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Configuring Macro 'G' Buttons in the G Hub on Logitech Keyboards (eg. G613)

The prominence of keyboards with shortcut or 'macro' keys seems to be steadily going the way of the dodo in the modern day, at least to non-extreme gamers or other professionals that make use of multi-key functions day to day. I have no issue with that, as I've never, ever really had a good reason or hankering to utilize them for anything throughout my life.

However, I hate to let things go to waste when I have them, so I always find a reason to make use of stuff no matter how seemingly pointless on its surface. So I have a wireless Logitech G613 keyboard that I've recently put back into rotation as my work keyboard as I just started at a new company and wanted to create a perfect work-from-home setup that we're all stuck doing in 2021. That keyboard has six 'G-keys', which I never thought anything of... until now. Imagining being able to pull up the calculator, or create a new Webex meeting, or just use very useful-yet-under-utilized features in modern Windows variants like Task View and App View (windows+tab and alt+tab, respectively), was an attractive proposition. I've always liked the Alt+Tab function, but never dedicated my time to creating the muscle memory to always use it. So a macro key is the perfect answer for my laziness! Here they are both below:

Below: The speedier, legacy 'App View' that lets you select applications:

Below: The new, prettier, 3D-accelerated 'Task View' that also lets you switch between virtual desktops. You get more functionality, but sometimes if you just want to switch an app quickly (say, while presenting on Webex or a Zoom call), the legacy App View overlay allows you to unobtrusively select an app, while Task View can make your PC chug for a second as it rearranges all the windows temporarily for you to select in a cool looking way. So both functions have their use cases, which is why I mapped both. Here's what Task View looks like:

So I got to work mapping them, and quickly remembered why I've never put effort into them before- because actually programming macro functions or automations always takes longer than you expect. You always forget that many functions aren't just simply a key combo, but a string of inputs usually requiring a user to specify and focus on the parent app of the command in the first place.

There might be dynamic targets or areas to click with a mouse, delayed key inputs, arguments needed when starting an executable... it's not too difficult to get done, but boy is it tedious when you think "this takes me 3 seconds and a few clicks/keystrokes, or it'll take 2 hours to program this function to save me 2 of those seconds perpetually from now on... as long as nothing in the environment changes and breaks the function".

So you start to question whether the juice is worth the squeeze. But then again, I'm spending 15 minutes writing an article on something as basic as function keys, so my time utilization priorities are clearly pretty random.

If you want to skip the Preamble, here's the purpose of the article:

Anyway, the point is- there are some unbelievably basic functions to get going, that the Logitech G-Hub app even has pre-made shortcuts for, that DON'T WORK CORRECTLY. So this article is intended to assist anyone trying to get a macro button working on a Logitech keyboard when trying to map it to 'App View' which is Alt+Tab.

To get this running, here's the quick rundown. Just create a new Macro in G-Hub by selecting your keyboard, choosing the '+' option on the left side of the G-Hub window, choosing 'Macros' (1 in screenshot), then 'Create New Macro' (2 in screenshot). As below:

Then, name the Macro, choose 'Sequence' as macro type- you can see at the top of the screenshot under the 'Alt Tab 2' name I gave it. After that, create a new 'On Press' function, and click 'record keystrokes'. Press Alt+Tab so it comes up with that combination, then stop recording.

After this, on the right side of the screen uncheck 'Use Standard Delays', and you'll see everything break down into specific key presses and delays. From here, delete all of the extra key presses and delays you see, and lower them all down to 20ms, copying it exactly as you see it on the screenshot. For the 'while holding' and 'on release' options, do the same thing you did in the first 'on press' step, just hit only Alt for each step. Then delete the delays and extra key presses again making the function look exactly how you see it in the screenshot. This function requires you to hold the App View G button while using it (similar to how you have to hold the alt button after turning it on with alt+tab).

After this, just map it to whatever G key you want, and you're good to go. I labeled my keys just to make them useful after you first program them, as historically I'll set them all up and immediately forget which button does which, promptly leading to me never using them again. So labeling is a good thing to do.

Hopefully this was helpful, happy typing!

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