool, and with Home/End on F9/F10, for example.

A last word perhaps with respect to macro programs: Do NOT try to find something elaborate where you will have oh so many possibilities later on - it's all in proprietary formats, and with numerous limitations, and often without real reliability: For elaborate tasks, you'll need system variables, and which have to be totally reliable, and I had  bad experiences here, with the developers denying any problems - I lost lots of time and energy with trying to use the "better" macro tools "up to their max", instead of shifting to a scripting language in due time. To begin with a simple macro tool for simple tasks, fine; when you need more, it'll be scripting, period. But elaborate macro tools for "intermediate" tasks? Forget them, it'll be so much pain to translate all this into a real scripting language afterwards, and the time this will become necessary will come soon enough then.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 04:26:37 PM by evamaria »

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 04:50:01 PM »
At the end of the day, even the "very simple macro tool for very simple basic tasks" advice is rubbish: Why spend your time with trialling 5 such tools, checking what they do and what they do not do? All what you need for a start is a very simple #Persistant script that will reassign some keys, and from there on, you'll be able to add whatever you want, step by step, the only "difficulty" here being that the keys to be reassigned will probably be identified by their respective scan codes, in the form

SC012:: send {home}

instead of in the form

a:: send {end}

or

F10:: send +^!{whateverspecialkey}

but there is a tool for that, just go to the Autohotkey forum and ask for where to begin with that (and there are tables for the special keys).

Why learn the respective functioning of ANY proprietary macro tool when you can learn the very basics of Autohotkey in the same time?

Tinman57

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 06:34:05 PM »

  A LONG time ago, I remember reading about an app called something like "KeyMapper" or "KeyboardMapper".  It's freeware (a long time ago now), and it may be what your looking for.  It might even be one of DoCo's apps.....

Edvard

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 07:03:43 PM »
The best solution I have personally come up with is to get a USB keypad, like so:

keypad.jpg

Personally, I've considered getting one and scraping off the characters so I can re-map all the keys to make a poor man's MIDI controller.   8)


Or, you can use something like StrokesPlus or Just Gestures to make mouse movements into shortcuts for 'Home' and 'End', or find some keys you don't use and re-map them with AutoHotkey.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2013, 07:09:45 PM by Edvard »

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 08:18:35 PM »
Keypads with Notebooks, for numbers? Might be possible in some cases. In most cases, and with most notebooks, this is not possible, though, since the numkey setting necessary for the keypad also switches the numkeysetting of the notebook keyboard, and only some keypads promise to do this properly, meaning differently for the keypad and not affecting the notebook, and even with some of these (Hama, with special advertising on this matter), I had extreme problems, a minute it worked properly, the next it switched those keyboard keys to numbers, after some typing on the keypad - it was a nightmare - so I discarded keypads for notebooks a long time ago. (There is always the venerable Cherry 4700, but that costs four times the price and runs with special software, but then is excellent and doesn't cause any problems, except by its size.)

But here the task is the other way round: The keypad would not be switched to numlock, but have all these navigational keys handy that on the notebook are too tiny, and just replicating them. And this means Edvard's advice is brilliant, as long as you don't try to enter numbers with that keypad: Spend 8 or 10 bucks, and have all these navigation keys in due size and in proper arrangement! (But bear in mind no macro program will be able to distinguish between them and those on the keyboard, meaning you will just "lose" the latter, not have them available for other commands - in case you think of combining these solutions.)

IainB

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 10:05:04 PM »
These may be of use:
CAPshift v1.7
ShiftOff v1.2
Microsoft remapkey.exe

I have used remapkey for years.

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 04:25:28 AM »
Thanks for the replies, I have had a quick look at some of the software mentioned and found some interesting reading which I will go back to.

As I said in my original post I do not really want to remap any keys as those that I use the least tend to be connected to the FN key so I would lose 2 functions not 1.
I just had a look and there are 35 keys that are connected to the FN key, that's not far off half the keyboard (84 keys).

Leaving aside keyboards with FN keys when I press either the Home or End keys on a full size keyboard they obviously send a command to the OS, presumably to a DLL or an EXE file, my original idea was to find those commands and trigger them from a shortcut, either directly or through a batch file, the problem is finding those commands.

Edvard,

I had never seen one of those before, I looked them up and found a selection on Amazon, all reasonably priced, I would prefer not to add any hardware but it is worth keeping in mind.
Mouse movements are not really an option as switching between keyboard and mouse is something I try to avoid doing more than necessary.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

tomos

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 04:34:02 AM »
I'm not clear pilgrim - are you also against the AHK idea (if that could work) ?
replacing home (Fn+Home) with an easier combination, e.g. Ctrl [SOME-KEY]+Home

[edit] It's complicated by the fact that Home itself is used in keyboard-combination - with Control AND Shift at any rate [/edit]
Tom
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 09:19:45 AM by tomos »

tomos

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 04:37:19 AM »
[..]
Microsoft remapkey.exe

I have used remapkey for years.

that looks nice - have you tried it on more recent OS's?
I see on the MS dowload page they say
Note: The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are not supported on 64-bit platforms.
-
http://www.microsoft...etails.aspx?id=17657
Tom

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 06:19:54 AM »
I'm not clear pilgrim - are you also against the AHK idea (if that could work) ?
replacing home (Fn+Home) with an easier combination, e.g. Ctrl+Home

It is one of the things I need to look into further and Ctrl+Home/End would in many ways be ideal as the right Ctrl key is next to the Home key, my concern is not losing the funtion of the FN key for everything else it is connected to.
(Not to mention screwing up the entire keyboard.) :(
Based on my brief previous experiences with AHK it might take me a while but I shall certainly have a look at it.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Stoic Joker

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 06:36:40 AM »
Not sure what your keyboard layout is, but some of those devices have a (BIOS) setting that allows the default (Fn key)state to be set between the usual function keys and the special device keys state. Because some people never use the F1-12 keys...and some depend on them.

Just a thought.

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 06:49:12 AM »
"my concern is not losing the funtion of the FN key for everything else it is connected to"

It seems I wasn't enough specific by saying, forget the Fn key. What I meant was with everything you do with Home, End, whatever, you will NOT SHIFT these functions elsewhere, you will just REPLICATE them elsewhere: If you're crazy enough to do so, you could have 2 dozen of different Home and End keys on your kb, and even have 40 of them will not make you lose these from your Fn combinations.

"they obviously send a command to the OS, presumably to a DLL or an EXE file"

I think I get what you're asking for. Key pressings send scancodes to somewhere, and they can be intercepted by all these third-party things that persistently monitor the system for that, but its either remapping (you don't want) OR having additional things running and monitoring (that's what you call "Not to mention screwing up the entire keyboard", and in fact, these tools persistently monitor ALL of your keys, even if you just change 2 or 3 assignments - they are not selective here), there isn't a third way. Hence the beauty of the additional keypad solution in your case.

But I very much hope that some expert here could give an answer WHY there is not a single such program that that just intercepts the pressings of 1 or 2 specific keys, then sends particular scancodes - because technically, this should be possible, and with additional keys, it is. So from a logical point of view, some spcified keys should be taken OUT of this automatic processing of all keys present (by what Windows routine?), and be processed then by tiny, particular software just working for these keys that without this particular treatment would be "dead" now. I suppose that doesn't exist simply because the overhead of monitoring all keys permanently, on modern computers, isn't a problem anymore, and because once you will have started to reassign  SOME keys, you quickly will want "more". Or is there a techical problem that prevents such partial solutions? This being said, remapping is very limited, no key combinations, and not many concurrent remaps possible, either, just five or so. Which leads us to the question why there isn't any available "general table" for assigning all scancodes freely to all these keys to begin with - perhaps another fault in the Windows design.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 07:27:49 AM by evamaria »

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 07:30:17 AM »
Not sure what your keyboard layout is, but some of those devices have a (BIOS) setting that allows the default (Fn key)state to be set between the usual function keys and the special device keys state. Because some people never use the F1-12 keys...and some depend on them.

Just a thought.

It's a Samsung NC10, the BIOS is extremely limited compared to others I've seen, I've got a copy of the manual on it, I'll look it up.

"my concern is not losing the funtion of the FN key for everything else it is connected to"

It seems I wasn't enough specific by saying, forget the Fn key. What I meant was with everything you do with Home, End, whatever, you will NOT SHIFT these functions elsewhere, you will just REPLICATE them elsewhere: If you're crazy enough to do so, you could have 2 dozen of different Home and End keys on your kb, and even have 40 of them will not make you lose these from your Fn combinations.

"they obviously send a command to the OS, presumably to a DLL or an EXE file"

I don't know the depths of Windows programming I'm afraid, but this is not obvious to me, or it's a misunderstanding. Key pressings send scancodes to somewhere, and they can be intercepted by all these third-party things that persistently monitor the system for that, but its either remapping (you don't want) OR having additional things running and monitoring (that's what you call "Not to mention screwing up the entire keyboard", and in fact, these tools persistently monitor ALL of your keys, even if you just change 2 or 3 assignments - they are not selective here), there isn't a third way. Hence the beauty of the additional keypad solution in your case.

Thank you for the clarification. I will definitely have a look at AHK, if I can work out what I need to do I can compile it on my PC and copy it across.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 07:46:07 AM »
Sorry, you got the old version of my post; of course you're right, it's just the interceptability of these command transfers that I wanted to express. My general question (to some experts in these things that must be here, too!) is, there are various "kb layouts" from MS you can switch between, and independently of your "system language" - so WHY there isn't such a thing as an alternative FREE KB LAYOUT (be it from MS, be it from a third-party developer), in which the user would  assign his individual scan codes to each key (perhaps starting from a US "default" layout which is then adjusted in various ways), and which conceptionally would be TOTALLY DIFFERENT from all these macro / scripting things today that all INTERCEPT scan code transmission - in such an "individual kb layout", as in any of all these French, Spanish, whatever kb layouts, there is NO such interception and obvious "scan code replacing" running, but DIRECT scan code transmission (to whatever in Windows then "processes" these).

Any insight about this, from some real expert?

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 09:18:57 AM »
See my AHK tutorial.

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 09:25:50 AM »
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

skwire

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tomos

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 09:32:03 AM »
I edited this post:

I'm not clear pilgrim - are you also against the AHK idea (if that could work) ?
replacing home (Fn+Home) with an easier combination, e.g. Ctrl [SOME-KEY]+Home

[edit] It's complicated by the fact that Home itself is used in keyboard-combination - with Control AND Shift at any rate [/edit]

I thought I was being very smart :D
I made Ctrl+F12 into home, but that worked as Ctrl+Home (bringing me to start of body of text)
Next I tried Shift+F12 - but that selects all preceeding text (as in Shift+Home)

So you cant use Shift or Control ...

I tried some alt combos here but they had unexpected results.

You need this AHK page
http://www.autohotke...com/docs/Hotkeys.htm
and maybe this one:
http://www.autohotke...com/docs/KeyList.htm

and your script will look something like this:
[new key(s)]::Home
without any brackets

naturally you'll need to test it on the netbook (you were talking about compiling - that's not necessary but can be done at the end if you want)
Tom

IainB

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 09:56:37 AM »
[..]
Microsoft remapkey.exe
I have used remapkey for years.
that looks nice - have you tried it on more recent OS's?
I see on the MS dowload page they say
Note: The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are not supported on 64-bit platforms.
-
http://www.microsoft...etails.aspx?id=17657

All I know is that on my HP ENVY laptop (Win7-64 Home Premium) one of the first things I did was to use remapkey to remap these keys:
caps lock -->  right shift
right ctrl --> delete

I use AHK to detect right shift+left shift+[an alpha key] as hotkey combos to launch different applications. This is so as to avoid reserved hotkey conflicts, because nothing else is very likely to use right shift+left shift hotkey combos.
The right ctrl key is never required by me, and just happens to be where I want the delete key to be (instead of in the top-RH corner, just above the home key, inviting a mistake).

By the way, @mouser's TapTap is pretty nifty for this sort of thing, and does not involve key remapping:
Quote
Example:
You might have a program which normally triggers on Alt+Ctrl+F5, but you want to configure it to trigger with a double tap of the right control key. You can use TapTap to detect Right Control Doubletap events, and send a Ctrl+Alt+F5 when it does. In this way, you can control your programs the way you want to, and they never know the difference.

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 10:13:38 AM »
Here, I believe: http://www.donationc...ndex.php?topic=34948

Thank you.

tomos,

I had found some similar combinations myself but they only worked on a full size keyboard.

I had just found some links myself:
http://www.autohotkey.com/docs/commands/Send.htm
http://www.autoitscript.com/autoit3/docs/appendix/SendKeys.htm Not my cup of tea.

Strangely enough it was this link that gave me a better understanding of what actually happens:
http://retired.beyondlogic.org/keyboard/keybrd.htm

If I use AHK I would need to compile it as it's not installed on the Netbook.
While the keyboard and the OS is different I am going on the assumption that the end command should be the same on my PC, if not there's always plan B. ;D

IainB,

Thanks, I'll have a look at TapTap.

Quote
Note: The Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are not supported on 64-bit platforms.

I came across this when I was doing something else and I found some of the files it contained did work on x64 but most did not.

All I need now is the time to go through everything. :)
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

tomos

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 11:36:20 AM »
While the keyboard and the OS is different I am going on the assumption that the end command should be the same on my PC...

I'm only a beginner myself pilgrim,  but I suspect this might not be the case -
especially as you say -
"I had found some similar combinations myself but they only worked on a full size keyboard"

(Isnt "installing" AHK easy to do anyway - simply unzip and run?)

~~~~~~~~~~~

@Iain - many thanks for the info and tips :Thmbsup:
Tom

evamaria

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 05:02:52 PM »
From that beyondlogic (haha!) link: "The IBM keyboard you most probably have sitting in front of you, sends scan codes to your computer. The scan codes tell your Keyboard Bios, what keys you have pressed or released." Call me a pain in the a** but that's rubbish: Either it sends the scan code to the computer, or it sends them to the kb bios (which is in the kb), or more probably, the key sends 0/1 to the kb bios, which then sends scancodes... WHERE? Hence my question above how all this is really going - and then, even those old round-pin keyboards send other things than usb keyboards, and on and on... So the question remains, how is it processed? (A flowchart would be welcome!) ;-) And why there isn't any individual kb layout made available within the Win system, without all those transposition needs? As said, call me... beyondlogic, this made my day, though!

Oh, I forgot something: All those scan codes on the beyondlogic site are rubbish, for any use with AHK - you must get them by the AHK means explained in the tutorial (just try and compare); the same observation applies to any scan code tables for more modern keyboards - so that's another question: Why 3 tools give 3 different scan codes for the same key on the same kb? (I tried, and I'm positive about it.)

pilgrim

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2013, 04:35:20 AM »
(Isnt "installing" AHK easy to do anyway - simply unzip and run?)

I am trying to avoid adding any extra software to my Netbook and curbing a previously held bad habit at the same time.
My old PC before it died had several hundred programs installed, I have not checked the Netbook recently but even after some pruning not so long ago it must be 150+.
I have just checked my new PC and between the 2 Program Files folders there are 223 programs and that doesn't include software installed on two other partitions.

Quote
My name is Pilgrim and I am a software addict but with patience and understanding from my friends and with God's help I will get through this one day at a time.

Now where was I?  Oh yes -

From that beyondlogic (haha!) link: "The IBM keyboard you most probably have sitting in front of you, sends scan codes to your computer. The scan codes tell your Keyboard Bios, what keys you have pressed or released." Call me a pain in the a** but that's rubbish: Either it sends the scan code to the computer, or it sends them to the kb bios (which is in the kb), or more probably, the key sends 0/1 to the kb bios, which then sends scancodes... WHERE? Hence my question above how all this is really going - and then, even those old round-pin keyboards send other things than usb keyboards, and on and on... So the question remains, how is it processed? (A flowchart would be welcome!) ;-) And why there isn't any individual kb layout made available within the Win system, without all those transposition needs? As said, call me... beyondlogic, this made my day, though!

Oh, I forgot something: All those scan codes on the beyondlogic site are rubbish, for any use with AHK - you must get them by the AHK means explained in the tutorial (just try and compare); the same observation applies to any scan code tables for more modern keyboards - so that's another question: Why 3 tools give 3 different scan codes for the same key on the same kb? (I tried, and I'm positive about it.)

I have no idea of the veracity of the information on that site it was the circuit diagram that interested me and from there I looked up the Data Sheet for that IC although I realise there many different ones used for the same job.
It is the output from such a chip that I would like to pin down in terms of both code and destination.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Stoic Joker

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Re: 'Home' and 'End' and 'FN'.
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2013, 06:45:28 AM »
But I very much hope that some expert here could give an answer WHY there is not a single such program that that just intercepts the pressings of 1 or 2 specific keys, then sends particular scancodes - because technically, this should be possible, and with additional keys, it is. So from a logical point of view, some spcified keys should be taken OUT of this automatic processing of all keys present (by what Windows routine?), and be processed then by tiny, particular software just working for these keys that without this particular treatment would be "dead" now.

Hotkeys come in two flavors, application hotkeys and (registered with the Windows shell) system global hotkeys. So unless you're planning to write a driver for extremely low level access to the keyboard input, you're going to be looking at hooking into one of the myriad of message loops that comprise Windows. When you hook into a loop you have to either handle or pass on (to the next hook) any and everything that comes to you. So while you can filter out only specific keys to respond to...you must at the very least pass the unwanted keys to the next hook. Otherwise nobody handles the key press...and that sort of behavior tends to make users very cranky.

I register and use configurable system global hotkeys in a program called T-Clock. So if you want an example of how the code is/can be done (assuming you can contend with pure C) you can download the complete source from my web site: http://www.stoicjoke.../TClock/Download.php