Can any USB keyboard be used with a Mac?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Deslock, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Deslock macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    #1
    Will a Mac work with any USB keyboard? If it has a Windows-key, does it map it to the Apple-key? What about the print and backspace keys? If there is no Windows-key, how do you get Apple-key functionality?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #2
    As it clearly states on the Mac mini page, you can use your favorite USB keyboard. As for key mapping, I can't comment as I have not done it.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    The windows key becomes the Apple key. Not sure about the others...

    Edit: thinking about this it might be the Alt key that becomes the Apple key?
     
  4. Deslock thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2004
    #4
    Right, but what I want to know is how non-Apple USB keyboards handle the Apple-key functionality.
     
  5. Deslock thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2004
    #5
    Thanks!
     
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
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    #6
    A bit of Googling turned up this. Looks like the default mapping is Apple==Windows, but you can change it to Alt with a bit of hacking...
     
  7. Norouzi macrumors 6502

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    Aug 6, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    #7
    On the same topic, I'm using a Logitec keyboard that's for windows. When I first used it the windows key worked as the Apple Key, but I wanted to map the other keys to do certain things, like have one of the extra buttons open the CD drive. I installed the Loigtec software for OS X and now the Alt key works as the Apple key, no idea why but I've gotten used to it now and I was able to map all the extra buttons to do some fun things.
     
  8. Deslock thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 18, 2004
    #8
    FYI for anyone else who comes across this thread... I found this info at maccentral
     
  9. wnameth macrumors 65816

    wnameth

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    The windows key becomes the apple key, have a wireless Logitech right now.
     
  10. brandon6684 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    #10
    I've used my Apple keyboard on an HP laptop and the Apple key worked as the Windows key, and it works the other way around if you use a PC keyboard on a Mac. If it's a USB keyboard, it most likely has a Windows key.
     
  11. Solafaa macrumors 6502a

    Solafaa

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    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Daddy said not to talk to strangers
    #11
    I never use Apple keyboard, i play lots of games on my mac so i am used to one kind on keyboard (microsoft :( ya i know), i have had no problems what so ever just make sure you map one of your keys to be the eject (f12 for me) and try to remmber you keys.
     
  12. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #12
    Here's a question for one of you... the Windows key is (generally speaking) just a shortcut to Ctrl-Esc (which does the same thing if you do it manually). If you plug in a non-Apple keyb and Ctrl-Esc, does it do the same thing as the Apple key?

    Just general curiosity.

    Rob
     
  13. Bear macrumors G3

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    Sol III - Terra
    #13
    I highly doubt this will work since you need to hold down the Command key while hitting the next key. Using Ctrl-Esc wouldn't allow for this
     
  14. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #14
    Well, for example if you press Command-V to paste, will Ctrl-Esc-V paste as well? Lots of keyboard shortcuts use 3 keys, so I don't see why this would inherently NOT work. (just for references, on some Windows keyboards at least, hitting the Windows key literally sends the same electrical signal as if you had pressed ctrl-esc. I don't know if all work liek that or not, though).

    Rob
     
  15. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #15
    The issue is ESC (escape) is a character and not a modifier key like Command/Option/Control/Shift. So Ctrl-Esc-V will not paste.
     
  16. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #16
    Ah, ok, I see. Interesting... It may be that only older PS2 keybs used the 'just send ctrl-esc' system for Windows keys...

    Rob

    EDIT: I just checked on my Linux desktop with a PS2 (wireless, tho, not a standard) keyboard, and while the windows key launches the application menu, ctrl-esc brings up a proccess list. So it seems it can tell the difference.
     

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