My keyboardio Atreus configuration optimized for numeric entry

I have had my Atreus for about 3 months now and I have finally settled on my preferred set of key mappings and thought I would share them. Suggestions for improvements are certainly welcome.

To understand the rationale for my mappings, realize that I spend a lot of time writing writing code and using Excel. So my key priority was to setup up a good numeric pad on Layer 1, which allowed me to do just about everything numeric with the right hand.

Layer 0: Characters

I started with the standard Atreus layout and made the following changes:

  1. Swapped space and backspace keys. When using the numeric pad, I wanted to be able to backspace easily, and swapping them allowed that.
  2. The equivalent of a NumLock key, which is the “MoveTo 1” key. This allows me to stay in numeric mode until I hit this again, which brings me back to Layer 0.
  3. Allow shifting into Layer 1 temporarily by holding down either F or J. This is perfect for quickly mixing numbers and characters.
  4. Placed most commonly used keys next to space/backspace keys. For me, these keys are Shift, Tab, Enter, and shifting to Layer 3, which has cursor functions.
  5. Placed all the control keys {Ctrl, Windows, Alt} on the bottom row the of the left hand. These keys are never overriden across layers, and therefore work the same way in every layer.
  6. The Ctrl key at the lower left feels very natural, as this is where this is on most keyboards. Also works very well with Cut/Copy/Paste.
  7. I can also shift into uppercase using the “z” and “/” characters by holding them down. I had this exclusively at first, but was getting some typos and added a dedicated Shift key. Now that I have that, I might get rid of these.
  8. Holding down the lower right shifts into Layer 2, which has the Fn keys.

Layer 1: Numbers and Symbols

Layer 1 is focused upon creating a great numeric pad using just the right hand. Note that I have everything I need here in order to create full arithmetic expresssions here, including parens. The left hand contains easier access to the symbols above the numbers, and brackets. Note that I very explicitly did not overwrrite the characters Z,X,C, and V, as I wanted them to work seamlessly with Ctrl.

Layer 2: Function Keys

Layer 2 is accessed by holding down the lower right corner key from Layer 0. It is primarily for the FN keys. But I have also mapped the Layer 0 backspace key to Delete on Layer 2. So if I want Delete instead of Backspace, I simply hold down the lower right corner key.

Layer 3: Cursor Control and Media:

I put cursor controls on the right hand side of Layer 3. This further allows full numeric capability with just the right hand, as I can also move in Excel using just right hand. I have also mapped common media controls here.


I really like this setup. Makes a lot of sense to me, as it solves many of my personal issues with the defaults. I’m inspired!

1 Like

Thanks. The only remaining issue is that sometimes I really need a Caps Lock. Need to find a good location for that. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

I learned how to touch-type correctly in middle school. Been typing that way for a few decades now :slight_smile: That includes using the shift key opposite from the key being capitalized, and always using Caps Lock when capitalizing three or more characters.

But when I got my Atreus, I mapped a Left Shift key exactly where this layout has one - under the B key. I was surprised how little time it required for me to get used to holding that down to capitalize any key on the keyboard, or even when typing in ALL CAPS.

That’s one of the coolest things to me about using these software-defined keyboards: It forms an extension of your brain, and you get to figure-out which compromises are best for you.


Thanks for sharing - with Excel, typing and web browsing as my primary use cases, I was interested to see a number of commonalities with my layout, and motivated me to try some of your ideas namely the home key layer shifts and the number pad layout, both of which I really like. I’ve incorporated explicit CTRL+C and CTRL+ V etc. onto my number pad layer to reduce chording.

FYI: For the I,J,K,L arrow key users out there, I finally found a keycap set that combines letters and proper arrows for these keys:

1 Like