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What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

By Sarah | Follow | Last Updated December 31, 2020

Summary :

For some users, the menu button is very useful. They are accustomed to using the menu key to open the context menu quickly. However, some people find that there’s no menu button on their new laptop keyboards or PC keyboards. This article provided by MiniTool Solution will introduce this button to you in brief and show you how to fix when you can’t find it.

About Menu Button/Menu Key

What Is the Menu Button

The menu button, also called menu key or application key, is a button which can be found on some Windows-oriented PC keyboards. The menu button is represented by a menu icon with a cursor hovering above it. The main function of the menu button is to open a context menu on desktop or in common apps opening in your system.

In general, people like to open the context menu by clicking the right mouse button. But in fact, they can access the context menu of current page/app more quickly and conveniently by pressing the menu key. Pressing the menu button is also a good choice when the right mouse button is not working.

Where Is the Menu Button

On common desktop keyboards, you can see a menu button between the right Alt button (which is located on the right side of the Space bar) and the right Ctrl button. It could also be between the right Windows key and the right Ctrl key. In short, it will be placed to the left of your right Ctrl key.

However, the menu button or menu key is missing on some smaller keyboards like portable and laptop keyboards in order to save space.

Missing menu key on Keyboard.

Hello Community, I had a small question. Recently I have purchased a Windows 10 Laptop which doesn’t have a ‘Menu Key’ on it. To be specific about what I am talking, here is a preview of missing key (The key marked with red line is missing). And this is how my keyboard exactly looks like.

Are there any functions which can only be used by that key? How do I make use menu given by this key on my keyboard? (Example- I want to refresh the desktop without using mouse and without pressing F5. How can I do that?) One more question, not having that key on the keyboard has any drawbacks for a Windows 10 user?

– asked Chetan+ in the Microsoft Community

How to Add Menu Key to Keyboard

When you can’t find a menu button on your keyboard, you may open the context menu by:

  • Using the right mouse button
  • Pressing Shift + F10

However, you also have another choice: adding menu key to PC keyboard.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

There are many function keys on Windows 10, including F1 to F12. Do you know what they can do for you exactly?

Windows 10 Add Keyboard

Luckily, you can create a menu key manually if you can’t find one on your keyboard. How to do this? You may map the Menu function to another key with the help of PowerToys. (Microsoft PowerToys Is Now Available For Windows 10.)

  1. Free download the Microsoft PowerToys and install it properly on your Windows 10.
  2. Launch PowerToys to get the PowerToys Settings window.
  3. Choose Keyboard Manager in the left panel.
  4. Click on the Remap a key button in the right panel.
  5. The Remap Keyboard window will appear. Now, you should click on the + button under Key.
  6. Make a decision on which key you want to use as the menu key and select it from the drop-down menu of Type Key under Key.
  7. Select Menu from the drop-down menu under Mapped To and then click OK.
  8. Click on the Continue Anyway button in the prompt window to confirm the change.

How to remove the new menu key you set?

Run PowerToys -> select Keyboard Manager -> click Remap a key -> click on the trash can icon after the Menu key mapping -> click OK.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Position: Columnist

Sarah is working as editor at MiniTool since she was graduated from university, having rich writing experiences. Love to help other people out from computer problems, disk issues, and data loss dilemma and specialize in these things. She said it’s a wonderful thing to see people solving their problems on PC, mobile photos, and other devices; it’s a sense of accomplishment. Sarah likes to make friends in life and she’s a huge music fan.

Pankil Shah

16 Jun 2021

While the standard Windows keyboard layout has remained the same over the years for a good reason, there can be times when you wished that you could tweak that layout to your preference. Whether one of the keys on your keyboard suddenly stopped working or you want to put the lesser-used keys to better use, being able to remap keys and shortcuts is a great way to personalize your keyboard experience.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Until now, Windows users had to rely on third-party software to remap keys or create custom shortcuts. But with Microsoft’s PowerToys, remapping keys has become a safe and no-frills experience.

So, without further ado, let’s see how to remap keys and shortcuts on Windows 10 with PowerToys.

Setting Up PowerToys

To remap keys and shortcuts on Windows 10, you need to first download and install PowerToys on your PC. Read on to learn how.

Step 1: Head over to the Microsoft PowerToys releases page (link below) on GitHub. There you’ll find the most recent release under the Assets. Look for a ‘.exe’ file with a name similar to ‘PowerToysSetup-0.37.2-x64.exe’.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 2: Once downloaded, open the setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to install PowerToys on your PC.

Step 3: Launch PowerToys, and toggle on the ‘Run at startup’ option.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Note: PowerToys needs to run in the background for key remapping to work. Thus, for a fluid experience, it’s recommended to allow it to launch at the startup.

Now PowerToys will start and run automatically in the background when you start or restart your PC.

How to Remap Keys in Windows 10

Once the PowerToys is set up, you can now remap any of the keys on your keyboard in the PowerToys keyboard manager settings. Here’s how.

Step 1: Launch PowerToys on your PC. Go to the Keyboard Manager tab on your left and toggle on the ‘Enable Keyboard Manager’ option if it isn’t already.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 2: Tap on the ‘Remap a key’ button under Remap keys.

Step 3: In the Remap keys window, click on the ‘+’ button to add a key mapping.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 4: Now add a key you wish to remap. You can either pick the key to be remapped by using the scroll-down menu or click on the Type button and press the key on your keyboard.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 5: Under Mapped to, assign a key or shortcut to be performed by using the Type button or the scroll-down menu. There’s also an option to disable the key using the scroll-down menu.

To assign a shortcut, you can use the Type button and press the key combination. For instance, I have assigned the Shift (Right) key on the keyboard to perform ‘Ctrl+S’, which is used to perform the Save function on most Windows programs.

Step 6: Finally, press the OK button at the top to confirm the key remapping. When prompted with a warning message, click on Continue Anyway.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

That’s it. Now the Shift (Right) key is remapped to perform the Ctrl+S shortcut. Similarly, you can remap more keys by using the ‘+’ button. To remove a remapped key, open Remap key window again and click on the trashcan icon next to the remapped key.

The Windows 10 Menu key launches a context menu you’d normally access by right-clicking your mouse. However, some keyboards don’t have a Menu key. If yours is missing, you can create one by mapping the Menu function to another key you don’t use very often.

Remapping with PowerToys

Thanks to a free utility called Microsoft PowerToys, you can easily reassign any key to work like any other. In this case, we’ll be assigning the Menu key’s function to a spare key on your keyboard.

First, if you don’t have PowerToys installed on Windows 10, you can download it for free from Microsoft’s website. After you do so, launch it, click “Keyboard Manager” in the sidebar, and then click “Remap a Key.”

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

In the “Remap Keyboard” window that appears, click the plus sign (+) under “Key:” to add a new key mapping.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Next, you have to decide which key you want to use as the Menu key. If you have a full-size keyboard, the Alt key to the right of the space bar usually works well. It’s in the same general location as the Menu key on other keyboards, and you have another Alt key on the left, so you won’t be losing anything.

Some people also use the right Ctrl or Scroll Lock keys, but this is all personal preference—just choose the one that works best for you.

Once you’ve decided, click the drop-down arrow in the “Key:” section on the left to select the key you want to use—for our example, we chose “Alt (Right).”

In the “Mapped To” area on the right, select “Menu” from the drop-down, and then click “OK.”

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Power Toys will probably warn you that the key you’re remapping will be unassigned; click “Continue Anyway.”

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Your new Menu key should work immediately. To test it, click anywhere on the desktop, and then press your new Menu key. You should see a small context menu like the one shown below.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

As you experiment with the new Menu key, you’ll notice the options in the menu change depending on the application or feature you right-click.

You can now close PowerToys and use your computer as you normally would.

How to Remove the New Menu Key

If you change your mind and want to use a different key or remove the mapping altogether, just launch PowerToys once again. Then, click Keyboard Manager > Remap a Key. Locate the Menu key mapping you defined and just click the trash can icon to delete it.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Click “OK” to close the window. You can then create a new mapping to a different key or just close PowerToys.

Shift+F10

If you’re ever in a pinch on a keyboard that doesn’t have a Menu key (and you can’t remap it) try pressing Shift+F10 or Ctrl+Shift+F10. This won’t work perfectly for every application, but it will usually replicate the function of the Menu key. Good luck!

Would you like to use a different keyboard key to perform a certain task in Windows 10? Thanks to PowerToys, it’s easy to remap any key to another key or even a shortcut combination on your keyboard. Here’s how to set it up.

The Secret Is PowerToys

In the past, remapping keys in Windows 10 required a difficult-to-use third-party program. Today, Microsoft makes it easy with PowerToys, a free utility available for download online. Using PowerToys, you can make any key on your keyboard act like any other key—and even remap shortcuts.

If you don’t already have PowerToys installed, download it for free from Github. After you install it, launch PowerToys Settings, then click “Keyboard Manager” in the sidebar. In the “Keyboard Manager” settings, click “Remap a Key.”

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

When the “Remap Keyboard” window pops up, click the plus button (“+”) to add a new key mapping.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

After that, you’ll need to define which key you want to remap (in the “Key:” column), and what key or shortcut you want it to perform (in the “Mapped To:” column).

First, select the key you’ll be remapping in the “To:” column by either clicking the “Type” button and pressing the key on your keyboard, or by selecting it from the list in the drop-down menu. For example, we’ll pick Scroll Lock here, since it often sits unused.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Next, select the key or shortcut you want to perform in the “Mapped To” column. For a single key, you can either choose it from the drop-down menu or click the “Type” button, then press it on your keyboard.

If you want to use a shortcut key combination, press the “Type” button, then press the combination on your keyboard. For example, here we’ve typed “Ctrl+C” for the standard Windows “Copy” shortcut.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

After you have both “Key:” and “Mapped To:” columns defined, click “OK.”

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

If you see a warning that one key will be left unassigned, click “Continue Anyway.” This means that you won’t be able to access the original function of the key that you just remapped.

(In our example, there will be no way to use Scroll Lock unless you remap another key to perform the original Scroll Lock function).

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Next, you’ll see the resulting mapping listed in the “Keyboard Manager” settings. That means your custom mapping has been saved and is now active.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

If you want to add more mappings, click “Remap a key” again. When you’re done, close PowerToys Settings completely, and your remapped key (or keys) will remain in effect. Use them as much as you’d like. You can always go back and adjust your mappings later if necessary.

How to Remove the New Key Mapping

Later on, if you want to remove the custom mapping you made, relaunch Power Toys Settings, then click “Keyboard Manager” and “Remap a key” again. In the list of mappings, click the trash can icon beside the mapping you’d like to delete.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

The mapping will be removed. After that, click “OK” to close the window. Then you can either exit PowerToys completely or create a new mapping using the guide above. Have fun!

By Amy | Follow | Last Updated June 24, 2020

Summary :

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Out of some reason, you may want to remap keys. Here comes the issue. How to remap keys? This question bothers plenty of users. In this post, MiniTool will explain why do you need to remap leys and how to do that.

Quick Navigation :

  • Why Do You Need to Remap Keys
  • How to Remap Keys Windows 10
  • User Comments

Why Do You Need to Remap Keys

In fact, there are multiple reasons attribute to the key remapping. For instance, you feel wrong on the current key layout or the keys are broken. However, the point is that how to remap keys Windows 10.

Generally speaking, Windows 10 doesn’t allow you to remap keys directly. The chance that you can configure the current keyboard layout is rare unless you have a high-end keyboard or a custom mechanical keyboard.

If you want to place certain keys in a better manner or disable certain keys, you can try remapping keys. For example, you would like to re-arrange the location of the Caps Lock key or hope to open Windows Task Manager with one keystroke.

How to remap key on Windows 10 computer? The next section will illustrate it in detail. Please move on!

How to Remap Keys Windows 10

As mentioned above, you are not allowed to remap keys Windows 10 directly. Based on that fact, you need to utilize some third-party tools such as SharpKeys, Keyweak, MapKeyboard, AutoHotoKey and other similar tools.

Now, we will show you the steps to remap key Windows 10 via SharpKeys.

Step 1: At first, you should click here to download and install SharpKeys on your Windows 10 computer. Click on the Finish button to complete the installation and then follow the next steps.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 2: After that, open the SharpKeys program from your Start menu. Alternatively, you can also open the program by running the executable file from the extracted folder.

Step 3: You can check if the current keyboard locale is correctly configured for your location before beginning the remapping operation. Follow this guide to do that: Open the Settings window, and then click on Time & Language > Region & language and see if the locale listed under the Languages section.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 4: If the locale is correct and you still want to remap keys, you can go on. Launch SharpKeys to enter its main interface and then click on the Add button.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Step 5: In the next window, you are able to choose the keys to remap. And then map the key options from the left list to the physical keys listed in the right side. Besides, you can also scroll down the list to choose these by yourself or click the Type Key button directly to find the target keys. Finally, click OK to save the changes.

Step 6: If you want to remap multiple keys, repeat the above steps. To reset the changes that you have made, click on the Edit button in the main interface of SharpKeys to go on.

That’s the all steps to Windows 10 remap keys for you.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Are you bothered by the Surface keyboard not working issue? What should you do to fix it? You can take methods in this post as your reference.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Position: Columnist

Having writing articles about computer tech for a long time, I am rather experienced especially on the aspect of computer optimization, PC enhancement, as well as tech terms explanation. The habit of looking through tech forums makes me a great computer issues collector. And then, many articles related to these issues are released, which benefit plenty of users. Professional, effective, and innovative are always the pursuit of an editing worker.

Standard key bindings in Windows 10 work for most people just well. We are all used to the letter keys, numbers row, F1-F12 button, additional function keys, and number pad. For some users, that may not be the case. Many people think about reassigning keys in Windows 10 to enhance productivity, perform some tasks faster, or deal with a broken or poor keyboard with an inconvenient layout. Nowadays, it is extremely easy to remap keys in Windows 10. You do not need complicated or pricy software, hacks, or registry tweaks. Although the OS has no built-in remapping tool, the company offers an extremely powerful application that includes the ability to remap keyboard on Windows 10.

How to Reassign Keyboard Keys on Windows 10?

To reassign keys and shortcuts in Windows 10, you need a free app called “PowerToys.” It is available for free from the official GitHub repository. It is important to note that PowerToys is an official app from Microsoft, so no need to worry about security.

Microsoft uses PowerToys to experiment with different features that may soon become native to Windows 10. In fact, PowerToys is not a single app. It consists of several utilities for power users and regular people who want to spice up their productivity. You can use PowerToys to reassign keys in Windows 10, organize windows on your desktop, batch rename files, run application, etc. In this article, we will focus on keys remapping in Windows 10 using the PowerToys app.

  1. Download the PowerToys app from the official GitHub repository.
  2. Run the executable and follow the on-screen instruction to install the program.
  3. Open PowerToys.
  4. In the left sidebar, click Keyboard Manager. That is where you remap individual keys or shortcuts.
  5. Press the Enable Keyboard Manager and then press Remap a key. What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  6. To reassign a key in Windows 10, press the plus button. What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  7. Click the Type button under the Key: section. You can also select it from a drop-down menu. What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  8. Now, move to the Mapped To: section. Again, click the Type button, then press the button you want to map a key to. What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  9. As an option, for example, if a key you are mapping does not work, select the key from a drop-down menu.
  10. To reassign another key in Windows 10, press the plus button again. You can remap any number of keys you want.
  11. When finished editing, hit the Ok button to save changes.

That is how you reassign keys in Windows 10.

Before we finish, it is important to note that you need to keep PowerToys running for your remaps to work. If you close PowerToys, Windows will revert to the standard layout, and you will lose your assignments. Go back to the PowerToys Settings window and switch to the General tab. Make sure you have the Run at startup toggle turned on. What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

With PowerToys, you can remap keys to other keys or shortcuts in Windows 10. Here’re the steps to remap keys with PowerToys.

Microsoft recently released an awesome free and open-source tool called PowerToys for Windows 10. In case you don’t know, PowerToys is a tool with a collection of utilities built into it. Some of those utilities include but not limited to the color picker, image resizer, run & search, bulk renamer, fancy zones, keyboard manager, etc. Each utility in PowerToys can be enabled or disabled individually. If you just want to use key remapping and fancy zones, you can enable those two and disable others. Put simply, PowerToys is an awesomely powerful tool that every Windows user should have.

One of the most useful utilities of the PowerToys tool is the keyboard manager. It allows us to remap keys on your keyboard to any other key or a shortcut. For example, if some key is not working as then you can remap it to some other key. Alternatively, you can assign a specific keyboard shortcut to any key on your keyboard. Key remapping is especially useful if you have additional keys on your keyboard. To remap keys with PowerToys, all you have to do is assign them in the Keyboard Manager section.

In this quick and simple guide, let me show the steps to remap keys with the PowerToys tool in Windows 10.

Note: If you haven’t already, download PowerToys from Github and install it like any other software. Once installed, proceed with the steps listed below.

Steps to Remap Keys with PowerToys Tool

After installing PowerToys, follow the steps listed below to remap keys with the PowerToys tools.

  1. First, open PowerToys in Windows 10. You can do this by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. After opening PowerToys, select the “Keyboard Manager” tab on the left panel.
  3. Now, turn on the “Enable Keyboard Manager” option.
  4. Next, Click the “Remap a key” button.
  5. Click on the “+” button.
  6. Click “Type” under the “Key” section.
  7. Press a key that you want to use as the remapped key. I pressed “`” because I want to use it to send another character or shortcut on pressing it.
  8. Click “Ok“.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  9. Now, click “Type” under the “Mapped to” section.
  10. Next press a key that you want to remap. In my case, I want to type “A” whenever I press “`”. If you cannot press the key, select the key from the drop-down menu under the “Mapped to” section.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  11. Alternatively, you can also map the key to send a keyboard shortcut. In this case, I want to send “Ctrl + V” when I press the”`” key.
  12. Click “Ok“.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  13. This is how it looks once you remap keys with PowerToys. In my case, every time I press “`”, it will send the “Ctrl + V” shortcut.
  14. Click “Ok” in the “Remap Keys” configuration window.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  15. If you see a warning, click on the “Continue Anyway” button.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)
  16. As soon as you do that, the remap instruction is added to the PowerToys keyboard manager’s remap keys list.
    What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

That is all. It is that simple to remap keys with PowerToys in Windows 10.

Wrapping Up Key Remapping with PowerToys

Following the same procedure, you can remap any key on your keyboard.

Do keep in mind that some custom keys, like the “Fn” key, cannot be remapped. This is because most keyboards and laptops don’t register them as separate keys. Rather they directly send a different keycode when you press the key. The OS then interprets the keycode with help of the keyboard driver and performs relevant action. Since this is a hardware level restriction, there is nothing much you can do.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you looking for an alternative method, you can also remap keys with AutoHotKey.

My ‘delete’ key doesn’t work anymore. I’d like to remap it to the ‘insert’ key. I’ve tried EVERY. SINGLE. Third party program. I’ve tried Microsoft’s program for remapping. None have worked.

I want to go straight through the registry so I can do ctrl-alt-del. I haven’t found a single post detailing how to do so. If someone could direct me to such instructions or give them to me here I’d be forever grateful.

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As much as I would like to help you with your concern, this kind of issue is more complex than what is normally posted here in Community. I suggest that you post your query in our TechNet Forum for further assistance.

If we can help you with anything else, please let me know.

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Thanks for the challenge! 😀

Open an Administrator PowerShell window by right-clicking on Start or pressing WinKey+X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin)

Then, copy and paste the following commands into the window. All the lines can be copied & pasted at once.

Copy up to the final ‘e’ of “-Force”:

$Remap = New-Object -TypeName byte[] -ArgumentList 20
$Remap[8] = 2
$Remap[12] = 0x53
$Remap[13] = 0xe0
$Remap[14] = 0x52
$Remap[15] = 0xe0
$key = ‘HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout’
New-ItemProperty -Path $key -Name ‘ScanCode Map’ -Value $Remap -Force

Once copied, press and the commands will execute:

Then close all windows and Restart.

I have a Logitech keyboard (Ultra-Flat Keyboard Dark Shine to be exact), which has the context menu key in the middle of the windows and alt key, which is quite annoying.

Here’s a screenshot of where the key is:

I can remap the windows and alt keys under the default Keyboard System Preferences Panel, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to remap the context menu key.

6 Answers 6

Use KeyRemap4MacBook (Karabiner for osx 10.9, 10.10). As Mecki pointed out, XML .keylayouts / Ukelele can’t solve your problem.

In spite of the name, KeyRemap4MacBook works on any Mac (OS X 10.4 or later).

The settings you want are under “For PC Users” » “Change PC Application Key”.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

Use KeyRemap4Macbook . Edit private.xml file like this:

This code will remap right option key to the context menu key.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

You can use Karabiner to map App to Command + Option :

You can then use Keyboard Maestro to map Command + Option + Letter , where Letter is a key that denotes an application, to focus the application:

For example, you can then do App + C to focus Chrome, App + T to focus Terminal, App + S to focus Slack etc. (if an app isn’t already open, Keyboard Maestro opens it first).

If you’re using a generic keyboard, then you have a dedicated App key:

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

If you’re using an Apple keyboard, you have to hold Command and Option , but they are next to each other, and appear on both sides of the spacebar:

Keep in mind that OS X already uses Command + Option + Esc to open the Force Quit Applications dialogue, so you could now use App + Esc for that. Likewise, OS X uses Command + Option + W to close all of the windows in the focus application (tabs in Chrome).

  • Karabiner is an open source kernel extension for modifying the way keyboard input is handled by OS X.
  • Keyboard Maestro is a proprietary application for creating keyboard shortcuts in OS X. It has a free 30 day trial, and costs $36.

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

The latest MacOS versions are served by Karabiner Elements 12.1.
Key-to-key remapping are done in the Simple Modifications tab and conveniently selected in 2 rows of drop-down-menus (see: screenshot).

Complex Modifications in this Preferences Panel’s tab have either to be added by importing them from the internet (Karabiner-E.’s site) or from the user’s

/.config/karabiner/assets/ complex_modifications folder.
“Complex” ones from the net actually are also copied there and switched “on” (= [+ Enable] ) in the tab.

ALL modifications are finally stored (& thus “activated”) in

A pragmatic procedure (that also helps avoid mistakes while writing complex-mods yourself) is to copy & rename & alter one “imported” mod.
Once you are experienced (e.g.: different bracket types) it may be easier to edit the json file directly…

What is the menu key for (and how to remap it)

There is no longer the option to constrict remaps to specific windows (can be simulated by an osascript AppleScript) as some other features.
A non-Element version of Karabiner is being developed.

Two sites to get information & questions (answered) – but please search for previous “doubles” !: