Fullerton, CA (PressExposure) May 20, 2008 -- Keyboards are an important component of computers and there is no question about their functionality and utility. They represent the means of communication between you and the machine. Many people do not pay too much attention to the keyboard they are using.
Let's suppose that you bought an extremely comfortable, cheap keyboard, but it lacks hotkeys. What can you do? Buy another one? There are ways of getting the most out of such a keyboard.
Hotkeycontrol for instance is a software that helps you program key combinations to respond to what action you desire. As you have guessed from the name of the program, it will allow you to customize your keyboard and open with few keystrokes the desired application window.
The interface is minimalist and it will not confuse you with all sorts of complicated menus. There are seven tabs aligned in the upper part of the application window that compose the toolbar. The first "menu" permits the user setting the key strokes for opening different applications (programs, files, folders, webpages).
Volume and Media window is divided into two: the upper half is dedicated to volume control settings and the lower half to the media player functions. In volume control you can set the shortcuts for volume up/down, mute and the number of steps of the volume (25, 50 or 100). To see the volume level bar on the screen just check the "display volume level on screen" box.
Windows and System covers the screen area management and the system options. Thus, the user can set some shortcut keys for managing the opened windows: close, hide window (my favorite), minimize and minimize all, always on top, show window, maximize and translucency (nice way to see what's behind the main window).
The "workstation control" window is composed of the Windows "Turn off computer" options (Shutdown, Suspend and Restart) plus the screen saver activation, ejecting the CD/DVD drives, turning off the monitor, hibernating and locking the workstation. With options like these you don't even need a mouse to control your computer.
The Macros section is useful when you have to perform repetitive actions and used properly, will save a large amount of time. You can use it as a copy/paste option for text (common phrases) or even to simulate keyboard and mouse actions. For the latter option, the user can test the recorded macro before actually using it.
If you want an image or richtext document displayed on your screen while you are working, then iOSD is the menu tab for you. Here you can set the shortcut keys to open up to twenty such documents. The maximum time to display the image is 100 seconds and you can configure the position of the image on your screen. Make them transparent so you can access applications on the screen located behind them.
To summarize things, here is what the Ionut Ilascu of Softpedia had to say - "Simple, easy to use, practical and functional software designed to make the most feature endowed keyboard look like a toy"