Introduction

VIAL is an open source keyboard firmware configurator. The offical website for VIAL is https://get.vial.today. VIAL is used for the Pikatea Macropad GB2, Pikatea Macropad GB3, and Macropad1x5.

Getting Started

To get started, download VIAL from the official website here https://get.vial.today. Download and install the latest version (Currently Beta 0.3).

After VIAL is installed, open the program, make sure your device is connected, and click refresh. The program will automatically detect all VIAL compatible devices connected. If you have multiple devices, you can cycle them with the drop down at the top. Make sure the device you want is selected and the layout matches.

For the Pikatea Macropad GB3, 7 keys will be shown regardless if you have a 3-key, 5-key, or 7-key configuration. The extra keys will simply not work if they are not physically present. 

Here is a basic diagram of the program and some terminology. It's pretty self explanatory which is nice. 

Making Simple Changes

Let's make some simple changes to the function of a button. After all, that's why you're here!

  1. Select the button you would like to change in the layout above. In this case, I want to change "Media Play" to something else so I've selected it.
  2. Select the button you'd like in the list of buttons shown below. You can select from a full range of actions. Use the tabs to find Media keys, backlighting, and layer toggling. In this case, I want the button to "Copy" so I selected the "App, Media, and Mouse" and then I selected the "Copy" button. 

Configuring a Macro or Hotkey

Macros and Hotkeys are the bread and butter of macropads. Use one button to push a sequence of buttons (macro) or use one button to press multiple buttons at the same time (hotkey). Both are configured in a similar way!

  1. Switch to the Macro Tab and select a Macro (M0 through M15). In this case, I've selected M0 because it's the first macro I'm making
  2. Add Actions. In the bottom right corner, you can "add and action", "Tap Enter" (which is a shortcut for a commonly used action), "Record Macro", "Save" and "Revert". Use the first 3 buttons to create and add actions. 
  3. Save the macro and assign it to a button. Click save to save the macro. Then go to the "Keymap" tab and under "macro" you can select the macro you just made to activate with a button

    Example Macros for common applications

    1. Hotkey for Windows Task Manager
    2. Open windows menu, type visual studio code, and launch the program. Notice the use of delays to ensure each action is registered on a slower computer.

Setup Backlighting

If your device supports backlighting (Macropad1x5), you can add the keys from the Backlight section to control it:

Using Layers

 

Use layers to expand the amount of function you device allows.

 

More Tips and Tricks with VIAL

  • Save your configuration with File -> Save current layout so that you don't accidently loose it
  • Use the different layers to maximize the amount of function your device can do
  • Hover over a button to read the tooltip which can tell you useful information about what it does 

Availability