The Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000's split keyboard might help with your carpal tunnel, but its assignable buttons can also help you avoid using the mouse. The keys along the top of the keyboard are all assignable, as are certain keys throughout the keyboard. When you reassign a key, it takes effect immediately. If you're a power business user or gamer, you can increase your speed by assigning these buttons to open specific items or run macros.
Open the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 page at Microsoft.com (see Resources). On the Support tab, select your operating system. The Software and Drivers section appears with the Mouse and Keyboard Center program. Click "Download" to start the download. After you install it, it automatically detects your keyboard. The Natural Ergonomic Keyboard displays on the screen, with the Basic Settings pane below.
Assign the first three keys on the upper left of the keyboard. By default, the Web/Home key opens a Web browser, the Search key opens your Windows Search pane and the Mail button opens an email program. Click on a key in the Basic Settings pane to reassign the key to a different function.
Reassign the five My Favorites keys in the upper middle of the keyboard. Click "My Favorites" in the Basic Settings pane. Click "Open Items in the Taskbar" to set the keys to open your task bar items. For instance, the first open document in the task bar is opened with the first My Favorites key. Alternatively, you can click "Open a Program, Webpage, or File." In the text boxes that appear, you can assign each My Favorites key to open a specific program, Web page or file.
Program the remaining keys along the top of the keyboard and special keys on the rest of the keyboard to run macros. Press the key to which you want to assign a macro. Click "Not Yet Assigned" and then "Create a New Macro" to open the Macro Editor. Type in a name in the Name field, and then type in your macro in the Editor field. If your macro contains special keys, such as the "Delete" or "Tab" keys, click "Insert Special Keys." A row of special keys appears; click one to insert it into your macro. Click the back arrow to save your macro and return to the Basic Settings pane.