Adding right-click and a delete button with Boot Camp

Running Boot Camp on your MacBook or MacBook Pro? I am, and I was very frustrated by the fact there was no way to right-click in Windows XP. There wasn't even a Delete key on the Mac keyboard, so how are you supposed to do Ctrl+Alt+Delete? The solution is very simple. Read on.

Update: This tip is not quite as useful anymore, as the latest versions of Boot Camp allow delete functionality with Fn+Backspace.

How on Earth are you supposed to run Windows without right-clicking? I don't even know. Some programs force you to right-click in order to do certain tasks, like closing a program that only hides itself in the notification area when you “close” its window. And a Delete key is almost essential, especially for people typing a lot or programmars. (For Ctrl+Alt+Del, try Ctrl+Shift+Esc.)

Fortunately there is a solution! Keymapping can reassign a key to be a Delete key. There are a few programs to do this, but I found one that can also turn any key into a right-click button! It’s free, and it’s called AutoHotKey.

Intructions

  1. Download and install AutoHotKey from http://www.autohotkey.com/ (open in new window). (AutoHotKey is extremely powerful, but we'll keep it simple in this script.)
  2. Save the file below to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. (Right-click the link and choose Save Target As... or something similar.)

    Download File: RightClickAndDelete.ahk

    ;
    ; AutoHotkey Version: 1.x
    ; Language:       English
    ; Platform:       Win9x/NT
    ; Author:         Alan J Hogan (alanjhogan.com)
    ; Copyright:      None (Public Domain: Share and modify freely)
    ;
    ; Script Function:
    ; Remaps left Windows key to be a right-click button!
    ; Useful on my MacBookPro.  (Of course, it's really a
    ; cmd/Apple key, but registers as Windows key.)
    ; Also turns the Enter key to the left of the arrow
    ; keys into right-click.
    ; Combine the right Apple/Windows key and that same
    ; Enter button to Middle-Click!
    
    #NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility 
    ; with future AutoHotkey releases.
    SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to 
    ; its superior speed and reliability.
    
    *NumpadEnter::Delete ; Reassigns "Numpad Enter" to Delete
    *RWin::RButton ; Reassigns the right Windows/Apple Cmd 
    ; button to simulate right-click
    RWin & NumpadEnter::Send {MButton} ; Holding the right 
    ; Windows/Apple Cmd button and then hitting the same 
    ; Enter key now simulates a middle click
    

    The third-to-last line reassigns the enter button right next to the arrow keys on a MacBook Pro to Delete.

    The second-to-last line effectively remaps your right Apple Command / Windows button into a right-click event! It's conveniently close enough to the trackpad that it's really not even a pain to use, and IMO even easier than Ctrl+Click in OS X.

    The last line uses both buttons to give you a middle-click functionality.

    Finally, if you’d rather remap other buttons (such as caps lock or a key combination), please check out this reference on AutoHotKey and their hotkey documentation.

  3. After you have saved your file, run it. You should now have right-click and delete functionality! Test it by right-clicking somewhere and deleting something. (No! Not that something! An unimportant something!)
  4. This script will run automatically every time you boot into Windows!

I want to thank the people at AutoHotKey! The programmers deserve credit for making it, as do the folks in the forum, who helped me get started.

If you run into any problems, please let me know.

(See also: Why I am disappointed by Boot Camp Beta. Update: AutoHotKey can also switch your left Ctrl and Alt keys as I demonstrate here!)


July 19th, 2006. (Updated: January 08, 2008 at 11:17am.)
Alan Hogan (@alanhogan).  Contact · About