Less used keys on a keyboard

I was just wondering if anyone here uses “less used” keys (scroll-lock, pause/break) on they keyboard for anything? I just mapped Pause in my i3 script to put the computer into the sleep mode.

Do you use Scroll Lock LED as an indicator for anything? For example you can use xset led 3 and xset -led 3 to turn it on and off in a script. Good for tracking if you have unread emails.


I hear some nerds switch Caps Lock with Esc. This is so frequent that KDE Plasma even has a GUI checkbox for this setting. :rofl:

It makes sense if you use Vim a lot.

Personally, I just want to stick a bunch of macropads onto a plywood board, together with a standard keyboard, to make one MASSIVE keyboard with at least 300 keys. That’s a project for probably later this year.


Why? Are you getting ready for HURD? :roll_eyes:



Why yes, my entire life. However, this is unrelated…


The best use case for me when it comes to less used keys is switching them with commonly used keys – doubles the keyboards lifespan. Though I mapped the row with PrintScreen, Scroll lock and Pause Break to a few functions of Flameshot. Handy for noting things quickly when you get the muscle memory for it.

I use the “tap” function of Alt, Ctrl and shift to launch programs using interception tools and xcape.

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I’m one of those nerds. It’s an absolute life-changer if you use vim a lot. Only problem now is when I try to type on other people’s computers.

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I did not know about xcape. It can bring some more options since I do not use left Alt and right Crtl at all.

I bind nifty commands/scripts to these in my i3wm config. Usually they give me some system info via a dunst notification. But I always put the keybinding in combination with Mod key. I don’t want to run into problems when an application legitimately wants me to press one of these lesser used keys. (never faced such a situation yet)

I don’t have scroll lock led, but I do have caps lock led and since i rarely ever use it, I think you give me good idea for a script. Thanks :v:

Yes we do :rofl: . I have the swap command in my i3wm config, and I also switch keyboard layout to dvorak programmer at i3 startup. Anyone who blindly copy pastes my configs can never type again :laughing:

Dvorak Programmer Layout

Just in case someone has not seen, here is a picture.

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I don’t know why but this command doesn’t work with num-lock LED and caps-lock LED on my keyboard. But it is possible to manipulate LED through brightness under /sys/class/leds. But it may be a little difficult to find a correct device there.

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I’ll experiment with it and report if i am successful. :+1:

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@vlkon this is s good read:

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That is great.
Now when I see so many posibilities to improve productivity with keyboards it is fascinating that the old “typewriter layout” is still dominant.

When I last used i3, I pointed the Menu key at Rofi’s drun menu, scroll lock at i3lock and pause/break at Xkill

My bindings are:

Capslock >> Left Ctrl (both shift keys held toggles the capslock)
Tap Left Ctrl >> Terminal
Tap Super >> dmenu rofi
Tap Alt >> Browser
Tap Right Ctrl >> jgmenu

Because laptop keyboards are a pain :smiley:

AltGr remapped to Home
Menu to End.
Tap left shift >> Left bracket (right shift >> right bracket)

Hold space bar >> Hyper modifier (emacs user :smiley: ).

All tap keys when held do the expected.

This is done with interception tools, xmodmap and xcape.

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I use Meta+Shift+End for hibernate.

I actually think I’m going to give this a go. I hardly ever use CapsLock.

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just try once and you’ll never think of switching back :wink:

Sometimes, when I am working on different computer, I press caps lock, then get frustrated as to why its not working. Few seconds later I realize that I need to press the real Esc button since its not my pc :laughing:

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So I don’t use Esc all that much, but I went with swap capslock and esc, but shift+capslock = capslock still. That way, at least for now, the real esc button will still work, and I only need to remember the shift part. Either way, I had no idea this was a thing. Yet another fantastic thing that makes KDE just the best DE for me. The more I use it, the more I realize I’m exactly where I need to be.