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Dell Studio 1555 lacks numpad - Is there a practical workaround?

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Dell Studio 1555 lacks numpad - Is there a practical workaround?

This question has been answered by ieee488

I use accented letters regularly in informal and formal contexts in several languages and I need a number pad in order to type these. I purchased the Dell Studio 1555 without realising that the keyboard completely lacks an integrated numpad. I cannot swap back and forth between, say, standard Spanish and German keyboards because I use the Dvorak layout and feel that to force myself to change the layout I use natively just for a missing feature on a keyboard is not an actual solution to the problem.

Is there any way at all to assign fn number pad keys to, say, the top row? No combination of Fn, Shift, Num lock (reassigned F6 to it) allows me to type in alt codes.

Verified Answer
  • cungsyu

    Well, I'm not opposed to having a hardware number pad, but I would like to find a software solution primarily.

     

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665

    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

All Replies
  • ;^) In stores, I've seen add-on USB keyboard numerical keypads.  They are meant for just what you describe; a hardware work-around for the laptop's lack of integrated numerical keypad.  So can toss it into a pocket in your laptop bag, and plug it in whenever you need to use it....

  • Well, I'm not opposed to having a hardware number pad, but I would like to find a software solution primarily.

  • i just got an XPS 14 and have the same problem. I type in english, french, and spanish on a regular basis and this laptop is useless to me without a numpad.i can't even fathom why a company would consider removing the numpad. it's not like it's a cumbersome feature and a number of people depend on them to type in multiple languages. by removing the numpad, they've lost a portion of their customer base and have not gained anything in return.

  • lazarkonforti

    i just got an XPS 14 and have the same problem. I type in english, french, and spanish on a regular basis and this laptop is useless to me without a numpad.i can't even fathom why a company would consider removing the numpad. it's not like it's a cumbersome feature and a number of people depend on them to type in multiple languages. by removing the numpad, they've lost a portion of their customer base and have not gained anything in return.

     

    There are laptops with the numpad; you chose to buy one without one. Your fault.

     

    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

  • cungsyu

    Well, I'm not opposed to having a hardware number pad, but I would like to find a software solution primarily.

     

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665

    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

  • Wow, trolling much?  Yes it is the persons fault, but they already mentioned that in other words.  So what was the point of your comment?  Try to be helpful on forums, and not a bully.  Your karma will grow healthy.  Things can be easily overlooked from time to time, and there should be a solution to his problem.  I'm sure these laptops aren't only for sale in the US.  Even if they are, the point still stands.  What was gained by the decision to make the numpad inaccessible?  I'm not asking Dell to explain their entire market strategy to us, but this makes no sense.  How many techs have they put out of business because people will no longer be calling because they can't type properly?

    Ubuntu 8.#-12#

    Kubuntu: various

    Linux mint: various

    Knoppix 6.3

    DSL, Puppy linux, Hirens Boot cd, UBCD blah, blah, blah.

    Windows XP, 7, mini.

    Athlon x2 6000, 3GB ram, GT 220 (That's it, no X) all in a tower with a missing side panel (custom cooling)!! and like 5 other Frankensteins monsters. Dell 1555 studio, HP Something or other, Acer Aspire Laptop. -SO THERE!!! Don't be yelling at me. :D

  • The number pad was probably eliminated because this model is targeted at consumers for multimedia use - and number pads tend to be used for business purposes.  Different target market, different design.

  • babygenius55

    Wow, trolling much?  Yes it is the persons fault, but they already mentioned that in other words.  So what was the point of your comment?  Try to be helpful on forums, and not a bully.  Your karma will grow healthy.  Things can be easily overlooked from time to time, and there should be a solution to his problem.  I'm sure these laptops aren't only for sale in the US.  Even if they are, the point still stands.  What was gained by the decision to make the numpad inaccessible?  I'm not asking Dell to explain their entire market strategy to us, but this makes no sense.  How many techs have they put out of business because people will no longer be calling because they can't type properly?

    YOU trolling much????

    Posting on a thread from Januarry?????

    Nothing better to do?????

    And there was at least one post deleted in between mine that YOU came in too late to see.

    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

  • Ejn:  I know what the purpose of the laptop was.  My point was it makes no sense in any light.  Adobe after effects-uses the numberpad by default for ram preview, and other things.  Certain media players use the numberpad for aspect ratio/scale in general.  I can understand going out on a limb, but there should be a way to come back in when you realize it was a bad idea.  I really like the unit.  preforms well, but the lack of a numpad is an annoyance. Not to mention I have to go to the character map whenever I want to put a " ' ", or "~", or any other accent mark on a letter.  I don't do it very often at all, but some days I feel international.

    Trollboy:  :P

    Ubuntu 8.#-12#

    Kubuntu: various

    Linux mint: various

    Knoppix 6.3

    DSL, Puppy linux, Hirens Boot cd, UBCD blah, blah, blah.

    Windows XP, 7, mini.

    Athlon x2 6000, 3GB ram, GT 220 (That's it, no X) all in a tower with a missing side panel (custom cooling)!! and like 5 other Frankensteins monsters. Dell 1555 studio, HP Something or other, Acer Aspire Laptop. -SO THERE!!! Don't be yelling at me. :D

  • babygenius55

    Ejn:  I know what the purpose of the laptop was.  My point was it makes no sense in any light.  Adobe after effects-uses the numberpad by default for ram preview, and other things.  Certain media players use the numberpad for aspect ratio/scale in general.  I can understand going out on a limb, but there should be a way to come back in when you realize it was a bad idea.  I really like the unit.  preforms well, but the lack of a numpad is an annoyance. Not to mention I have to go to the character map whenever I want to put a " ' ", or "~", or any other accent mark on a letter.  I don't do it very often at all, but some days I feel international.

    Trollboy:  :P

    If you want to make yourself look like you took one valium too many ....

    my Dells:
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit / Linux Mint
    Optiplex 3020 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

    Precision M6300 - Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3

  • Yes, I just discovered the same terrible misfeature on my new Vostro 3350. Like you, it had never occurred to me that a manufacturer would remove this function. I got an excellent bit of free software called KeyCodes from http://delphiforfun.org/programs/Download/KeyCodes.zip to help me investigate further.

    It turns out to be harder than you might think to work around this, because the Fn key doesn't generate a scancode of its own. Normally, each key generates a code, including Ctrl, Shift, Alt, etc. and this is passed to the operating system, which then decides what to make of the different key combinations. But the Fn key seems to be special - it directly modifies the scancodes sent by the other keys. And it doesn't have any effect when combined with the keys that would normally act as laptop numpad keys, like the letter M to send Numpad-Zero.

    However… while fiddling with the keyboard and seeing what scancodes were being sent, I had a bit of luck. There's a Windows-logo key to the left of the spacebar which normally sends the code for Windows-Left. But if you press it with the Fn key, it sends the code for Windows-Right. As far as I can tell, nothing else uses Windows-Right to mean anything different from Windows-Left, so this could make a whole new set of keycodes available for use.

    Next thing was to get hold of another excellent bit of free software called AutoHotkey_L from http://www.autohotkey.net/~Lexikos/AutoHotkey_L/ When you run it for the first time, it pops up a configuration file for you to edit. I put in the following lines:

    >#m::Send {Numpad0}
    >#!m::Send {Blind}{Numpad0}
    >#j::Send {Numpad1}
    >#!j::Send {Blind}{Numpad1}
    >#k::Send {Numpad2}
    >#!k::Send {Blind}{Numpad2}
    >#l::Send {Numpad3}
    >#!l::Send {Blind}{Numpad3}
    >#u::Send {Numpad4}
    >#!u::Send {Blind}{Numpad4}
    >#i::Send {Numpad5}
    >#!i::Send {Blind}{Numpad5}
    >#o::Send {Numpad6}
    >#!o::Send {Blind}{Numpad6}
    >#7::Send {Numpad7}
    >#!7::Send {Blind}{Numpad7}
    >#8::Send {Numpad8}
    >#!8::Send {Blind}{Numpad8}
    >#9::Send {Numpad9}
    >#!9::Send {Blind}{Numpad9}
    >#.::Send {NumpadDot}
    >#!.::Send {Blind}{NumpadDot}
    >#/::Send {NumpadAdd}
    >#!/::Send {Blind}{NumpadAdd}
    >#;::Send {NumpadSub}
    >#!;::Send {Blind}{NumpadSub}
    >#p::Send {NumpadMult}
    >#!p::Send {Blind}{NumpadMult}
    >#0::Send {NumpadDiv}
    >#!0::Send {Blind}{NumpadDiv}

    That nearly worked — enough to be able to put in characters like that em-dash (by holding down Fn-Windows-LeftAlt and typing MJIJ for 0151). The only fly in the ointment is that if you don't use Alt, the Numpad3 isn't properly available, because Windows spots the Windows-L combination and locks the screen after inserting the 3. I didn't have much luck getting round that one, although I did manage to override a similar problem with Windows-M minimising windows.

    So I thought a bit longer and decided to use the following remaps instead:

    >#0::Send {Numpad0}
    >#!0::Send {Blind}{Numpad0}
    >#1::Send {Numpad1}
    >#!1::Send {Blind}{Numpad1}
    >#2::Send {Numpad2}
    >#!2::Send {Blind}{Numpad2}
    >#3::Send {Numpad3}
    >#!3::Send {Blind}{Numpad3}
    >#4::Send {Numpad4}
    >#!4::Send {Blind}{Numpad4}
    >#5::Send {Numpad5}
    >#!5::Send {Blind}{Numpad5}
    >#6::Send {Numpad6}
    >#!6::Send {Blind}{Numpad6}
    >#7::Send {Numpad7}
    >#!7::Send {Blind}{Numpad7}
    >#8::Send {Numpad8}
    >#!8::Send {Blind}{Numpad8}
    >#9::Send {Numpad9}
    >#!9::Send {Blind}{Numpad9}
    >#.::Send {NumpadDot}
    >#!.::Send {Blind}{NumpadDot}
    >#=::Send {NumpadAdd}
    >#!=::Send {Blind}{NumpadAdd}
    >#-::Send {NumpadSub}
    >#!-::Send {Blind}{NumpadSub}
    >#[::Send {NumpadMult}
    >#![::Send {Blind}{NumpadMult}
    >#]::Send {NumpadDiv}
    >#!]::Send {Blind}{NumpadDiv}

    This means that I don't have a layout anything like the "traditional" layout for a laptop Fn-based numpad. On the other hand, since the keys aren't marked up with this layout, that's probably not an entirely bad thing. What I wanted was the ability to use numpad shortcuts in Blender, which I now have, and the ability to type in Unicode characters as four-digit Alt-numpad codes, which I also now have. For example, I can get a £ character by holding down Fn-Windows-LeftAlt and typing 0163.

    I hope you find that useful. Let me know if you need any help to get it going - I don't have an XPS 14 myself, but I believe the keyboard is similar to mine.

  • @serenewing

    This is the most and closest I have laid my eyes on and you deserve an encore (And a reward from Dell) for at least providing a solution for the problem (I would to get an External Numpad, but I realize where would it rest if I use it & keyboard).

    Now if Dell can buys that info, refine it into a FN Numpad Software App and redesign the keyboard to be  little bit straight or at least turn what you've done into an app then Dell doesn't have to worry about FN Numpad or Numpads in general...I sometimes wonder why they don't just replace NumRow with Rightside NumPad, place Punctuation in PunctuationRow and FN Numpad on Leftside also Right Shift  as Caps Lock/Toggle Shift or Short-Hold Both Shift to Toggle Caps. 

    Key Label Placement

    - If a Key uses Shift Key, on the Key (Not AlphaKeys), and Shift, place label on Top Right
    - If a Key uses FN key, on the Key, and FN, place the label on Bottom Right
    - A primary Key should be in center (AlphaKeys) or Center Left (Not F1-F12)...Vostro 3446

  • ieee488 wrote the following post at 24 Jan 2011 8:25 AM:

    Actually the  Link from ieee488 helped a lot. I was able to config the keys on my Vostro 14 really eeasy. Now I got Numpad both sides of my keyboard...the only thing is if there is a way  to toggle

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/goglobal/bb964665

  • I would almost believe that if My Vostro 3446 I bought used and researched on to find out it is referred as a Business Laptop with a Gaming-Type GPU (Nvidia 820M 2GB), but no FN or Hard Numpad.

    Oh and to the *** saying its people's fault for buying the Laptop...I can't blame you or myself, but I wish Technology which refers to itself as making everything easier had a program for custom Keybinding and Developers actually thought to themselves if I'm going to take something away, why not make it optional.

    Its why Keyboard Phones exist, for those who don't like Soft Keyboards