A little off-topic but definitely Dorico-relevant. I just got a new Windows laptop, as it was time to retire the dinosaur. I opted for something smaller, so it doesn’t have a full numeric keypad on the right.
I love everything about the smaller form factor except for this, since it’s really hindering me. I had all sorts of things mapped to the number pad in Dorico (yes, I know I can remap these, and I know I can get an external number pad…). It’s a bit of a buzzkill at the moment, to be honest.
What I’m especially needing to manage easily are various Alt+number combinations in the character map. I frequently use Alt+0169 for the copyright symbol, as well as curly quotes, em dashes, and other typographical specifics, like small caps and oldstyle figures.
I use AHK for some of this stuff, but it gets unwieldly. There are only so many key combinations I can safely give up in Dorico (or that I can remember!). What I’d love is a program that runs in the background, and a certain key command summons it as a popup, after which I can type a certain key to return a mapped character (like c to return a copyright symbol, or ’ to return a curly apostrophe), then the window goes away.
I hope that makes sense. I really don’t want any external devices, since that’s the whole reason I went with a smaller laptop that’s more portable. But I need a fast way to access various characters. I’d be interested to hear what others use for this sort of thing.
Well, I’m quite happy to report that I’ve got a very satisfactory solution!
The code below is for AHK (Windows). When I press F12, it gives me a soft beep and a little tool tip telling me substitution is turned on. I’ve mapped things like curly quotes, the copyright symbol, and dedicated small caps in the font I’m using (Minion Pro), all to simple keys. Then pressing F12 again turns it off.
Here’s a sample of the code, just the first of the caps. Obviously there are other ways to do it, and if you’re using a different font, the Unicode will be different for some of these.
Lots of possibilities here for simple keyboard extensions, even stretching into Dorico itself. I know I’m not the first one to do this, but it’s a great solution for my problem. Long live compact keyboards!