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All to often I hit one of the hot keys that surounds the movement keys. This a big problem in World of Warcraft when flying high on mount and hitting any action key that causes the toon to unmount.

So, what are good things to use to help identify keys with out looking down at the keys? I want to be able to identify the standard WASD movement keys without looking. It must be something applied to the key itself and can be removed easily without leaving a residue behind. Also, not looking for an add-on or 3rd party application, if one exist, to resolve this issue.

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Not to answer your actual question, but if you don't want that WoW situation to happen you can disable the "Auto Dismount in Flight" option om the Controls section of the Interface options. That will mean you no longer dismount in midair when attempting to cast something. – dlanod Dec 11 '10 at 10:28
I always have my pinky finger over the Ctrl, but that's an old Counterstrike habit... – Ivo Flipse Dec 11 '10 at 14:04
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Try moving to ESDF, that way you can easily keep your index finger on F (right). It can be a pain when launching new games, but it pays well, and you get some 'extra' space on the left of your hand.

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+1 Great idea. I have thought about change my moment keys to those keys anyways. For the latter reason. Never thought about the fact that my index finger would be on the nub of the F key. I will try it out. However, I am also open for ideas that include products that are made just this purpose. – SgtOJ Dec 11 '10 at 10:59

Put your fingers in the position you'd usually have whilst playing. For me that would be:

  • Pinky: Shift
  • Ring finger: A
  • Middle finger: W
  • Index finger: D
  • Thumb: Space

Now just place your hand in the general area of the keys and you should find them without issue.

If you really want to place something on the keys, you could try a tiny drop of super-glue or a small sticker (a circle, for example).

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I almost never have this problem since I'm using the Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 (my all-time favorite and I do not use anything else) or any keyboard that has the same thing.
What helps me is that the CAPS LOCK key on this keyboard is designed so that there is a gap between it and the A button. Makes it extremely easy to locate the A button.
So what I do is, without looking, feel the gap with my ring finger to locate the A button, and then feel the F button with my index finger (easily with the common dent it always has) to locate the D button to its left.
With the A and D buttons located, it's now relative to locate the S and W keys.

Hope that helps.

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WASD keys are pretty easy to find on any vanilla keyboard. Just slide your left hand over the caps lock key until your middle three fingers land on the first three keys. Those are A,S, D. The key right above your middle finger is Q.

Tab Q W E
Caps A S D

For more tips, head over to this question on Programmers: Which tips helped you learn touch-typing?

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by the way, what is the markup code for those key symbols? – DrFish Dec 11 '10 at 22:06
@bora <kbd></kbd> – badp Dec 12 '10 at 8:09
Is this somewhere in the markup help? – DrFish Dec 12 '10 at 10:15
@Bora it's not markdown, it's standard HTML. – badp Dec 12 '10 at 11:14
oh right, been a long time I haven't seen that in use :) – DrFish Dec 12 '10 at 13:00

CAPS-LOCK key is the least used and the least useful key ever included on a keyboard.

Try removing it, and use the metal pin as a reference point to place your fourth finger to A (assuming it's right next to A), and place the the rest relative to it.

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Some Logitech keyboards have a Caps Lock with an indentation on the right of that key. You can feel for this with your left ring finger, move that finger right onto A, and orient your other fingers from there. Put the middle finger on W and right finger on D. With habit you can learn to instictively place your fingers at WASD.

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I temporarily place my thumb between the ALT and SPACE and then position my index finger on the key above it. It feels comfortable if that key is the D key and uncomfortable with any other keys.

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If I could log in I'd tell him that his keyboard already has something to help him find the keys without looking... the raised bumps on f and j on EVERY KEYBOARD :x

Dan Grossman

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Ummm... Really? – SgtOJ Dec 11 '10 at 10:58
@Brian I do have small notches on my F and J keys. – badp Dec 11 '10 at 11:35
I understand. 90% of keyboards have this nub or notch you refer to. However, it doesn't help for gaming. It's very useful for typing though. Now, @Alan's answer makes good use of these existing reference points. – SgtOJ Dec 11 '10 at 12:32
@brian You've put the checkmark on the wrong answer I'm afraid :) – badp Dec 11 '10 at 12:56
You are right. Have no idea how that happen. It has been resolved. Thanks. – SgtOJ Dec 11 '10 at 13:58

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