(Photo source: a guy’s blog)
This is a highly specific tutorial — intended for people running PC with Japanese-language Windows 7 who wish to install a JIS Mac Wireless Keyboard. If that describes you then you have come to the right place!
The Japanese Apple Wireless Keyboard will work on a PC, but it has some serious limitations from the outset that I will get into. Even so I am a big fan, mostly because it is comfortable to type on and does not take up much desk space. Another perk is I can take it with me and use it as an iPad keyboard when traveling. One neat thing worth noting is that in six months of use the batteries that came with it are still working.
I held off on purchasing one for a while because the people at the Apple area at Yodobashi Camera flat-out told me the Mac Wireless Keyboard won’t work on a PC. When I finally got around to googling it, I realized they had lied to me — it works, there are just some significant differences with the key layout.
To get started I bought the keyboard itself plus a Bluetooth adapter for my PC (via Amazon because screw those liars at Yodobashi). Setting up the keyboard was easy — the Bluetooth installed automatically and easily recognized the keyboard.
Upon installation, you will notice that the keyboard is not exactly fully functional. The Fn button does not work, nor do the 英数 and かな buttons. Also, the Caps Lock key (inconveniently located in the lower left-hand corner) serves as the equivalent of the 半角 / 全角 button, and the Command buttons work as Start buttons. Even without customizations, however, it is still pretty serviceable.
I half-heartedly looked around for ways to customize this but didn’t really come up with anything for the first few months. Then this morning I tried again and found a three-step solution that meets my needs pretty well, at no extra cost whatsoever.
1. Install Apple Keyboard Bridge (link)
This is a Japanese-made program specifcally made to enable the Fn key on Apple Wireless Keyboards running on Windows. The defaults are close to what they do on Macs, but you can customize the functions a bit. It is a stand-alone program, so you will need to place a shortcut in the Startup folder and accept that it will eat up a modest amount of memory.
2. Edit the IME settings to use 英数 and かな buttons to switch input language
This would be easier to explain with screenshots, but I am feeling kind of lazy. Basically, go to the IME settings and find where you edit the shortcut keys. Click “Add a key” (キーを追加）, hit the 英数 key, hit OK, then edit its function and change it to オン・オフにする. Repeat the process for the かな key. This means that hitting either key will switch between Japanese and English, which is different from the Mac but hey, this works fine and it’s the closest I could get.
If you are like me and use a USB keyboard as a backup, make sure not to remove the functionality of the 半角 / 全角 button, otherwise it will not be able to easily switch between Japanese and English.
3. Use a key reconfiguration program to reassign the Caps Lock key
Be careful with this step because it involves editing the registry. You can’t easily undo changes once they’re made.
Install one of the many key remapping programs out there (I used this one) and reassign the Caps Lock key to Left Ctrl. This will require a restart for the registry edit to take effect. Unless you actually use the Caps Lock key this should only benefit you. This does not replicate the Mac functionality per se, but having a Ctrl key in that location is what I am used to on Windows and much preferable to the previous situation where I kept accidentally hitting it and switching languages.
And that’s it! At this point you should have a comfortably functioning Mac Wireless Keyboard on your sweet Win 7 machine. Enjoy!
(This Japanese blog post was especially helpful for part of this process)