1

My computer keyboard look scruffy and old but works perfectly and is more comfortable to use than others I have owned. It's wireless and part of a set (keyboard, mouse and USB dongle) I don't want to replace the whole lot. In any case I can't remember the model and it isn't labelled.

The problem is that the letters have worn off the most used keys. I am a fast two-finger typist but have to glance down. I am making more and more typos.

Question

I hope to renew the lettering on my keyboard but haven't come up with a satisfactory method.

Transfers? I don't think they would last a week.

Paint new letters on? I don't have the brush skills to paint new, white letters on the keys. I'd like the letters to look nice or at least not scribbled.

enter image description here

2

Frame challenge answer:

Instead of replacing the print, learn to type without looking at the keyboard keys. There are lots of (free) tools available and with a bit of practice you should soon be able to make good progress.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for the suggestion, I had considered it myself. However after many years of finger pecking I have achieved considerable speed. In terms of preference (call me lazy if you will), I would rather spend the money on new equipment than spend the time on learning the new skill! – chasly - supports Monica Jun 26 at 14:18
  • No need to learn to type without looking, just to remember the position of the few letter which are completely rubbed of. That is a group of three starting with the A, an other group with the E, and likely an other group of two or three. And you do not have to start from zero, as you already know where to find most letter after a few years of typing on this keyboard. – Willeke Jun 27 at 12:04
  • In addition to @Stephie's suggestion, back in the day when touch typing was on mechanical typewriters, a typical approach was to cover all keys' labels by a sticker so there was none you could identify. Even to the extent to "you passed the course successfully (one hour / week for a quarter of year at grammar school) only if you may write on the typewritter in the middle of the night, blindfolded, in absence of any light and sight." With the programs around, you learn them in groups, too. Its a question of habit, too (e.g. reaching for the numbers with the caps-key on a French layout). – Buttonwood Jul 31 at 18:23
2

By accident I discovered the search term "keyboard stickers"

I found a selection on Amazon that look like the ones on my keyboard. They're not expensive so I've ordered some.

The reviews say they are durable so here's hoping!

Update: They arrived from France and are good quality. The only disappointment is that a sticker for the left-hand Shift key wasn't included.

| improve this answer | |
1

My Hack was inspired by Weather Vane.

Replace the letters on the keycaps of the keyboard you have come to love.

White Sugru™ mouldable glue would be wear resistant and highly visible against the dark plastic background on your keyboard for the most-used e_t_a_o_i_n_s_ keys, if not all.

  • You would etch the shape of the letter into the keycap with an engraving tool. Handheld engraving tool

  • Push the white Sugru into the hollow channel and let it cure.
    Use a little more than enough to fill the gap.

  • After it has cured a while (according to the instructions), remove the excess so that the Sugru is flush with the keycap.
    It will continue to cure becoming more resilient with your tapping.
    It won't rub off as would anything applied to the surface. It becomes part of the key cap.

If you don't feel confident wielding an engraving tool freehand, visit an engraver where trophies and name plates are personalized with an engraving machine. The size and style of the letters is adjustable. It is very precise and consistent.

It probably won't be very expensive.

Good luck.

| improve this answer | |
  • Now that @Weather Vane has mentioned engraving and you have mentioned white glue, I'm thinking of ways to implement this. – chasly - supports Monica Jun 26 at 20:51
  • Sugru™ is NOT white glue. Think of it as a material that is sticky that cures as resilient elastic. It comes in many bright colours, white, grey, and black. @chaslyfromUK – Stan Jun 27 at 11:55
0

My keyboard is going the way of yours, but not yet so much.

Perhaps you could try engraving the lettering somehow, to prevent it wearing off immediately. Then run some paint into the engraving.

I don't have the tools to do that, so I might try to scratch the letter into the key top, and run paint into that.

Another thing I might to, is to drill one or more small holes near the corners of the worn key tops – one for the A, two for the S, and so on, and run paint into the holes with a toothpick or similar. I am sure I would soon learn that the one-hole key is the A. It's more information than a blank key top.

| improve this answer | |
0

So this is a USB device. Right?

For every USB device you can find out the USB manufacturer and probably model. Here is how it could be done in Windows. In Linux this can be done using lsusb command.

Having manufacturer and model you can search e.g. on amazon or any other such service for the same keyboard/set. Probably you can find used ones or even broken ones to get spare parts (keys) from them.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.