Mapping multiple Keyboards for macros to PC

I wrote an article on mapping a 2nd keyboard for macros, I’m using EvilC’s AHK method for doing so. See Mapping a 2nd Keyboard for macros (USB & bluetooth). This is using mainly AutoHotKey do do all the heavy lifting. You also need to code in all the maco’s into a script which you need to run to use.


LuaMacro’s and AHK

I decided to go exploring on YouTube for other methods of doing the same thing and came across 2 people doing the same thing. This was the first vid:

Which was exactly what I was looking at, then I came across this video that makes the mapping far easier:

The video had a link to EZ Macro Keyboard with LuaMacros with download to the code. I may try using that instead as its easy to remap a key. Although its used for AHK & OBS I can use the mapping for BIM. The appeal of this process is that you create macro’s, find you don’t use them and then create new ones that you do, so having a quick way to interchange macro’s is good, especially if its to a key for one you don’t use often.

Following on from this is a great video called The Art of the Bodge: How I Made The Emoji Keyboard :

I love the BODGE phrase, the modern HACK does not do it for me. Although it has other connotations about poor quality , it does also speak of adaptability and its what I was brought up with. I think the above video is brilliant and love what Tom Scott’s emoji setup.

I’m looking to install this method on a 2nd PC (from 2nd video above). What I like about this is the GUI will let you re-asign keys on the fly, so you don’t have to head back to the code to do a key re-mapping. This will make it more usable and adaptable as you go. I’ll need to put the documentation in an easy place to re-reference how to access it, otherwise it becomes too difficult and you don’t update things.

Keyboard splitter

This one is just an honorable mention, but I like the idea of it, it allows 2 keyboards on a single pc so 2 people can play a 2 player video game with independent keyboards and controls. Unfortunately its hard coded so it doesn’t look as if you can go in and choose other keys to re-map.

The link to the keyboard splitter download

End comment

I’m trying to see if I can evelop some keyboard macro’s for BIM. I’m not sure if I’ll use them much. There are 2 issues here, 1/ Creating productive macro’s for BIM, and 2/ The method of accessing them.

Years ago, in good old 386 days I used a digitizer tablet with CAD. Scripted macro commands (in Lisp in Acad) were way faster than typing in commands. So I did fin that I got used to using the digitizer as a PC peripheral. It was different, program specific but it helped productivity.

I’m finding going back to AUTOHOTKEY that I’m thinking of handy solutions to minor irritants using macor’s to speed up what I want to do. My issue now, after feeling comfortable about making macro’s, is accessing them. A big problem is the number of maco’s you need to create to make them effective, so you need to memorise accessing individual macro’s say A, B, C , D …… you have to remember what macro you want and what method to access them.

I’ve been trying as ways to access macro’s:

1/ virtual menues, eg Pie Menu to pop up a menu on screen and select the Macro I want to use,

2/Pop Up AHK Command Picker, that pops a list of macros and you select the one you want to execute

3/ Another method is Text Expander, 2 or 3 obscure key combo’s that would then run a command, like ZP (spacebar)(not common adjacent letters in a word) so that could be assigned to a macro, but you need to remember the combo’s and sometimes the hand stretch to reach keys canbe innefficent.

4/ A multi-tap to a key combination, eg Ctrl+1, Ctrl+1 (2 taps on the 1 key), Ctrl+1(3 taps on the 1 key), Ctrl+1(4 taps on the 1 key). So you memorise less key xcombinations but have multiple maco’s on the same key. I’m using this for date strings in different formats & for different e-mail signetures. I’m not sure how it’ll be with different BIM macro’s if they are all different, are they two or 3 taps to reach the specific macro and will it cause something else to happen if the wrong number of taps? ( This makes me think of remapping function kes to cad snaps bound to a key in ascci, where you put mutually exclusive combinations to the same keys, so if you pressed a key only one appropriate snap would work, like END and CENTRE, when used on a line, ony END snap would work.)

These methods put too much in the way of intuatively accessing a command. Over time I’m sure I could get used to them sufficiently for them to become comfortable, but at present, the methods don’t quite work for me, thus exploring using a 2nd keyboard to access the macros.

Having a 2nd keyboard plugged in means only one key will trigger a macro, although you do need a primer/legend to make sure you can easily remember the key/macro that you want to access. Whether I get used to this method of input I’m nsure of. I’ve just started using a gaming mouse and still have not figured out how to use the extra buttons on them yet. I’m wondering whether I can chage the habit of only using 2 buttons on the mouse, but I’m perservering at the moment, but have the same concerns about a 2nd keyboard andwhether I can change my habits to find this imput process useful.