Many people will neglect the numeric keypad on their keyboards unless they use it regularly for work, but there is no need to leave those keys unused if you download ControlPad 0.71 for Windows. It is designed to revitalise this area of your keyboard by adding customisable hotkeys which will become vital shortcuts once you have got used to using them.
Once you have installed ControlPad, which can be performed direct to a USB drive to make it particularly portable, you will be able to see that it is active thanks to an icon residing in the system tray. A right click will bring up its menu system which gives you plenty of options with which to tinker. The whole program is simple to use and should be more or less self explanatory even if you are firing it up for the first time.
What does make ControlPad slightly imperfect is the sheer amount of functionality which you can get out of it, making it a little overwhelming if you do not know where to start. Holding down the asterisk key will bring up a dialogue box into which you can arrange the code which you can input to access predetermined functions. This means you can set up unique codes which, once entered, can launch a program, take you to a web site or open a folder. The choice is yours and it should be painless to control.
Hitting the forward slash key on the number pad will allow you to enter a written command as an alternative to a numeric code which can then be accessed when you long press the asterisk key. This gives you a variety of ways in which to harness the tools offered by ControlPad and means you do not have to hold onto a long list of codes in your memory or popped on a note beneath the monitor.
Within the options menus you can adjust the way in which ControlPad's pop-ups appear on the display, allowing you to make them transparent or opaque as well as giving you the ability to change the colour if you want to personalise the experience. While you can choose your own codes the program has its own preloaded codes which allow you to enact functions which might be useful on a regular basis. A list of these codes is handily available from within the options menu, although hitting 902 will bring up this list, so it should never be far from your grasp.
ControlPad is definitely worth a look as it really has few other competitors and functions well once you have learnt a little about how it can be used. The main limitation on its capabilities is not the software but your own memory, as you will feel encouraged to create lots of numeric shortcuts, perhaps overloading yourself. Aside from this minor issue, it will definitely become a solid tool for a wide variety of computer users.