One thing that I really like on mobile devices is the long-tap functionality to write different characters to the screen when I long-tap on a key. Useful to write Umlauts ä,ö, or ü, or other special characters that may not be accessible directly on the keyboard.
A long-tap on a smartphone displays additional keys that you may select. The same function is not available on desktop PCs; one reason for that is probably the physical keyboard that you use when you work on desktop computers.
The keyboard provides access to all major keys of a language and it is easy enough to write many of the characters that smartphone keyboards don't display by default.
Still, it can be useful to add long-press functionality to the desktop PC keyboard to improve the workflow further or add direct support to characters that you had to type using Alt-codes, programs like Extra Keys, KbdKaz or WinCompose, or the Windows Character Map.
Key Manager is a commercial software program that you may use to add long press key mappings to Windows. You can download a trial version from the developer website to test the program's functionality.
Note: While you can configure long-press functionality using it, you may notice that this adds a delay to the actual key press. If you type fast, you will notice that the position of the regular character may get misplaced because of the added functionality.
Using Key Manager is very easy. Just start the program after you have installed it on a Windows machine and double-click in the main program window to configure a new action.
Do the following to add long press functionality to any key on the keyboard:
That's all there is to it. When you long-tap on the key from that moment on, the newly selected output is sent and not the actual key that is mapped on the keyboard.
I'm not aware of other programs that support long-press key mappings on Windows. The main issue that I have with Key Manager's implementation is that it adds a noticeable delay to the mapped key. If I map "ä" to a long-press of "a", I get delays whenever I tap on the a-key regardless of whether I tap normally on it or for some time.
Now You: do you know of other programs that add long-tap support to the Windows keyboard?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.