Kinesis Advantage Remappings

Here are some good ideas for how to remap your Kinesis Advantage keyboard.

1. Ctrl/Alt key access

Put BackSpace on CapsLock, and then put Ctrl on BackSpace and Alt on Delete. Put Delete on the left Ctrl key. Using CapsLock as BackSpace works great. Quick access to Ctrl and Alt shortcuts in Emacs is what I'm shooting for with this remapping. I could imagine a Vim user putting Esc on CapsLock instead.

2. Swap Home/End with PageUp/PageDown

When web browsing, you can use PageDown or Space to scroll down the webpage with your keyboard. This remapping lets you use either your left or right hand to scroll.

3. Swap right Ctrl key with Windows key

This makes the Windows key more reachable (and left Ctrl is already perfectly reachable with remapping #1 above).

4. Swap parentheses with square brackets

I had to do this in software because trying to remap Shift key combinations on the Kinesis was kind of glitchy. The advantage here is that it's much easier to type the sequence ") {", which happens a lot in C++.

For my own convenience, here are the xmodmap mappings

keycode 18 = 9 bracketleft 9 bracketleft
keycode 19 = 0 bracketright 0 bracketright
keycode 20 = parenleft braceleft parenleft braceleft
keycode 21 = parenright braceright parenright braceright

Mac users

If you're a Emacs user on a Mac, like me, you'd want to swap alt and meta in your .emacs file with (setq mac-option-modifier 'alt) (setq mac-command-modifier 'meta). Having done that, it makes sense to swap Command and Option for the Kinesis keyboard in System Preferences, like you'd do with any non-Mac keyboard, so that, if you've done the remappings above, Command sits on Delete and Ctrl sits on BackSpace.

I'd then recommend you put Option on the left Ctrl key and put Delete on the left Alt key. That makes the most sense to me.

Dvorak users

If you're a Dvorak user, you'll have some remapping of punctuation to do. Get brackets back on the bracket keys, and then put slash back to its place on the right side of the P key, and put equals to the right of 0. Now you can put the backtick/tilde key to the left of 1. Use the bottom left backslash key for backslash.

- Sam

(posted October 3 '17)

(updated October 24 '19 with xmodmap mappings)