Not all keyboards, physical or otherwise, are the same. Physical keyboards vary by key layout, and which keys they support for example, an Apple keyboard is very different from a Windows keyboard. A large keyboard has a dedicated number pad whereas, other smaller keyboards do away with it in favor of a more compact size. Users can use the number keys on top of the alphabet keys to enter numbers and they don’t miss out on much with a numpad absent. Some apps insist that you must use a numpad in which case, you can use AutoHotkey to add a numpad to your keyboard.
When you press a keyboard key, your OS recognizes it via a virtual key-code. Each key has its own code subject to the keyboard layout that you’ve added. If you need to add a numpad to your keyboard, you’re going to have to make the OS think the number key you’re pressing is actually on a dedicated numpad.
Add A Numpad
Download and install AutoHotKey. Once installed, open up Notepad and paste the following in it. Save the file with the AHK file extension for example; numpad.ahk.
#If GetKeyState("CapsLock", "T") 1::Numpad1 2::Numpad2 3::Numpad3 4::Numpad4 5::Numpad5 6::Numpad6 7::Numpad7 8::Numpad8 9::Numpad9 0::Numpad0
Run this file. To simulate a numpad key press, turn on Caps lock. With the script running, turning on caps lock is the equivalent of turning on the numLock.
When you tap the number keys at the top of the alphabet keys, your OS will think you’re pressing a number key on a physical number pad. You can test it out with a web app called Keyboard Tester. The screenshot below shows the number 2 was entered by tapping the 2 key on a physical number pad when in fact, it was typed by pressing the 2 key on the row of number keys at the top of the keyboard.
This script only works for numbers and not any of the other symbols/keys you find on the numpad. If you tap the plus, minus, or forward slash key, it will not be registered as a key press on the numpad. Likewise, the period key will not be mapped as a decimal key on the numpad.
This ought to work on any and all apps. It works with Windows 10 when you want to move the cursor with numpad keys. If you need the numpad for keyboard shortcuts in a game or an app, this little script will do the trick. You can probably find an app to use in its place but a script is far less resource hungry.
If you only need to use a numpad for a shortcut, check if you have a precision touchpad, and bind the keyboard shortcut to a swipe gesture.