Running Windows under VMWare Fusion: Remapping your Keyboard to Create an Insert Key

Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Hi all I have some good news if you want to use Windows on your mac using VMWare Fusion. I can now tell you how to re-map one of the keys on your mac keyboard so it becomes an insert key. Here we go.

  1. Open Fusion.
  2. Press command-comma to open preferences.
  3. Interact with the toolbar and click on keyboard and mouse button.
  4. Stop interacting with the toolbar and click on the keymap tab. Skip this step if this tab is selected.
  5. Check the enable keymap check box. Optionally check or uncheck the enable language specific keys.
  6. Click the add button. Visually this looks like a plus.
  7. In the from combo box type a key such as the grave key usually to the left of the number 1 key on the numbers row. Note For some reason VoiceOver may call it backslash. Please disregard this.
  8. In the to combo box, press vo-space; a list of keys should appear. Arrow to insert, then stop interacting twice. Ignore any erroneous keys VoiceOver may announce such as up. The end result should be that the to combo box is set to insert.
  9. Click the ok button.
  10. Interact with the table and make sure the key you added is selected.
  11. Close Preferences with command-w.

Happy virtualizing!


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Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Monday, March 10, 2014

Thanks for the tips I will probably do this when setting up my virtual machines.

Submitted by Sof on Monday, March 10, 2014

Hi, Thanks for the tip too. Unfortunately, when interacting with the second combo box (the "to" one), I'm unable to select a key in the list. The system treats the up or down arrow as the selected key when input it. Same for any other keys I press. I'm using a french VmWare version but it shouldn't be a problem. Any ideas? Thanks Sof

Submitted by Simone Dal Maso on Friday, March 28, 2014

Hello, one of the thing I'd like to do is map the caps lock key to insert. unfortunately, this seems not working at all. Also, on Windows, if you press the caps lock in conjunction with other key, both NVDA both Jaws doesn't seem to accept the command. So, pressing the insert key or caps lock with a laptop keyboard is really complicated. any ideas?

Submitted by mehgcap on Monday, July 7, 2014

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

To select the key in the second combo box, vo-space on the box. Insert was the first key for me, but vo-arrow until you find it, then vo-space and stop interacting. At least, that worked for me.

As to the caps lock key, my limited research into this seems to indicate that Chris' method will not work, as OS X does not pass the key along for some reason. People do report success using a Windows utility called Sharp Keys, though, so that may be worth a look.

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Friday, January 9, 2015

Although the Fusion key remaper works great for swapping the alt and Windows keys, for instance (e.g., remapping command to alt and option to win in Fusion's preferences), Capslock isn't passed through, even though remapping it is an option. The solution I learned was to install an app that does this. I could have sworn I got the original idea on appleVis a year or two ago. Anyway, the names of the apps have changed since then. Look for a mac app named "Seil" and follow the directions--it's a little tricky, and involves first disabling the caps lock key in the System Preferences and then remapping the Capslock key in Seil to something neutral like Print Screen (which the mac thinks of as F13, since the key codes don't seem to match up between mac and Windows). Then you sharp keys from to map PrintScreen to Insert (or caps lock, if you prefer).
Sharpkeys simply writes a key to the Windows registry, so it has always been very stable for me in many years of use on many machines. Only caveat is to always use the "select key" option to find the desired keys from a list, since the "type key" option will require mouse intervention to get out of the edit box.
You can find Seil by visiting, clicking on Karabiner, and then clicking on "related apps." That's the way I found it just now, anyway. There's probably a more rational method of locating it.
Karabiner is a fabulous key remapping utility that includes, among many other features, the ability to use the caps lock key as a VO key. I found the app unnecessary, however. Seil, though, is necessary for using the CapsLock key in a virtual machine. I don't like the grab-accent option because I move among several keyboards during the day from home to the office.
Again, I'm pretty sure I learned about all this first here on AppleVis, so digging can probably find more detailed tutorials based on the old app names, which were "PC keyboard hack" and "key remap for macbook."