Customization ideas

I’ve stolen some ideas from other testers and came up with some of my own.

A lot of customization probably should be made after you’ve used it for awhile. Adjust to the “standard” layout you use (I use dvorak) and, over time, decide what things you feel you need to change to make easier.

One of the changes I stole was the number pad layout. Someone made it so that you still have all 10 digits in their normal spots across the top - convenient for those of us who are not really good with a number pad so we can, if just typing in an isolated number, actually see it. This also meant moving the zero on the number pad from the lower left to the upper right. Turns out that works for me better anyway. You end up with two 6’s, but that’s no big deal.

For my own changes, I moved around a lot of math stuff. For example, ±*/ are all on the left hand home row, green layer right below the number pad. Makes sense for me at least, which is all that matters.

I’ve been used to using command-V for paste for so long, I never have gotten into using the special paste combo WT added to that standard, but sometimes I find myself in need of pasting something I copied using the mouse rather than the keyboard. This involves, usually, two hands. Press DF (to go into edit mode) with the left hand and then V on the right hand (this would be the period on qwerty) or press the qwerty N key (TB’s special approach). Either way, it takes two hands. Or, since I have hot corners set up, I can hold down the left side of the space blade and stretch over to get my V key. But the stretch is an issue. If I used qwerty, it would be no problem one-handed.

But since I do use dvorak, I’ve been thinking of another solution. The qwerty N key, if you hold the space bar down, gives [. Well, first, I almost never use that character. Second, if I do, I can get it by holding down space/shift/N and get the same thing. So, I think I may change the space/N to be paste. Easily done with one hand. Since the same would apply to qwerty M (giving me ]), I may change that to something more useful as well (most likely an undo).

I’ve been playing around with the paper put in my lap desk (which is just one of those plexiglass signs (for hanging on a wall) you can pick up at office supply stores). I stick the 8.5x11 inch paper in the slot along with a thin piece of metal taped to it for holding the TextBlade in place even if I tilt it over.

The hard part for all the different layers are finding ways to tell what each key does without taking up a lot of room since their are so many layers. So today I spent some time looking for icons to use instead of text for many things. It isn’t what I want. For one thing, It is pretty much impossible to find a consistent style for everything, not to mention something I want. For example, I don’t want “heavy” print. I’ve gotten rid of the worst cases eventually, but an example of one I don’t like is the one for tab. I’d like a thinner line and the arrow head to be outlined rather than solid.

And some thing, even if okay, still need work. An example of this is the escape symbol. If you can look real close, you’ll see a period touching the line of the arrow. This is because that chart is for green layer AND green/shift layer. I want a period when on the green layer but Escape on the green/shift layer. For that one, I’m going to have to edit the actual icon to get the period to be completely separated and to the left of the icon.

There are lots of things I haven’t figured out an icon to use, especially in the edit, edit lock, and app layers. And some things I just haven’t finished before getting tired of working on it.

Some things are experiments. For example, a magnifying glass tilted to the right for “find next” and tilted left for “find previous”. I need to find one that is vertical for a basic “find”.

I’d love to see WT eventually take their icons and create versions we can download which are essentially just outlines.

So here is an image of that part of my chart so far:


I’ve done a little more with my cheat sheet. Mostly adjusting some sizes. I’m no good at graphics stuff so this is a hack job. One problem I have is that I set up these grids with alternating row shading to aid in finding what I want. But I found that putting a picture in a cell just covers up the background. I’m sure there is a way to do the graphics to avoid that, but all I’m doing is taking existing stuff I find online and doing minimal, if any, editing.

But it occurs to me that this could be a fun project for anyone into graphics, creating as many icons as they can think of for the various commands. If so, I think the best start is with simple B/W graphics that are, relatively, thin lines. Otherwise it looks real cluttered! And with decent black area around them so an image doesn’t stretch right to the border of a cell. Again, to prevent clutter. I did make one with too much empty space (the “add tab” on the chart in the lower right grid (where the Y key would be with qwerty). It’s too small to see well.

Anyway, I’d love to have things like this with transparent backgrounds to match whatever I have for color in my grid. And maybe another set that simply has a white background in case that works better for some folks.

As you can see, there are many things I have no icon for yet. Either I couldn’t find one or couldn’t find one that seemed decent.

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I assume Edit Lock works like Num Lock, but how do you activate it?

Its one of those items we aren’t supposed to tell yet - patent issues or something. But it is similar to the numbers lock.