| By Ian “Gizmo” Richards |
Keyboard layouts are far from one-scheme-fits-all affairs.
If you frequently find yourself pressing a key inadvertently — often with dire consequences — it’s time to shift to an arrangement that’s more to your liking.
Change your key assignments using software
Accidentally pressing the wrong key while typing can sometimes have disastrous effects. Your current work may be wiped out, your PC accidentally rebooted, or worse. And even when it’s not disastrous, the effect of hitting the wrong key can be really annoying, such as when you accidentally hit Caps Lock.
Very often, one particular key on your keyboard causes the problem. Thankfully, it’s possible to disable Caps Lock and other pesky keys or reassign them to another less-harmful role. The same technique can be used to assign more useful functions to keys you rarely or never press.
I’ve been suffering from this problem ever since I bought a new IBM laptop. The machine has a special “Webpage Back” key that lets you navigate to the previous page while browsing. That’s fine, but if I’m writing a post to a Web forum or making a comment at a site and accidentally hit this key, everything I have written is lost. (You can also return to the previous page simply by pressing the Backspace key.)
Unfortunately, the Webpage Back key is located right next to the frequently used up and down arrows, so it’s pretty easy for me to hit it accidentally while I’m typing.