I used Microsoft Keyboards for years but, two months ago, I decided to make a move to a mechanical one. I got a CM Storm Quick Fire XT with Cherry MX Brown switches and, so far, I’m happy with it. I tried to come back to a standard keyboard (just for testing) and I can tell you that they don’t feel as good as a mechanical keyboard.
The only problem with my new setup is that I miss the Menu Key! If you don’t know what it is, the menu key works as if you right clicked with your mouse over the thing that you have focus on your screen. This is very useful when you are typing something and need to access the context menu. I use it a lot!
No panic, there is still hope for me. After a quick search on Google I found some people with the same issue, it seems like it is a quite old problem, but I never had to face before. The blog post that I found gives three solutions: (1) use a tool called SharpKeys, (2) use a tool provided by Microsoft called Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator or, (3) directly edit the Windows Registry with the value that we want, which is what the solution (1) does.
About Solution 2
The Microsoft Layout Creator tool will create a custom layout, so you have to switch your selected layout to be the new one created on that tool. This is not what I want. I want to map one key on the keyboard to work as the Menu Key no matter what layout I’m using. So I went for SharpKeys, it will handle what needs to be updated on my Windows Registry.
Getting the Keyboard ready
The CM Storm Quick Fire XT comes with two Windows Keys. Turns out that the one on the right is on the place where the menu key usually is, so it is perfect. That’s the one that I replaced to be my menu key. I even physically replaced the key by another one provided by Cooler Master. Here is a picture of my keyboard with it in place.
Using Solution 1, which uses Solution 3
Now, all I need to do is map the key using SharpKeys. The code for the Menu Key is E0_5D, so you should select the target key to be Special: Application (E0_5D) as you can see on the screenshot. Once you hit OK, it will save the changes to your Windows Registry and you will have to restart your Windows to see things take effect.
This is really increases productivity. You won’t have to remove your hands from the keyboard whenever you need a right click on something.