I am the less than happy owner of a Canadian ASUS laptop with a Canadian French keyboard, running Windows 8.1.

The left shift key is really narrow and easy to miss. Immediately to its right is a key with "\" on it. (Quite how having a "\" key there, while there is also a perfectly functional "\" key in the usual spot, is useful to Quebecers escapes me and I am Francophone too).

But the end result is that I touch-type a lot of '\j' instead of "J" for example.

How can I tell Windows to consider that both the left-shift and that annoying "\" key, but only at that location on the keyboard, should be considered shift? I don't care about the labels and I also don't wish to modify anything else on that keyboard.

I downloaded the MS Keyboard Layout Creator v 1.4, and it shows me the guilty key as VK_OEM_102. Tried typing in 'shift' as a replacement and it complained that it wanted 4 characters or 4 UTF-16 code points. Then I tried FEFF000F, which I got from http://www.fileformat.info/info/charset/UTF-16/list.htm as Shift-in.

  • superuser.com/questions/694465/… explains how.
    – K7AAY
    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:28
  • Yes, and I was aware of it. Except that the answers there talk mostly about complicated stuff that is overkill for my question. MS Keyboard creator specifically did NOT work for my needs, scancodes table + registry edit is ... interesting but scary. I did not attempt using mapkeyboard. I did post a link back to this post and my use of sharpkeys. i.e. I specifically asked this question here because the answers there did not suit me.
    – JL Peyret
    Mar 24, 2015 at 17:03

1 Answer 1


Remap it by modifying HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout or use a third-party tool like SharpKeys to do the same thing via a GUI.

Edit: Several reports of SharpKeys working/not working on 8.1. You'd have to figure out what key the OS thinks your left \ is so you can find the scancode to remap it manually.

  • Awesome. Sharpkeys did the trick and it worked fine on 8.1 . It does mention a compatibility mode if it is not working on 8/8.1 but I did not have to resort to that. The key I was concerned about did not show up in the list of 'from' key codes, but it allows you to press the key itself in order to identify which key is of interest. The 'to' key, in my case shift, was easily chosen as a substitute.
    – JL Peyret
    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:36
  • I did have a big scare however. Sharpkeys asks for a reboot and when logging in, it seemed as if the login dialog was reporting my keys to be uppercased no matter what I did. Scary as I do have lowercase password characters. Still, logged in just fine.
    – JL Peyret
    Jan 21, 2015 at 1:39

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