Howto:Fit a PC Keyboard Layout to telephony use

Applies To

This information applies to Operator and any other application using a PC keypad for dialing

More Information

If a PC keyboard is used for telephony (typically the operator) the user has a frontend which is different to the telephone one.

Why? Well, look at this: This is the layout of a phone set:


The numbers go from 1 to 0, so a "123-456-789-0" keyboard layout.

And this is the keyboad of the number-block on a PC:


The numbers go from 7 to 0, a "789-456-123-0" keyboard layout.

You see “456” is identical, but “123” should be “789”.

So dialing using the keyboard is very different to dialing from a phone set.

Result: the operator prefers using the phone keyboard to the PC keyboard which means constant toggling from one keyboard to the other.

Problem Details

So it would be nice to have a Dial-Keyboard which is identical to the phone set one, something like this:


To achieve that we have to manipulate the hard- and software keyboard. Here is how:


The hardware part is very easy: just remove the keycaps and put them on in another way:


Maybe the angle of the cap is not perfect, but that is not a real problem and depends on the keyboard design. USB keyboards are very common and even special Num-Blocks are available.

And here we are, your new and telephony compliant keyboard! But of course only the labeling has changed. Now, we have to force the PC and convince it that "7" is "1".


You have to know that in reality the keyboard just sends a number to the PC, the number of the key. For example a keyboard communicates that key number 91 is pressed (and not character "7"). In all applications this key number “91” stands for character number “7” and is mapped by the PC or better, by the operating system. In Windows the mapping can be manipulated as you like because mapping is defined in the registry!

In start up the operating system reads out the registry and maps the keyboard. The nice thing: the common keyboard layout for the different languages is done on a higher level. Therefore, if we change the layout on the lowest level even a change in the language layout will not change our setup. And the new map is active even if you switch from a German to English keyboard for example.

So the remapping of the keyboard is easy, but you have to manipulate the registry of your PC. We recommend doing that not directly with regedit but using the tool described. Please note that the registry is a sensitive area of your PC, so do not try to edit it manually. The target is to have this kind of registry:


Probably the registry of your PC is blank if you access that key.

Changing the registry for our aim can be done in a safe and easy mode using the freeware named KeyTweak!

You can also download the file directly from here:

With this utility you can modify the keyboard layout in a simple way. Just download the software, install it (after the mapping you can de-install it) and run the application:


Here is how to swap the keys using KeyTweak: Press “Full Teach Mode” then press “7” first and then “1” and then select “swap”, then do it vice versa and then with 8 and 9. The results are displayed in the “Pending Changes”. When finished all 6 entries press “Apply”. After rebooting the PC the new keyboard layout is active.

If you like to have the the “normal” keyboard layout back just use KeyTweak again and select “Restore All Defaults” or manually clear the registry entry (and in both cases boot the PC again).

As explained the new map is done in the basement of the operating system and so the new layout works in each application (just start Word and try it).

Once the registry is modified the PC will permanently have the new layout. Therefore, it is not necessary to keep the utility on the PC; you can delete it after use.