For anyone who spends a lot of time on their computer, a mechanical keyboard can be a game changer. They come in a range of sizes and features, including backlighting, programmable keys, and macros.
There are many different keyboard layouts available to users. Each one is designed to be functional and visual for a specific language or country.
Some keyboard layouts are created to accommodate the user’s own language by allowing them to input characters in their preferred language directly from the keyboard. For example, the Philippines Unicode mechanical keyboard Layout can be used to type (a script that includes the characters in both Latin and Philippine characters).
Others are designed to optimize typing patterns for programmers or those who write frequently in a particular language. Dvorak, for example, rearranges the keys so that common word patterns are easier to type.
The layout can be rearranged within the operating system, through keyboard drivers or by using software applications, such as the free Dvorak keyboard application. The physical key arrangement is also customizable by removing or adding labels on top of the keycaps.
Another option is to use a hardware-to-software keyboard extension such as a keyboard overlay, where a plastic or paper mask covers the keys with an additional imprinted language alphabet. This can be useful for learning or typing in languages that do not have a keyboard layout supported by the computer’s operating system.
Other options include a combination of both hardware-to-software keyboard extensions and keyboard stickers. These are often applied in combination with a keyboard overlay to provide more functionality than either can alone.
Some users are concerned about the aesthetics of their keyboard and opt for a blank, or bare-keyboard. This is particularly useful for users who want to hide foreign keycaps or add extra information, such as shortcuts, gaming controls, or learning aids.
The keyboard layout can be customized with macros, which are shortcuts that run in response to the user pressing a particular key combination. Macros can be used to perform a repetitive task, such as changing fonts or creating a new document.
Key switches are the physical parts that sit under each keycap on a mechanical keyboard. They are the part of a mechanical keyboard that makes it feel and function differently from a membrane keyboard like you’d find on your laptop or computer.
Tactile switches have a bump mid-travel, which is helpful to give you feedback as you type. However, they may not be as good for those with sensitive fingers as linear switches due to the bump being too large.
Some gamers prefer tactile switches for their fast response time, which is important in competitive gaming. You will also want to consider the spring heaviness of this type of switch since a lighter switch may be more comfortable for you to press with your finger.
Another feature to consider when choosing the switch is the actuation type, which refers to the amount of force you need to press a particular key. Most mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of actuation types, including linear, tactile, and click.
A good way to pick the right actuation type for you is by using a switch tester, which is something that most people can easily afford and which will allow you to try all of the available actuation types on your mechanical keyboard.
In addition to actuation type, you’ll also need to consider the spring heaviness and travel distance. Usually, the travel distance is measured in millimeters.
Finally, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want a click switch, which is usually preferred by gamers and those who type a lot. These are a little more expensive than linear or tactile switches, but they are well worth the price.
A great way to increase your productivity is by using macro shortcuts. These short commands can launch programs or open files that you frequently use. Whether it’s Microsoft Word, OneNote, or your local server, a macro command can save you many minutes each day by taking care of these tasks for you.
Macros aren’t as useful on all keyboards, but if you’re going to be typing for a long time, a good quality keyboard will give you a better experience with them. For example, the Samsung Bixby Keyboard features a Quick Commands function, which can save you a lot of time by automatically launching programs and opening files for you.
Some mechanical keyboards even have customizable RGB shine-through, so you can customize the look of your keys. This can be especially helpful if you’re using the same software multiple times each day, like Photoshop or Google Chrome.
Most mechanical keyboards also come with a range of different key profiles, so you can choose which type is most comfortable for you to use. These profiles can make your keycaps taller or shorter, and they can also change the shape of the key caps.
While these profile changes can be subtle, they’ll have an impact on how you type, and how your keyboard feels overall. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get some feedback from friends and coworkers before you decide which profiles are best for you.
Another thing to consider is the key plastics used in your keyboard. Both ABS and PBT are popular choices, but each has its pros and cons.
Macros are a simple and easy way to automate repetitive tasks in your computer. You can save a lot of time by automating common actions like formatting text in Word or Excel.
If you are a heavy Word or Excel user, macros can be a real lifesaver. They can help you automate common tasks such as formatting text, resizing columns, and adding headings to an existing file.
You can also record your own sequence of keystrokes and perform a series of actions by using macros. For example, if you are creating a new email in Outlook and filling in the subject line, you can record your macro so that it will automatically do these steps for you.
While most people use macros to speed up their typing, they can also be used for a variety of other applications. You can even program them to make a video search or set up a reminder to charge your phone at the end of the day.
Another very popular use for macros is in PC gaming. Many games have a specific keyboard layout that enables you to quickly trigger a series of sequential actions with the press of a button. You can also create your own custom macros for playing video games and other applications where rapid action is important.
In addition, if you find yourself frequently switching between applications, you can create an automation that will switch the keyboard back to your normal operating mode and launch the application you were using before you switched. This will save you the time of switching back and forth between your desktop and applications.
For more advanced automations, you can even create macros that will run specific commands based on what you type. For instance, you can set up a macro to open a particular web page or document.
You can also customize your keyboards to include special keys that can be pressed to open specific applications, files, or folders. This can be a great way to keep tabs on your work and make sure you don’t miss anything crucial when you are in the middle of a project.