Dec 10 10 1:32 PM

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A complaint one hears about the Modbook is its lack of a hardware keyboard make some tasks more difficult, notably its lack of hardware modifier keys (command, option, etc.) make using Photoshop and other drawing applications a pain. Wacom adds a hardware key panel, called Express Keys, to address this issue. Alas, there are no Express Keys on a Modbook. There are, however, a number of ways of dealing with this: Reprogramming the pen buttons with app appropriate modifier keys, especially in conjunction with PenApt. Using the Apple Remote with Mira or Remote Buddy to get Express Key functionality (works pretty well). Some have even proposed building their own Express Keys for the Modbook. Another approach, which I've taken here, is to create a software key panel that functions like Wacom's Express Keys. I'm calling it ModKeys.

This initial version is not reprogrammable, but gets the key panel and modifier keys working right. It was surprisingly difficult to build and depends on a hack involving Quickclicks (Axiotron's virtual keyboard). In future versions, as I learn more about how OSX interacts with keyboards, I'll create a more robust solution, but this works well enough for now.

Use is straightforward:

And it conveniently autohides when not in use.

Download: ModKeys.zip [Modified Dec 10, 2010].

The source is available at GitHub: ModKeys.