Monday, May 22, 2006

Updated the F Lock Key page

I've updated the F Lock page that I blogged about here.

New to this update is a method getting rid of F Lock functionality for USB keyboards.

I've also changed the link to the website, however, the old link will still work (it is being redirected to the new one).

Check it out, and feel free to send me any feedback.

http://jtsang.mvps.org/flock.html

Enjoy

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the workaround. I was hoping that some driver update would fix this, but from your article it appears that the F Lock key functionality can't be changed programatically.

The default F Lock setting is incredibly bad design. Why on earth would people want the default NOT to be the way just about every other keyboard works?

I often use F2 to edit entries in a spreadsheet or to change a file name; with the default F Lock setting, F2 is "Undo".

All too often I don't know what got undone, and while it's true that F3 is Redo, I certainly don't want to blindly hit that not know exactly what is going to be Redone.

Jason said...

You're welcome.

I think you brought up the most disruptive effect of the F Lock key.

Other annoyances including getting the 'open' dialog when you are trying to refresh IE.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the workaround! I just changed from a PS/2 to a USB Natural keyboard, and I tried the old ScanCode workaround just to find out that that doesn't work for USB... Its's a great relief to find your (very recent as I understand) command.xml workaround and that it works for me :D

Anonymous said...

I'm having an intermittent problem where the keyboard will sometimes start to act as though the Shift key were being pressed - letter case is inverted, clicking in a text file selects rather than moving the cursor, etc. This lasts for maybe 15-30 seconds then goes away. While it's happening there doesn't appear to be a way to restore normal mouse behavior (I can type normally by turning Caps Lock on). I think that turning the F-Lock off then on again may set the shift state properly again but it's hard to be sure, since the problem seems to be random and goes away whether I do anything or not. Is this a known problem with the 4000? Does IntelliType 5.5 fix it?

Jason said...

Anonymous Number 3: I would be surprised if Intellitype made a difference. It sounds like a potential fault in the keyboard. Does this only happen on one computer (the one you are currently on), or have you tested to see if the keyboard exhibits the same issue on another computer?

Anonymous said...

We have a couple of WinXP-Dells here which exhibit the persistent pressed key problem mentioned above (with different keyboards, amongst which one MS Natural MM) when they're connected to the USB port. So it's not related to the MS keyboard, its drivers or the F-Lock. We just switched them to PS2 (Dell offers a special extension card for this purpose), but don't know yet whether it fixes the problem.

On a sidenote, if the MS Natural PS2 keyboard is plugged into USB (with a PS2/USB adaptor), it has issues: none of its additional keys (like MyPictures, but remapped to do something useful), nor the Alt+PrintScreen combo work.

Anonymous said...

I just recently purchased a Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000, which is a USB keyboard. I thought I would need to install your USB workaround, but noticed that Microsoft now retains the F-Lock status on this keyboard - even after poweroffs, reboots, etc... Not sure how that's done, but just wanted to share that piece of info.

Thanks for your work on the F-Lock flippers - I used them on the older PS2 MS Natural Keyboards I had, and found them very useful.

Calrion said...

Thanks for the info, but MS appear to have stopped using commands.xml in IntelliType 5.50. I can see the file on another PC that has an older version, but it's not there in 5.50. Adding the file anyway doesn't appear to have any effect.

Erik said...

Jason, thanks so much for your work on the f-key eliminator. Like another user I recently upgraded to the wireless version of the natural multimedia keyboard. I noticed that the f-key was toggling again, but I was so happy to find your updated method for USB keyboards. After installing IntelliType 5.5 and your mapping file, it started working perfectly again.

I find it really annoying not knowing what a key will do when you push it, and prefer the reliability of locking them. (Why couldn’t Microsoft have offered this option themselves) My biggest uses of the F keys are from Excel and Vonage Click to Call. (F6 dials any telephone number you have highlighted)

BTW, do you know of any, or would you consider doing the same thing for the Num Lock key? I would really like the numlock to always be ON. Thanks

Bruce said...

Any idea if a similar thing is possible on a Mac? I really like my keyboard, but F-Lock is driving me crazy.

Jason said...

Hi Bruce

I'm not sure how it is done on a Mac. Presumably, there ought to be/should be a method to do this, but I wouldn't know what it is.

Anonymous said...

An interesting knowledge base article at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q302092
describes how to filter out the sleep key. I'm assuming that the F-Lock key would be on a similar level. Running C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliType Pro\mskey.exe shows the key as HID Input

I don't have the time (or download limit) to grab the DDK atm, anyone else feel up to it?

mm said...

Jason man, thx for the F Lock thing, i downloaded the commands.xml and now its working great.
I was suffering in games, i cannot bind anymore the F2, F3 etc ... it was getting annoying, now everything backs to normal.

Thx again.
MM
Maringá - PR. Brasil

Anonymous said...

This workaround looks wonderful. Before I try it I have one question. When the computer is turned on my f lock key is not locked . I assume this is so you can access safe mode or whatever if needed. However, right after the welcome screen, the light on the key goes off and it is locked. If I install your file, what if anything will happen to the ability to get to safe mode as the computer boots up?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!

Thank you very much from Russian users!

Neil said...

Jason, thanks for the work on this issue. I've used your registry edit in the past but now I am running a Vista desktop with USB and cannot get the XML code to work. Are there any new gotchas that you are aware of with Vista? The XML code is very straightforward, and I'm not quite sure why it doesn't take. Thanks for any input you might still be willing to provide on this.

Mark said...

Thank you! I despise the default behavior of the F Lock key. The irony? I'm writing this from my office in the Redmond MS campus.

:-)

Drives me insane to hit Alt+F4 or Ctrl+F4 after a reboot and have nothing happen.

Great fix. Thank you again.

Farrel said...

I am in a catch-22. I have a "Microsoft Office Keyboard" which is not one of the models supported by any Intellitype Pro after 5.0. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913407
Hence your fix does not work since it tells me that I have to have 5.2 or later. Unless of course I lie. Perhaps I could tell 5.2, during installation, that I have another keyboard. Which of the available choices should I click on.

Brit said...

Thank you very much!
This fixed my problem - I used the F2 funktion for renaming until I got my ergonomic keyboard from microsoft...
I just exchanged the commands.xml and the Fkeys work perfectly.

I only have problems with starting my PC correctly since I have this new keyboard. It just boots completely when I reboot a second time.
Do you know anything about this problem?
Again thanks.

Anonymous said...

I used this f lock disabler under xp pro and it worked grate. Any chance you can update it for us who now have windows vista (64bit) and want f locked disabled again?

Please says yes.

Caroline said...

Your little program worked so well on XP, it was a blessing. I now have a new computer and I have to use Vista now... the program just doesn't seem to work.. any idea?

carorules@gmail.com

Giuseppe said...

I have the same problem (I can't access to F# function and
If I press Flock Key nothing happens: led doesn't light), but with a Notebook with Vista Home Premium.
If a send you my original command file, can you check it to see if problem can be solved with a similar (or the same) workaroud?

Thanks
Giuseppe

Anonymous said...

Dude this is frickin awesome.

Works great

Florian said...

Im using this fix for some years now and I love it! Great work. But I keep asking myself, why the heck won't Microsoft include this in their 'Intelli'type software..

MarcT said...

Since this is still the first Google result for the F-Lock issue, I'll post my new solution here. In Intellitype 6.3 (released Sept 08), MS added the ability to create and assign a macro for each function key. I set up a macro for each one that simply types the function key, and assigned it to the "Undo", "Redo", etc non-F-Lock versions. Now my keys behave the same whether F-Lock is on or not. I'm sure someone could find and post the relevant config file that will make this automatic. I'm using Vista64.

David said...

It's still helpful from Win2K to Vista (Vista64 in my case). Thanks so much for the work.

Anonymous said...

IntelliType 7.0 is released.

MS Natural MultiMedia Keyboard connected ps/2 to usb adapter:
- not working F Lock (change original (117 617 b) to commands.xml (57 005 b) by Jason Tsang for ps/2 or usb)
- not working My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, Messenger (with ps/2 - nice working, with usb - not :( )

If someone was able to get to work extra function keys in the keyboard - contact me at my email odyssey-mailbox # bk.ru or icq 50936179 Thank you.

Damian Powell said...

Hi Jason,

Nice work on the IntelliType hack. I'm pleased to say that 'Go to reference' will no longer prevent me from subsequently debugging in Visual Sudio.

I thought you might like to see the super user question below. Based on your work, I wrote a PowerShell script to modify the commands.xml for whatever version of IntelliType you happen to have installed.

http://superuser.com/questions/171369/how-can-i-disable-the-f-lock-key-on-my-natural-keyboard-4000


Cheers,
Damian.

ronlori said...

What MarcT said -- Setup a macro for each one. Very easy. Took me 5 mins and works like a charm.
Start > All Programs > Microsoft keyboard. Click the "Assign/Manage Macro" button. Click "New" button. In File Name type something like "Disable FLock F1". Click in the Editor area and press the F1 key (It should display an F1 key). Click the Save button. Repeat from click "New" button for F2-F12, saving each. Click OK. In the "Key Settings List" Key Name column, find "Help" and click to select it. Click the "Assign/Manage Macro" button. Select "Disable FLock F1" and click OK. Repeat macro assignment for remaining keys assigned to F2-F12. Click OK or Apply. Your done. Takes effect immediately.

Anonymous said...

Hi!

I have appreciated 2gflockelim and also previously 2gflockflip a lot. But how about Windows 7 that I am using now?

Best regards
Eva

Elco said...

Hi Jason,

I decided to fix my keyboard in hardware instead of software :)

Maybe you could link to it for mac users or people that use the keyboard on multiple PC's.

http://www.elcojacobs.com/hardware-fix-for-the-f-lock-key-on-my-microsoft-natural-ergonomic-keyboard/