capsule review


At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder ZenKEY

ZenKEY lets you control your computer via keystrokes and menus that are available in all applications. You can set up hotkeys and macros to run programs, perform management tasks, switch windows, and whatever else you can dream up. You can customize ZenKEY's menus to add programs, documents, and tasks for easy access. This program is so complex, it's important to spend some quality time with the comprehensive Help system before diving in.

Essentially, ZenKEY is whatever you make of it. The default Desktop Map is plain black with colored squares showing open windows; click on a square to bring that window to the foreground. However, you can customize the Desktop Map with graphics and applets galore and maximize it to overlay the Windows GUI. The powerful ZenKEY configuration manager lets you tweak program settings, and an always-on-top icon gives you one-click access to that tool and to ZenKEY menus from any application.

This open-source program is released under the revised BSD License. The source code is available on the author's Web site, as is an interesting configuration called "Samurize" that looks like it would be fun to try.

ZenKEY is probably best for power users who are willing to commit the substantial amount of time needed to customize the program, and who will benefit from its amazing capabilities.

--Kim Saccio-Kent

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder ZenKEY

Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.