What is this?
Keymaster is a free software which helps to enter special characters more easily. Example: Instead of typing ALT+0231 for getting the symbol "ç", you simply have to type "c8". The abbreviations can be defined in separate so-called "keyboard layout files" (simple text files) with the suffix .km.
Detailed example:
Description: French keyboard layout
Enabling Keymaster with this French keyboard layout file does the following: Typing in "c8" has the same effect as pressing ALT+0231, and ALT+0231 is a way to enter the symbol "ç". So typing in "c8" transforms "c8" into "ç" — and it is much easier to type "c8" instead of ALT+0231. Correspondingly "C8" gets transformed into "Ç" and "e8" into "ë".
You are completely free in defining your own keyboard layout files. The combination "c8", for example, has the advantage of being able to be typed in easily, as the number 8 is easily accessible on the keyboard. Moreover, the combination "c8" is nearly never used, so the automatical transformation of this combination into the French special character has no side effects. Of course, Keymaster and therefore its transformations can also be disabled.
The ALT-combination for each symbol can be found with the Windows tool "Charmap" (charmap.exe) or with the character table of Teachmaster.
The entry "charset" is only for preview purposes. To find a complete list of all available charsets, see here.
After starting the program, you can see the Keymaster icon down right in the taskbar. A click with the left mouse button on the icon opens the main program window, and a click with the right mouse button opens a popup menu. With this menu, you can disable or enable Keymaster and quickly select a keyboard layout file. If you create your own keyboard layout files, save them into the program directory with the suffix .km.
Included keyboard layout files
The following keyboard layout files are included in the Keymaster package:
  • Czech
  • French
  • German
  • Polish
  • Spanish
Extra keyboard layout files
Keymaster 1.2 (Size: 384 kB; Date: 30 August 2007)
New in version 1.2: preview of characters; hint for trayicon
Keymaster 1.1 (Size: 383 kB; Date: 23 August 2007)
New in version 1.1: added German and Polish keyboard layouts; preferences are now stored in an INI-file in the program directory and no longer in the registry; minor enhancements
Keymaster 1.0 (Size: 379 kB; Date: 29 December 2006)
The software is provided "as is", without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall the authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the software.
Sharing keyboard layout files
If you want to share your own useful keyboard layout files with others, please send them to me by email and I will put them here.
Overview of the Czech character combinations defined in the keyboard layout file (meaning e.g. c8 has the same effect as ALT+0232)
Logfile of "Keymaster" displaying the last 10 keys pressed in Windows (can be extended to "complete logging" via the popup menu). The testing field down left shows that "s8" got automatically converted into the Czech special character "s with caron".
Last update of this page: 1 January 2009.