Our computers have been upgraded to HP EliteBook 8570p machines and while they're very nice machines, they are also very large -- so large that the left Ctrl key is too far away, making Ctrl+V really difficult to do with one hand.

I'm sure there are ways to re-map the keys so that their signal is swapped. But add the factor of corporate security, is there still a reasonably simple approach to this?

I'm sure you'd like more information before you can answer -- I'll try to add updates based on comments and answers.

  • Do you need to change the ctrl+v function only or you want to remap the ctrl key? Have you look at AutoHotkey? – avirk Sep 19 '12 at 12:33
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    I know that in the old IBM Thinkpads you could swap those keys in the BIOS. If you have access to the BIOS, try this, or you could ask an admin if they do it for you. – Stefan Seidel Sep 19 '12 at 12:50
  • A few select systems (older IBM ThinkPads for the most part) implement the FN in software and therefore can be remapped, but the vast majority do not and therefore cannot. Unfortunately, your HP does not seem to be one of the ones that can be remapped, but check the BIOS to be sure. – Synetech Sep 19 '12 at 14:53
  • Good advice! Sadly the machines are locked down hard, so there's no BIOS available and it's not something I'd want to talk to Support about. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 20 '12 at 9:32

It can't be done. Not without getting your hands dirty, that is opening up keyboards and swapping keys at the hardware level. Pressing the Fn-key changes the scancodes for other keys on the board, but is not reported to the operating system. For example, on a lot of notebook keyboards, pressing Fn-K will be registered as pressing an actual Numpad 2, even though that key might not physically exist. The operating system is fully unaware of any Fn-key and its presses can therefore not be remapped on a software level.

  • In my experience this is right, but some laptops may have Fn as a real scancode, so it would be worth trying the other solutions to see. – Mechanical snail Sep 19 '12 at 17:39
  • No, they do not have Fn as a real scancode. They have an idiosyncratic I/O command that can be sent to the keyboard to instruct it on how to process these keys. askubuntu.com/a/787771/43344 – JdeBP Apr 27 '19 at 12:47

You can do it with Autohotkey. Download, install, and add this in the default script:

vkFFsc023::Send ^c

If this doesn't do, we probably have different keycodes (Because it works on my machine ;)). In this case, choose Open from AHK's icon in the system tray, then press CtrlK to view the key history, press fnc, then F5 to refresh, and change the vk and sc values in the script with the numbers in the first two columns of the row corresponding to your keypress.

You can do that for any combination of Ctrlsomething that you'd like to be remapped.

  • I've heard much good about AHK but never used it. Now I have a good reason to try it out! @Marcks answer makes sense in that the Fn key can't be remapped, but if AHK can simply add combos then it's perfect. Then Ctrl-C and Fn-C would work and do the same. Will try this out in the next days and report back. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 19 '12 at 13:51
  • You’ll have to use #InstallKeybdHook for the key history to work correctly. – Synetech Sep 19 '12 at 14:45
  • Well I don't recall having installed anything special, but... maybe :) – m4573r Sep 19 '12 at 15:12
  • Hmm, I can't get AHK to detect the Fn key. Looks like Marcks is right :-/ – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 20 '12 at 9:34
  • Dammit. I just found out that the only reason I could remap this key is because fn+c is already assigned ot an action by default. When I want to assign another key it doesn't work :/ Sorry :( – m4573r Sep 20 '12 at 9:42

Download AutoHotkey and you can use this script

!v::Send ^v 

Here when you will press the Alt+V it will behave for paste.

If you want to remap Ctrl+C with Alt+C then just add this line to the script

!c::Send ^c  

this will copy the text. However you can't remap the Fn key with AHK.

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    Thanks, but I don't want to touch the Alt key because that will probably interfere too much with apps. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 20 '12 at 9:35
  • Alt+/C/V will not interact with the apps most probably. But if you think so then its depend on you with which key you find handy yourself :). – avirk Sep 20 '12 at 11:17

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