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User-Defined Keyboard Layouts

There are many different APL keyboard layouts depending upon the position of various keys, the characters associated with those keys, as well as the effect of modifiers. As such, no one layout can satisfy everyone, so instead NARS2000 includes the ability for you to define exactly what you like.

If the keyboard layouts included with the program aren't what you prefer, one time only, spend a few minutes to define your own layout which the program then saves to an initialization file loaded every time you run the program.

To define your own layout,

  • Click on the menu items, Edit > Customize... and choose the category Keyboards.
  • Select each of the various Layout Names until you find one close enough to your preferences, paying particular attention to which keys are on which row.
  • Click on the Copy... button and rename the built-in layout as your own read-write copy (the built-in layouts are read-only).
  • Select a combination of modifiers (starting with Shift, Ctrl, and Alt all unchecked).
  • Review all of the characters in that set of modifiers and change whichever ones you like.
  • To change a character on a keycap, first find (and click on) the desired character in the box of characters to the left of the keycaps — clicking on the header buttons Box, NLS, APL, abc, and 123 displays a different set of characters from which to choose. If the desired character isn't found in this list, you may enter its Unicode value (as either Decimal or Hex depending upon the adjacent Radio Buttons) in the box under the word Unicode.
  • After choosing your desired character from the list, click on the keycap to assign that character to that keycap/modifier.
  • If the character you just entered is one of the accented characters (´ ` ^ ¨ ~), you may right-click on the keycap and mark it as a Dead Key so it can be used to create other characters combined with that accent. Dead keys display specially with colored text and background.
  • Select another set of modifiers and repeat the above steps until you have your very own keyboard layout.
  • Also, select how you'd like the various Windows-specific Ctrl-keys to work while NARS2000 is active.
  • Finally, click on the Make Active button to activate your keyboard layout, and click on OK or Apply to apply your changes.

If you would like to share your keyboard layout with others, please send the contents of the [KeybLayout-nnn] section from your NARS2000.INI file to

The design for this feature was copied from IBM's APL2 product.