April 18, 2019

Introducing Transparent Keys, Dynamic Macros, and More

by Erez Zukerman

March was a busy month for us, with lots of new updates and features for the configurator. Here’s a whirlwind video tour of everything that’s new:

Now let’s drill down:

Planck EZ Support

We’ve changed the landing page for the configurator, so that it now lets you pick whether you’d like to configure the ErgoDox EZ or the Planck EZ.

Planck EZ’s four linked layers

Layer management on the Planck EZ is different compared to the ErgoDox EZ: Instead of a single base layer, there is a cluster of four linked layers called Lower, Base, Raise, and Adjust. You can of course add additional layers (up to 32).

Better Layer Positioning Controls

Previously, you were able to click and hold a layer tab, and then drag it around to reposition it. We felt we needed something more discoverable, and so we’ve replaced drag-and-drop with new entries in the dropdown menu.

Transparent Keys

Above, Del, Backspace, Shift and more are shown as transparent keys

With QMK firmware, when you don’t define a given key in a certain layer, that key becomes “transparent”. When you tap it, it sends whatever was assigned to it on layer 0. We now make that assignment visible in the configurator, making it easier to see exactly what a given key will do when you tap it on a layer. If you’d like to completely disable a key, you can always assign the “None” keycode to it, at which point it will simply do nothing on that layer.

Dynamic Macros

Dynamic Macros

Dynamic macros are macros you record directly on your keyboard. They are ephemeral: When the keyboard loses power, the macro is lost. You can use them to send anything you’d otherwise be typing out. You can read more about dynamic macros in the QMK documentation.

Color Eyedropper

Color Eyedropper

It is now easy to sample existing colors from your layout and assign them to other keys. This makes it possible to create subtle gradients and use many more than five swatches in a given layer.

Tapping Force Hold

Tapping Force Hold

You’ll find this new setting in the advanced configuration section, under “Tapping”. It allows fast typists to more easily use dual-function keys, especially when typing words with repeated characters.

Hungarian Keycodes

Hungarian Keycodes

Finally, we’ve added Hungarian to the International section of the advanced settings, giving us a total of five different locales. Stay tuned for more!

Erez Zukerman

Erez Zukerman

Erez Zukerman is the CEO and Co-Founder of ZSA Technology labs.