Maximizing Efficiency with Keyboard Macros and Remapping - Episode 324 - Show Notes

Maximizing Efficiency with Keyboard Macros and Remapping - Episode 324

Sunday Feb 4, 2024 (00:35:28)


Avram Piltch discusses the importance of efficiency in programming and introduces the concept of using numpad shortcuts to save time and reduce strain on the body. He mentions that he has been working on finding new ways to program efficiently and shares his personal experience of feeling depressed on his birthday. To combat this, he decided to program something that would be useful for others at work. While working on this project, he discovered the power of macros and numpad shortcuts.

Remap keys for increased productivity

Remapping keys for increased productivity is a technique that can greatly benefit programmers and individuals who use keyboards extensively. Remapping keys on a number pad to perform tasks other than numerical input, such as controlling media playback and adjusting volume, can make unused keys on your keyboard more useful for you.

Efficiency is crucial in programming, and remapping keys can significantly enhance productivity. The use of numpad shortcuts can save time and reduce the strain on the body. Instead of reaching up to the top row of the keyboard for numbers or frequently used functions, programmers can utilize the numpad, which is conveniently located on the right side of most keyboards.

By remapping the keys on the number pad, programmers can assign shortcuts to commonly performed actions. For example, the transcript mentions remapping the 4, 5, and 6 keys to control media playback (back, forward, and play/pause) and the plus and minus keys to adjust volume. This allows programmers to perform these actions without having to navigate through menus or use additional peripherals.

Furthermore, remapping keys can extend beyond the number pad. Avram suggests using a program called SharpKeys to remap any key on the keyboard. This flexibility allows programmers to customize their keyboard layout based on their specific needs and preferences. For example, you can remap the insert key, which is often unused, to become the print screen key. This eliminates the need to toggle the insert function and provides easy access to the print screen function.

Macros take remapping to a new level

In addition to simply remapping keys, you can use AutoHotKey as a powerful tool for creating macros. Macros are sequences of commands or actions that can be executed with a single keystroke or combination of keys. This automation can greatly speed up repetitive tasks and reduce the potential for errors. By running scripts created with AutoHotKey, programmers can automate actions in their favorite programs and streamline their workflow.

Overall, remapping keys for increased productivity is a valuable technique for programmers and individuals who use keyboards extensively. By assigning shortcuts to frequently performed tasks and automating repetitive actions with macros, programmers can optimize their workflow, save time, and reduce strain on the body. Embracing these techniques not only enhances productivity but also promotes a healthier and more comfortable programming experience.


There are simple and free ways to make your simple keyboard into a robust and productive device just for you. Using tools like SharpKeys and AutoHotKey can make your day more productive. For full instructions, check out Avram's step-by-step guide.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.

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