Numpad layouts

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Chyros

14 Nov 2016, 16:13

So we get tons of topics discussing favourite keyboards layouts (one of them mine xD) but what about the numpad? Sure, not everyone uses one, but for those that do, the traditional numpad might be less than optimal.For me certainly, as I think the standard one is kind of space-wasting and could do with several useful keys on it.

For example, here's what I'd do to the normal numpad to make it better:

Image

There's no need for 2 u keys on it, IMO, so instead I'd add a =, comma and backspace key to it. Furthermore as most keyboards come with a nav cluster there' no need for a num lock button, so I'd swap that for a tab key. All these keys are very useful when you work a lot with numbers, and basically allows you to do number spreadsheets with JUST the nav and numpad. What do you guys think?

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keycap

14 Nov 2016, 16:20

You would have to use blanks for it, but I think it looks great. I've always thought that the numpad needed a backspace and tab key. Not to mention the = key, it feels really weird using the numpad and jumping over several keys just to hit the = key.

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Chyros

14 Nov 2016, 16:24

keycap wrote: You would have to use blanks for it, but I think it looks great. I've always thought that the numpad needed a backspace and tab key. Not to mention the = key, it feels really weird using the numpad and jumping over several keys just to hit the = key.
Exactly!

I actually programmed pretty much this layout on my Pingmaster, which happens to come with a 4x5 numpad of 1 u keys.

Shihatsu

14 Nov 2016, 16:39

The "," is also a most welcome addition. This buggers me more than the "=" for most of my calculation work. A numpad in such a style would be highly appreciated.

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mike52787
Alps Aficionado

14 Nov 2016, 16:56

Image

Pretty simple.

andrewjoy

14 Nov 2016, 17:46

You need more keys in there and a tab key is so important !
Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 16.44.37.png
Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 16.44.37.png (17.47 KiB) Viewed 4767 times
Bottom Legends are FN layer

FN Esc is FN lock ( num lock)

easy to learn as its 90% a normal num pad with num lock but with more functions


EDIT

And i agree , whats the point in num lock if you have a 101 style nav cluster , and whist we are on that , why do TLK keyboard remove the num pad and not the nav cluster ? As there is a built in nav cluster in the num pad so you get the best of both worlds , that always was annoying for me.

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Scarpia

14 Nov 2016, 21:27

Well if we are redesigning the numpad, should we limit ourselves to a 4x5 grid? Vintage Zenith and Apple numpads often had more keys, so why stick to the Model M form factor?

I would add a left hand column with a couple of nice thumb-friendly keys, thus encircling the 9 nonzero numbers with the important operator and control keys. I disagree with splitting the 2u vertical enter (Fitt's Law - Enter is much more frequently used than e.g. / or *) - in fact I would consider adding more 2u keys, for things like Tab and Backspace.

Something like this maybe:

Image

(I know it looks silly. I am not saying I would buy or build such a thing, I am just trying to make a point and maybe inspire some less traditional ideas. And I used to enter long boring numbers really fast on a numpad for work :roll: )

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Chyros

15 Nov 2016, 01:21

Scarpia wrote: Well if we are redesigning the numpad, should we limit ourselves to a 4x5 grid? Vintage Zenith and Apple numpads often had more keys, so why stick to the Model M form factor?
Yes, but I'd have additional keys for a calculator next to it, like on Focus boards. The 4x5 grid would contain enough functions for me, personally.
andrewjoy wrote: why do TLK keyboard remove the num pad and not the nav cluster ? As there is a built in nav cluster in the num pad so you get the best of both worlds , that always was annoying for me.
Yeah, I agree, it never made much sense to me. I would very much like to see a T nav on the numpad rather than a cross nav though, that's about the one thing that bugs me about it.

citrojohn

15 Nov 2016, 16:29

I rather fancy a version of the Epson Business Full Keyboard's numpad to go with a 60% board -
epson-business-ten-key_keyboard-layout.png
epson-business-ten-key_keyboard-layout.png (11.27 KiB) Viewed 4677 times
though perhaps I'd have a horizontal 2u 0 and a 1u 000. (Personally, for the use I'd be making of it I'd have .50 instead of 000 - come to think of it, the 000 probably results from Japanese prices being measured in thousand-yen.)

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Chyros

15 Nov 2016, 17:37

Ah, the BFK... Been on the lookout for one of them for a while. Very interesting keyboard for sure. The numpad on that is definitely an improvement over a standard one.

Bookworm

06 Dec 2016, 09:23

Scarpia wrote: Well if we are redesigning the numpad, should we limit ourselves to a 4x5 grid? Vintage Zenith and Apple numpads often had more keys, so why stick to the Model M form factor?

I would add a left hand column with a couple of nice thumb-friendly keys, thus encircling the 9 nonzero numbers with the important operator and control keys. I disagree with splitting the 2u vertical enter (Fitt's Law - Enter is much more frequently used than e.g. / or *) - in fact I would consider adding more 2u keys, for things like Tab and Backspace.

Something like this maybe:

Image

(I know it looks silly. I am not saying I would buy or build such a thing, I am just trying to make a point and maybe inspire some less traditional ideas. And I used to enter long boring numbers really fast on a numpad for work :roll: )
This is pretty sweet. I'd break down two of the 2u keys for ( and ) though.

Findecanor

06 Dec 2016, 15:03

You are forgetting one thing: An extra ↑ on 5.

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scottc

06 Dec 2016, 15:08

Attached is a picture of my favourite numpad layout:

Image

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Chyros

06 Dec 2016, 16:27

scottc wrote: Attached is a picture of my favourite numpad layout:

Image
Not fond of numbers? :P

Findecanor wrote: You are forgetting one thing: An extra ↑ on 5.
Not down? xD

I'd definitely have that, actually. A T-nav is so much better than a cross nav.

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zslane

20 Dec 2016, 01:23

I could really use a layout like this:
custom_numpad_01.jpg
custom_numpad_01.jpg (131.25 KiB) Viewed 4494 times
I'm not entirely sure what to put in the extra top row, but BACKSPACE for sure. And even though it may seem like a waste of a space, I like having a 2u ENTER key. It means I can be comfortably imprecise with my pinky.

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Scarpia

20 Dec 2016, 10:00

That's a really elegant design zslane! Adding that top row gives you all the functionality you need without resorting to a bunch of layers and modifier chording!

But the real stroke of genius was adding the half-unit valley between the top row and the main cluster; this lets you add all that functionality while keeping it touch-typing friendly. I love it!

(of course, fans of 60% layouts might decry it for looking too deep next to their main board, but that doesn't bother me)

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

20 Dec 2016, 10:31

scottc wrote: Attached is a picture of my favourite numpad layout:

Image
is it a one-key numpad? :D

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Ray

20 Dec 2016, 10:38

Palmstrike "Numpad"!

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scottc

20 Dec 2016, 12:31

matt3o wrote:
scottc wrote: Attached is a picture of my favourite numpad layout:

<img>
is it a one-key numpad? :D
Exactly, and not pictured is the gigantic "EJECTOR SEAT" legend. You can guess the function. ;)

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BeeSawd

20 Dec 2016, 12:32

Not as good as my favorite numpad:

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Ray

20 Dec 2016, 13:00

no numpad is a good numpad? I do also think so in many cases, like fixed on the right side of a keyboard.

If I had to design a numpad for myself, it would look something like this:
numpad-layout.jpg
numpad-layout.jpg (26.21 KiB) Viewed 4434 times
The 0 to the far outside is because I find the XT numpad more comfortable than the Model M numpad. That would be really uncomfortable for lefthanders, I imagine, so I made it symmetrical. Additional Fn-Layer to get all the extra keys you would likely want - let's just say fully programmable to your needs. No Navkeys included, since I think dedicated Navkeys are a necessity for the average Joe (and me).

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zslane

20 Dec 2016, 17:21

Scarpia wrote: That's a really elegant design zslane! Adding that top row gives you all the functionality you need without resorting to a bunch of layers and modifier chording!

But the real stroke of genius was adding the half-unit valley between the top row and the main cluster; this lets you add all that functionality while keeping it touch-typing friendly. I love it!

(of course, fans of 60% layouts might decry it for looking too deep next to their main board, but that doesn't bother me)
Thanks!

I also find that ergonomically speaking, you want to put the most commonly used non-numeric keys at the corners because they are the easiest to reach with the least precision required, an optimization that our brains like. That's why the corners are TAB, BACK TAB, = (for all the spreadsheet jockeys out there), ENTER, and BACKSPACE. Even the comma and decimal point keys could be swapped depending on which one is used more for fast data entry (depending on country, I imagine).

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

20 Dec 2016, 19:54

I also like @zslane's numpad simplicity... not sure I agree on the ESC position, but that is a detail

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zslane

20 Dec 2016, 19:59

Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what those top four keys should be, or what their optimal arrangement is. I think BACKSPACE in one corner or the other is a pretty solid choice though.

What would spreadsheet jockeys put up there? Maybe mono-legend $ and @?

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Chyros

21 Dec 2016, 02:56

zslane wrote: Yeah, I'm not entirely sure what those top four keys should be, or what their optimal arrangement is. I think BACKSPACE in one corner or the other is a pretty solid choice though.

What would spreadsheet jockeys put up there? Maybe mono-legend $ and @?
A proper spreadsheet monkey doesn't need to use currency symbol keys.

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zslane

21 Dec 2016, 03:59

But I thought that one common Excel syntax for cell addressing used the $ symbol.

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Scarpia

21 Dec 2016, 10:47

And why have both `.` and `,` keys? If you are typing thousands separators then you are doing spreadsheets wrong.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

21 Dec 2016, 10:52

Scarpia wrote: And why have both `.` and `,` keys? If you are typing thousands separators then you are doing spreadsheets wrong.
I for example do have both because I write a lot of numbers in texts (in different languages using different separators).
Which also is the reason why I have a (much used) dedicated % key in my numpad.

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matt3o
-[°_°]-

21 Dec 2016, 15:15

working on a 3D print-able case for hand-wired numpad right now

Image

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Chyros

21 Dec 2016, 15:33

zslane wrote: But I thought that one common Excel syntax for cell addressing used the $ symbol.
You can convert values into X$Y$ values with the F4 key automatically. I don't think I've ever used an actual $ symbol to input this.

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