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I have a laptop keyboard that has some of the functional keys on the right side kind of mixed in with the rest of the keys, so I have to look down to set my hand. For instance, I want to be able to just slide my right hand to the right and feel for the bump that signifies the down arrow so I can navigate around.

What is the best way to put a nub or something on there, kind of the way the F and J keys have it?

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12 Answers 12

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are 2 cheap sticker solutions that I know of.

Disclaimer: I'm associated with "Keyboard bumps".

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There, now it's neutral. – Gnoupi Aug 7 '12 at 14:09
while this person may indeed be associated with "keyboard bumps" this is pretty much exactly what i have been looking for. i just ordered 8. – Jason Aug 7 '12 at 16:20
I was hoping for some ridges in the shape of arrows or other symbols/letters. It looks like these all say "BUMP", and the LocDots just give you a dot. – joeytwiddle May 30 '15 at 18:38
The order from Amazon button on the homepage does not work. – Lawrence Dol Jun 3 at 0:53

I've attached a tiny piece of sand with super glue. Experiment first off your keyboard to find the right size of sand. I found that REALLY small is big enough. Sand (being made of stone) will wear longer than the rest of your keyboard. Sand is "everywhere" on the ground or when you sweep your floors, but if you want you can get some from various masonry suppliers or hardware stores... just offer to sweep a little bit of their floor. :-)

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Clear nail polish works well, and is dirt cheap (especially if you have a lady-friend to supply it). The downside is that it'll wear off fairly often and you need to reapply every month or two, but that's also a feature because it means the mod is reversible.

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Is there any danger of the nail polish harming the plastic of the keyboard? – joeytwiddle May 30 '15 at 18:23
There is no danger, unless you use way too much. – Joel Coehoorn May 30 '15 at 22:08

In the dark ages before scanners, when cashiers had to actually enter prices into cash registers when they rang up groceries <gasp>, sometimes they'd glue small o-rings on the 5 key so they had tactile feedback of their hand position and could operate the register faster.

Seriously, I kid you not. (about the hand entry)

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Use Araldite Rapid (15 minute drying time). Clean the surface of the key with a strong degreaser (use gloves) then scrape the area lightly with a craft knife or anything sharp and pointy. Touch a small amount of mixed epoxy resin to the area immediately after you have mixed it, this will help adhesion. Put a tiny blob on a pin, wait until it loses it's ability to run then pop it onto the centre of the key, use a wet or oily fingertip to flatten out any pointy bit. The best epoxy for this is actually "metal loaded" but it takes practice to get the consistency right. If you get it wrong you can wipe it clean as long as you do it straight away. It's very much a matter of "practice makes perfect" so do a few blobs somewhere safe first to get the hang of it.

Take care not to erase the letter with the degreasing agent

And, yes, I do have to do some odd things in my place of work.

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I have taken a keyboard membrane (clear keyboard protector), and cut the the keys out of the membrane that I need a response from, then put the little membrane cut outs over the keys (like little key condoms). I could feel the difference right away, it was removable, I could see through it, it didn't damage my keyboard in any way, and it worked. I highly recommend this.

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Maybe some form of epoxy? You'd have to be careful how you applied it, though.

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have you done this before? i was hoping someone has done something like this before and could give me tips. don't wanna mess up my monitor or keyboard :\ – Jason Nov 20 '10 at 1:33
I haven't done it myself, sorry. – user55325 Nov 20 '10 at 3:40

Small piece of regular office tape, or vinyl tape (they have different thickness) - works for me.

office tape bump

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Use those plastic bling stickers for cell phones. A little super glue and they should stay nicely.

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Not sure if this will work, but it may be worth a try (on an old keyboard first). Take a soldering iron with a very fine tip and get a small bead of tin solder on it. Barely touch the key with the tip and it should leave a very small bump of tin that is imbedded in the key but also raised. You could then cover this with clear nail polish or epoxy if you're worried about touching tin, plus the oil from your skin could cause it to oxidize.

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Sorry, but this is a terrible idea because you'd basically systematically putting lead and tin into your body with this method. Even small amounts of lead are harmful, and it's small molecule size will get though many coatings, especially if they wear down. – geneorama Sep 10 '13 at 11:59
You can swallow lead pellets with no harm. I doubt that some solder on a keyboard is going to do any harm. – Elliot Mar 1 at 20:10
@Elliot, do not swallow lead pellets. That is a terrible idea. It doesn't take much searching to find cases of lead poisoning from swallowing lead pellets. – dangph Jun 24 at 3:39
@dangph Of course you try not too, but everyone who eats wild game gets some lead. It has been studied and it doesn't raise lead levels much. – Elliot Jun 25 at 10:08

You could always make a little scratch on the down key to tell the down key apart from others. Not quite a nub--but it should work. And it's pretty permanent.

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You may be able to find cute raised stickers for kids in a newsagent or stationary shop.

Cute cloud stickers from etsystatic


When the stickers are different shapes, your fingers may be able to tell the difference...

Do any of them feel like a Tilde or an Up Arrow?

Here is how they do it in Korea:

Raised Hangul Character Stickers


That author says that the standard stickers mentioned earlier are susceptible to slipping.

You can even get felt stickers.

If you only have thin stickers (or tape like A B's answer), then in order to feel them, stick them badly and leave a bump!

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