Since upgrading to Windows 8, I’ve found that even with Classic Shell, I’m using the Windows 8 search function in pretty much every situation I would access the Start Menu.
Before Classic Shell, I was triggering the search by pressing the Windows key, then typing on the Start tile screen. However, I found it too distracting.
A much less distracting search is the one triggered by pressing
Windows + S; it slides in from the side. However, it’s also a fiddly key combination. It would be much easier if I could map a unused key on my keyboard specifically to that; something like Caps Lock.
I did some investigation into the best way to remap it, and I couldn’t seem to find anything on how to change the Search trigger from
Windows + S in the registry. I looked into scancode remapping, however while I have seen Windows 8 laptops with a dedicated search key, it doesn’t appear it is mapped to a scancode.
It seems like the best approach was to develop an AutoHotkey script for the purpose.
I downloaded, installed, and opened AHK, choosing Yes to create the “sample script”. After some testing, to get what I wanted I needed to remove the sample code and add;
instead, then place a shortcut to the script (it’s in My Documents) in
%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup. This causes the AutoHotkey script to run at startup, configuring the Caps Lock key to trigger
Windows + S.
Another script that I found on the AutoHotkey foums was repurposed to toggle Caps Lock by double-tapping the Shift key. However, I have turned this off, as my typing style seems to trigger it accidentally: Your mileage may vary.
While simple, I’ve found both these scripts to be very useful.
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