Creating a custom remote for keyboard shortcuts

If you want a remote that can execute different keyboard shortcuts on your computer then you can create a simple custom remote for this.

Find the example remotes

The latest version of Unified Remote Server comes with some basic custom remote examples, including an example of a custom remote for keyboard shortcuts. We will use that has a starting point. It is located here:

  • Windows: C:\ProgramData\Unified Remote\Remotes\Bundled\Examples
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Unified Remote/Remotes/Bundled/Examples
  • Linux: ~/opt/urserver/remotes/bundled/examples

Make a copy of it

Start by creating a copy of the keyboard example remote. Copy the "Keys" folder and give it a name. For example, let's create a custom remote for "Windows" keyboard shortcuts.

Check the files

Open the folder, and you should see four files. 

  1. The layout file defines how your remote should look, 
  2. The meta file describes the name/author etc. 
  3. The remote file contains the keyboard shortcuts code for each button.
  4. The icon is what's shown as the icon in the app.

Modify the meta file

Start by opening the meta file in a text editor. Give it a fitting name, author, and description. You must give it a new name (two remotes can't have the same name). Once you're done, save and close the file.

Modify the layout

Next, have a look at the layout file, also in a text editor. Layouts typically include some rows, and each row has one or more buttons. 

  • The "text" attribute gives it a name
  • The "ontap" tells the remote which action to run (we'll get to that later).

You can add/rename the buttons, or close the file for now.

In this example, we're just going to add some simple keyboard shortcuts for "copy", "cut", "paste", and "undo". Note that the last button uses an icon instead of text. You can find the list of supported icons  here.

Modify the remote file

Now open the remote file in a text editor. This file defines what keyboard shortcuts to run for each action (i.e when you press a button).

Now, if you do not already know the keyboard shortcuts for the program you want to control, you need to start figuring that out. Normally googling for " keyboard shortcuts for ..." works pretty well.

In this case, we already know the keyboard shortcuts, so we can go ahead and edit the actions. Note that we have to make sure that the action name (what follows "actions.") must match the name we wrote in the "ontap" fields in the layout file!

We also changed the keys in each "stroke". You can find the full list of key codes  here.

Test it!

You are now ready to use your remote! Just open Unified Remote on your phone test what you have made.

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