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Remapping keyboard layout in Windows 2000/XP
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Application Notes > AppNote032

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.


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