RemapKey Manual

Version 0.99g

Japanese version


What is RemapKey

The purpose of RemapKey

RemapKey is the software to change the key layout. In fact, RemapKey remaps the scancode of the keys.

The key remap setting is effective not only for the current user, but for all the users in the system. The new key layout is also effective even for Logon dialog or the command prompt.

This version of RemapKey can setup the automatic logon. Even if you lose Ctrl, Alt, or Del key, you'll be able to logon to the system.

Supported systems

RemapKey works on Windows NT 4.0 or 5.0.
Unfortunately, RemapKey does not work for Windows 95 or 98.

RemapKey has been tested on NT 4.0J and NT5.0US Beta, using Japanese 101 keyboard and the standard US keyboard.

What is scancode remapping ?

Remapping is done by the "key" basis. This means, RemapKey can swap the Control key and Caps Lock, but it cannot swap only the symbol at shift state: instead, the whole key is swapped. For instance, if you swapped "A" with "B", "A", ctrl-A, shift-A and alt-A will be swapped with "B", ctrl-B, shift-B and alt-B accordingly.

Since Remapping is done deep inside the operating system, none of the application will notice if the keys are swapped.

Performance and memory consideration


Virtually no memory is consumed by key swapping. At most a few bytes are used for each remapping.


As in the past, if the message hook and other programming trick are used to manupilate the keyboard input, a special DLL was needed: it consumes system memory, as well as bad effect on performance. The way RemapKey does will be virtually null impact to the system performance.

How to use RemapKey


RemapKey has two keyboards in its window. Upper keyboard is called Base Keyboard and the lower is called Remap Keybaord.

For instance, if you want to swap Control Key and Caps Lock, the procedure is as follows:

  1. Log on to Windows NT as Administrator (or an user who belongs to Administrator group).
    The Administrator privilege is required to setup the key remappings.

  2. Left click Control Key on the Base Keyboard, and drag it to Caps Lock on Remap Keyboard.
    Caps Lock on Remap Keyboard should be turned to "Ctrl."

  3. Left click Caps Lock on the Base Keyboard and drag it to Control Key on Remap Keyboard.
    Control Key on Remap Keyboard is turned to "Caps."

  4. Exit RemapKey.
    Before closing the window, RemapKey will ask you if you want to reboot. If it's OK to reboot, click "OK" button.

  5. After the reboot, Control Key and Caps Lock Key should be swapped.
    Please note the key remapping is effective for Logon Dialog. Don't be panicked.
    You can confirm the remapping status with RemapKey after logging on.

How to stop remapping

You can do one of the following to stop the key remapping.

Just in case you want to restore the current remapping after some editing, but before quitting RemapKey, click Edit menu and choose Unedit command.

What you should be aware of the danger of key remapping

In rare occations, scancode remapping could lead you to the dangerous state.

  1. You may not be able to type all of keys.
  2. Especially, if you lose one of Control Key, Alt Key or Delete Key, you may not be able to log on to your system.

In either case, RemapKey will perform an integrity checking before finally setting up. If it finds any possible risks, it will warn you.

But it's final responsibility of yours not to put your system in above two states.

To prevent the second caes, you can set your machine to auto-logon with RemapKey. Choose Option | Setup Auto Logon menu.

Technical issues

Command line options

RemapKey has only one option.


RemapKey will clear all the remappings without GUI.

Registry Entries

RemapKey will setup this registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout

Under this key, it creates an entry Scancode Map as REG_BINARY.

Setup Auto Logon

To avoid the worst case, you can setup Auto Logon with RemapKey.

Auto Logon can be setup through Option menu, Setup Auto Logon command.


Copyright (C) 1996-1999, by Hirofumi "Hiro" Yamamoto. All rights reserved.