How to Edit Your Microsoft Natural Keyboard's Keys

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To unleash the full functionality of a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard, you must install the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. With this software installed you will be able to edit the functions of the keys.

Launching the Mouse and Keyboard Center

  • If you do not see the Mouse and Keyboard Center as an option on your desktop, download it from the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center download page (link in Resources). Once the Mouse and Keyboard Center is installed you will see a new tile on the Windows 8 Modern UI. Launching the Mouse and Keyboard Center will bring up a graphical interface showing your particular keyboard and options for customizing the keys. You will see two main sections: basic settings and app-specific settings.

Basic Settings

  • The basic settings section allows you to assign a general function to a specific key. For example, to assign the Mail key the task of opening Outlook, click the "Mail" menu item, select "Open a program, web page, or file", click "Browse," and navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15. Scroll down and select the Outlook Application file and click the "Open" button. Click the back arrow twice to return to the main menu. This information applies to a default installation of Microsoft Office 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

App-Specific Settings

  • The app-specific settings section allows you to customize the function of a particular key so that it performs different tasks in different programs. For example, to assign the "Search" key the task of opening Google in Internet Explorer, but activating the "Find" feature in Word, first click into the "app-specific settings" section of the Mouse and Keyboard Center. Click the "Add New" button, then "Internet Explorer." Click the "Search" item, then select "Open a program, webpage, or file." Type http://www.google.com in the address bar. Click the back arrow. Next click the "Add New" button, then "Microsoft Word." Click "View all commands." Scroll down to the "Content Commands" section and select "Find." Click the back arrow to return to the main menu.

Restore Default Settings

  • If you have made changes to either the basic settings or the app-specific settings and you want to restore the original settings, you can scroll to the bottom of the main menu and click "Restore Defaults." Click the "Restore" button to confirm.

Supported and Unsupported Devices

  • Not all keyboards are supported by the Mouse and Keyboard Center. To see if your keyboard is supported, go to Microsoft's "Windows 8 Troubleshooting: Keyboards" page (link in Resources). If you have an unsupported keyboard, you may be able to use the Microsoft driver package called "IntelliType," the predecessor to the Mouse and Keyboard Center. To see if IntelliType or other drivers are available for your Microsoft keyboard, check the "Keyboards" section of the Hardware Downloads page of Microsoft's Support site (link in Resources).

References

  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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