Thoughts On Macro Keys

Written by Paul Goodhead

September 19, 2010 // 8:39 a.m.

Tags: #gaming-keyboard #gaming-mouse #macro-keys #thoughts-on

Macro keys on keyboards and mice are almost always aimed at the enthusiast MMO player. Their function is to allow users to execute a long chain of keyboard or mouse commands at the touch of a single button, which is a useful ability in games such as WoW. As a result macro keys are becoming a common feature on gaming mice and keyboards.

It was confusing for Clive then to hear me say that I love macro keys, even though I don’t play any of the MMO games which they are classically associated with. This is because I put my macro keys on my G15 at home to a far less entertaining use than which they were originally intended - entering common information on websites. [break]

I thought it was a pretty logical idea that others would have thought of (I’m sure people have, but none of them are in the bit-tech offices). I’m forever having to enter long and boring lines of text into websites, be it an email address, a password or a house address, why not just map them keystrokes to a macro and enter my awkwardly long personal email address in one simple key press.

You can even map ‘tab’ keys into your macros, so you can make it enter your email address, then tab to the next line to enter your password. Take this to the next step and you can have your keyboard filling out your entire address on a delivery form for some goods you’ve bought online.

Thoughts On Macro Keys On Macro Keys
I've got copy and paste bound to the two buttons on the edge of the main buttons

Obviously there are some drawbacks. Having your password mapped to a macro button isn’t exactly secure, but if you live with people you trust it’s not a problem. The whole entering your address thing can also get flummoxed by different website layouts; some will require tabs in different places for example.

I’ve also found the macro keys useful on the CM Storm Inferno mouse I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. I liked the mouse so much I’m still using it today (let’s hope they don’t ask for it back) and I’ve mapped the buttons on the outside edge of either of the main buttons as macros. The left hand one is mapped as Ctrl+C and the right hand one as Ctrl+V giving me quick and easy copy and paste commands.

Like I said, I’m sure I’m not alone in using macro keys in this way, it just surprised me that nobody in at bit-tech HQ had thought to do the same, so I thought I’d throw it out to you guys. Do you use your macro keys to make everyday tasks quicker or do you keep them exclusively for your gaming needs? Let me know in the forums.
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