The Numeric Keypad and Tab Problem

I use this data reduction program in Windows 95 that requires entering many numbers from a paper list into a dialog full of entry fields. I have gotten pretty adept at entering the numbers quickly using the numeric keypad, but in order to move to the next entry field, I have to either reach across the keyboard and hit the tab key, or I have to fiddle with the mouse and click on the next field.

Needless to say, after an hour of this, my hand, wrist, ... hell, my whole arm gets sore. It seems that a very elegant solution to this problem would be to make one of the keys on the numeric keypad (like enter or "+") a tab button.

I have tried finding a software solution, but none that I have found work. The weird thing is that while pressing tab moves you to the next field, hitting Ctrl-I or Alt-009 won't. Windows 95 must grab the keyboard scan code for the tab key before it's decoded into ASCII.


Edwin Windes has pointed out a solution to me. It is ZDKeyMap. Go to and search for "zdkeymap". I use it to redefine one of the unused numeric keypad keys (the "plus" key) to be a tab button. Now I can enter a whole dialog full of entry fields without moving my arm. So far, it works in all the software that I use, and I'm already feeling better.

Kent H Lundberg. Last updated January 26, 1998.