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DROP SHIFT QMK configuration - non-US keys

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I'm trying to do what I THOUGHT would be a very straightforward thing. I want to have a GBP sign (£) where the dollar sign currently is but on layer 1, so that when I press FN+4 I get a £. But in the DROP configurator, the only buttons I can pick are US-layout keys. So how do I choose a non-US key? This seems like a bad implementation if you ask me.
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filefish
204
Oct 12, 2021
Oh, I should clarify it IS possible with a Mac - sending the combination of Alt and 3 will produce £ with a US keymap. But Windows doesn't have that functionality. Windows IS supposed to support alt codes, where holding Alt and pressing a series of numbers on the number pad (but not the top row of the keyboard) will supposedly allow you to type an extended range of characters. But it's clunky and I've never gotten it to work. The behavior also varies from program to program depending on whether the developers for it implemented support, so it might work in Word, but not in Notepad. Theoretically you can assign the "Any" key in QMK to one of those alt codes. There's also a program called WinCompose that's supposed to help you type alt codes in, but I haven't played with it much. Here's a list of all the alt codes: https://www.alt-codes.net/ and £ is: https://www.alt-codes.net/pound_alt_code.php
filefish
204
Oct 12, 2021
The only way I've found to do this is to set your OS's language to one that includes that character (so, set it to UK instead of US). After you've done that, the shift-3 combination will produce £. The configurator (and QMK - this limitation exists in it as well) will still show the US layout - they'll never show the international keys. It's up to your OS to interpret the keys and remap them based on the language you've set it to. Note that this changes some other keys as well. Shift and 2 will now produce a " symbol, while the " becomes @. And the |\ key becomes ~#. There's no way to make a £ if you leave your OS on the US layout, as there's no £ that exists in it.
jamesdwood
1
Oct 12, 2021
Thanks for your answer, is that really my only option? Of course I know about changing my OS keyboard, but I don't want to change it to UK layout as I use (obviously) a US layout keyboard. I just want a hotkey for £. The configurator has other keys that aren't on the keyboard or standard US layout, it's got "non-US \ and |", as well as custom buttons to open the calculator or turn on LEDs for example, so why can't they just have an option for "other key" or whatever, and a little box to type in a character? I don't expect you to have an answer to this of course -- just venting! How ridiculous!!
filefish
204
Oct 12, 2021
It seems like it. The keyboard itself just sends code numbers to the OS, and it's the OS that determines what they mean, by matching them with the codes for each language's keymap. If there's no matching code for that current language, it just doesn't do anything. I ran into this a while back, and was similarly disappointed. I get WHY it's that way, but it still sucks.