My ErgoDox Keyboard Layout

After nearly a couple of decades playing drums and hammering away at keyboards with horrible posture and typing skills, my repetitive stress pain in my hands and arms have led me to this decision to type on an ergonomic keyboard. As strange as it looks, the ErgoDox is pretty comfortable once you get used to it. Sure, it may take a few weeks of frustration before your brain releases the old ways, but it seems worth it so far.

The ErgoDox EZ comes pre-built. Those are custom colored keycaps I put on to help my brain with the unlabeled keys.

One of the great things about this keyboard is that the keys are fully customizable. My preferred layout isn’t much different than the current default, but I’ve changed a few keys around to match my commonly-used functions. For example, I tweak my music volume and screen brightness regularly, and wanted those to be easily accessible (on MacOS, Pause and Scroll Lock adjust screen brightness, and modified with ‘ctrl’, adjusts the secondary screen brightness, if you have one). Here’s my layout:

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.41.20 AM

How to customize your ErgoDox key layout:

  1. Go to the Massdrop Configurator and create your layout, then download the hex file
  2. Download and install the Teensy loader
  3. Click the ‘auto’ button and drag the hex file into the Teensy loader (here’s mine if you want to use it)
  4. On your ErgoDox, hit the Teensy button. This is either assigned to a key on your keyboard, or you can stick a paperclip into the tiny hole on the top right of the keyboard and hit the hardware Teensy button
  5. That’s it!

Note: When you first plug an unusual keyboard into MacOS, you must go through the keyboard setup process that pops up. That process is quick and painless, but if you back out of that, even if by accident, you will have a hard time getting that setup window to retrigger.