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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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17 Answers 17

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There are 2 cheap sticker solutions that I know of.

  • "Keyboard Bumps" (no longer available)
  • "LocDots"

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

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    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, 2012 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. May 30, 2015 at 18:38
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    I have a feeling "keyboard bumps" may be no more given the state of their web shop.. For people in the UK, you can get Loc-Dots from the RNIB at a reasonable price for a pack of 320. Sep 23, 2016 at 12:35
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    The first link appears dead.
    – Ruslan
    Jan 1, 2019 at 13:16
  • The second link is dead now too
    – iansedano
    Feb 5, 2021 at 16:11
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Small piece of regular office tape, or vinyl tape (they have different thickness) - works for me.

office tape bump

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    Adding a piece of tape to the number row keys is genius. It seems I'm always slightly off-target when it comes to that row.
    – jefflunt
    Feb 25, 2019 at 16:05
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    Tape is the correct answer! For black keyboard keys, I find a thin sliver of electrical tape is a really nice tactile indicator but also blends in visually so your keyboard doesn’t look like you have random bits of tape.
    – mattmc3
    Sep 8, 2019 at 0:00
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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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  • There can't be a cheaper option than this :)
    – RBT
    Mar 18, 2019 at 10:40
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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 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? May 30, 2015 at 18:23
  • There is no danger, unless you use way too much. May 30, 2015 at 22:08
  • BTW, you could probably test the nail polish on the underside of the keyboard. (I had the same question, and also might apply to super glue, one of the other solutions) Aug 15, 2016 at 16:56
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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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You may be able to find cute raised stickers for kids in a newsagent or stationary shop.

Cute cloud stickers from etsystatic

More

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

Source: http://lovingkorean.com/2014/02/26/typing-hangul-korean-alphabet-keyboard-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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    Upvoted for the picture of the smiley stickers ;-) Nov 26, 2018 at 16:59
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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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5

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 use fennel seeds. There can't be a better use of nature. It saved my keyboard which was in great condition except for those worn out tactile bumps.

enter image description here

I've used cello-tape for sticking but you can opt for more cleaner options to stick the seeds. May be some other glue.

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    Looking at just the picture, I thought they were finger nail clippings ... I guess that would work too. :P Brilliant idea BTW! Mar 1, 2021 at 13:02
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I've found that sticking small squares of black cloth tape or gaffers tape works, because they have some texture while the regular keys are smooth.

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  • Tape was already mentioned in an earlier answer
    – Ian Dunn
    Aug 12, 2021 at 13:36
  • Great idea, I'm going to try this. Blue (or other color) painter's tape would also be good, since regular tape, gaffer's tape and painter's tape have different textures, and the adhesive on the latter two is designed to not leave a residue.
    – user38983
    Mar 18 at 22:40
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Here's another good one; the soft side of one of those really sticky velcro squares. I found one on my desk from my internet install kit. Gives it a nice tactical feel. You can cut the big square into smaller ones and you have a few replacements.

I just did it to mine. I needed something to stick out more than scratches or some of the other good ideas on here. Just in case I'm doing something like looking at the map then have to jump over to the movement keys when I get attacked from behind maybe.

A "W" key is a "W" key. If you can't see it behind the velcro you're a gamer so you know where the key is anyways.

I have a black key-white letter keyboard, the ivory Logitech K360 to be exact. I also put clear packing tape down in squares, color coded my "R" red (for record. music production.) "G" green(ish) (for Google Drive) and "P" yellow-ish (for photography folder. landscape art for showing quick passer-bys my shots.) and put a second tape over the colored sharpie ink so it's see through.

As you can see I love using my hotkeys. I use them for everything. So I thought I'd put this one in about the velcro stickies for future readers.

There is now (and was before) a WASD "keypad" by Nostromo they used to sell in Best Buy, Gamestop, Electronics Botique back when games like C.O.D. first came out and all that OG stuff that started the online WASD thing. There's another one out now by Logitech called the "G13". They both have thumb joysticks/d-pad for movement or whatnot. You can find them both online. They have a more simple interface, custom keys and the G13 has pre-indented "WASD" numbered keys so you can find them faster.

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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, 2013 at 11:59
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    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, 2016 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, 2016 at 3:39
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    @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, 2016 at 10:08
  • This seems like a good reason to me to find different ammo 😂
    – iconoclast
    May 18, 2018 at 18:47
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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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  • I'm trying this first - just scored 3 vertical lines on my 5,6,G,H keys, and 3 horizontal lines on 1,2,3,7,8,9,A,S,D,J,K,L keys. I can definitely feel them when paying attention, hoping this will infiltrate my subconscious so I will know which key I am on without paying attention.
    – Abacus
    Jan 6 at 15:03
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I have been searching something same. I have to try this, might give you some idea too:

enter image description here

Note: Typical PC keyboard key length might be around 15mm. So, letter should be less than that size.

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Just buy some keycaps with tactile bumps. You can buy single keys online.

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Create grooves instead:

Use a hobby (craft) knife or utility knife. Make the grooves wide/thick enough so you can feel them, while maintaining the same shape as the original bumps/ridges.

Cheap and easy.

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