Update, May 2024: Smart Layers is now in general availability, included with Keymapp. You can read more at https://zsa.io/smart, or read below. Thanks to everyone who helped us test the feature in the Beta!

Switch to Photoshop, and the "Photoshop" layer on your ZSA keyboard automatically activates. Click into Fortnite, and now your "Game" layer is suddenly active.

You didn't have to hit any layer-switching keys on your board: It just happened on its own.

All of your favorite macros and shortcuts, and even the lighting pattern you selected for that layer, are suddenly active.

Switch away from that app or game, and you drop back to layer 0.

Of course, you can also manually drop to layer 0 if you need to do some typing in Photoshop (or Fortnite, or whatever). And then, when you want to get back to the dedicated layer for that app or game, you can just tap a new key called "Smart Layer Trigger". Smart Layers then does the right thing and activates whatever layer is mapped to that app or game.

There's another keycode called "Smart Layer Toggle" that disables the feature entirely for times when you don't want it.

Look at your shortcuts

Smart Layers is a Keymapp feature. This means it's easy to set up the layer mappings:

Assigning a layer
Assigning a layer

And then, it's easy to see your shortcuts and mappings when you're in a given app — just set Keymapp to be "always on top" or tuck it in a corner of your screen, and switch to the app. The right layer just activates, and it's easy to refer to it.

This makes it much easier to create and use dedicated, highly efficient layers for the applications and games you use most. You'll never have to remember to activate them — you'll just have to worry about learning them and optimizing them over time.

Great for layer templates

For some time now, Oryx has had a feature called Layer Templates. These are dedicated layers for various applications which you can just pull into your existing layout — just make a new layer and pick a ready-made template for a specific application and your operating system.

There aren't a ton of layer templates just yet: This is a community-based feature, and contributing a layer takes a bunch of work. But I hope Smart Layers will give layer templates a boost. If you end up creating a highly efficient layer for an app or a game you use all the time, please email us and we'd love to feature your layer as a template.

Windows and Mac only - no Linux

In order for Smart Layers to work, Keymapp needs to know which window is currently active. Windows and macOS have built-in mechanisms that let apps find this out — but Linux does not, or at least not consistently. Some window managers do, others (including some big names) do not.

As a result we will not be able to offer Smart Layers in the Linux version of Keymapp.

Closed beta, for now

If you got all the way here, you might want to try the feature. As of this writing (late March, 2024) we're offering Smart Layers as a closed Beta to a select group of users. If you wish to be one of those users, please take a few moments to fill out this form and we may reach out to you.

Even if you're not selected for the Beta (it's quite small), you can use the form to indicate your interest and we'll email you as soon as the feature becomes widely available, hopefully sometime during April or May 2024.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you'll enjoy using Smart Layers!