Remapping keyboard layout in Windows 2000/XP
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Windows allows remapping of the keyboard. Once a key
has been remapped pressing it will no longer produce the
standard output. Instead, it will act like whatever key
(or ASCII value) you have mapped it to. This is a
necessary technique for certain barcode related operations.
For example, the row of function keys (F1 through F12) are
not ASCII values. Therefore, barcodes cannot contain any
of those keystrokes. For many Windows applications,
pressing a function key is necessary. When attempting to
automate this by scanning a barcode, it would be necessary to
first remap a standard key (preferably seldom used) to the
needed function key. Then scanning a barcode containing
this allowable value will be interpreted by Windows as the newly
mapped value. So, if the tilde (~) character has been
remapped to the F10 key - scanning a barcode of a tilde (~) will
be interpreted as hitting the F10 key.
These changes are made in the Windows registry.
Many free programs that can automate the registry changes are
available on the internet.
One such program available at the time of this article is
called "KeyTweak", and is available for download from
authored by Christopher Vassilos, July 12th 2007.