By December 6, 2007

How to move and remap the right shift key on the Asus Eee

I am going to write a more lengthy review of the Asus Eee super-small laptop after I’ve logged some more time with it. In the meantime, I wanted to post instructions on how to fix what I considered the most annoying design flaw of the unit: the position of the right shift key on the keyboard.

In its stock configuration, the Eee’s arrow keys are laid out such that the “up” arrow key is where the right shift key normally resides. As a touch-typist, I found myself hitting the up arrow key when I needed to type a capital “d,” and the next thing I knew I was up one line and two letters off. Something had to change, or I was going to have a serious problem with the Eee.

I did some research on the forums and discovered that there were good directions on how to move and remap the keys under the default Xandros linux operating system. For users like myself, who installed Windows XP Pro on their machines, the instructions were a good start but far from a solution.

Remapping keys under Windows is accomplished in one of two ways: by editing the registry or by running an external application. Editing the registry seemed to be the least resource-intensive approach, but it was risky and some people reported strange behavior afterwards. I didn’t feel like tinkering with my system files. My search for an external application led me to AutoHotKey. AutoHotKey does a lot more than key remapping, like the ability to run macros or launch applications by using key combinations, but I didn’t need any of that functionality. AutoHotKey generated a dummy script for me the first time I ran it, and all I had to do was add two lines to the script file:


That was it. I placed a shortcut for the application in the Startup menu so that it would automatically run when Windows booted. Now for those pesky keys.

Following the very well written linux instructions, I took a thin, flat piece of metal (in my case, a razor blade) and popped each key off by leveraging the left side of the key. I swapped the keys (they are the same size, luckily) and snapped them back down. The whole procedure took about two minutes.

The instructions can be found in DrFaulken’s Tome of Useless Knowledge — please let me know if you have questions or corrections.

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1 Comment on "How to move and remap the right shift key on the Asus Eee"

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  1. Dan says:

    I just tried it out and it works for me quite well.

    This is a much easier way of changing keys around when more than one person uses the computer.