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Wednesday, October 06, 2004
F Lock Key Info: "F Lock Key
The F Lock key on the Microsoft Keyboards is a relatively new concept facility for Microsoft Keyboards. Introduced with the Office Keyboard and used in later keyboards, it essentially allows keys to do more than one operation. The F Lock key, depending on its state, will allow either a function key's "normal" operation or a new "enhanced" operation. The initial state of the F Lock key is "off", and in this state, the function keys use their "enhanced" operation.

The F Lock key is a hardware switch in the keyboard. Its state cannot be controlled programmatically. Its default condition is "off". As a result, whenever the keyboard is reset, or loses power, the F Lock key will always be in an "off" state.

For some, this is not a desirable default; some people want "normal" function key operation.

While there is no way to control the F Lock key state programmatically, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 provide a method whereby keys can be remapped by using the Scan Code Mapper. The Scan Code Mapper can be used to change the functions of the function keys. Unfortunately, this functionality is not available for earlier Windows versions.

With the application of that knowledge, the two zip files below contain registry files that will alter the key mappings after Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 is started up. When F Lock key is in the "off" position, the function keys will have their "normal" function, and when the F Lock key is in the "on" position, the function keys will have their "enhanced" function. Note that these files will only alter the functionality of your function keys (for those who have Natural Multimedia Keyboard, Multimedia Keyboard, Wireless Optical Desktop Keyboard, Wireless Optical Desktop Pro Keyboard, Basic Wireless Optical Desktop Keyboard or Wireless Desktop Elite Keyboard, the function(s) of the PrtScn/Insert & Pause/ScrLk keys will not be changed)."

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