Congratulations on your new Advantage2!
This guide will help you get up and running on the Advantage2. Most individuals take 1-2 weeks to get back up to full typing speed, but your results may vary. Stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with enhanced comfort and productivity.
Models: KB600 | KB600QD | KB600LFQ | KB605 | KB620 | KB699
What's in the Box
Adhesive Palm Pads
Mac & PC Mode Keycaps
Blue Home Row Keycaps
(KB605 & KB620 only)
Connecting your Advantage2
Your Advantage2 keyboard is 100% plug-and-play
Simply connect the USB cable to any available full-size port on your Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chrome PC. Your computer will automatically recognize and “install” the keyboard in a matter of seconds. There are no special drivers or software to install.
*For best results, we recommend connecting the keyboard directly to your PC rather than through a hub, dock, or KVM switch.
Get to know the small key with the “progm” legend in the upper right corner of the keyboard. This powerful little key is used in combination with other keys to unlock a variety of programming commands. See the User’s Manual for a full list of onboard shortcuts.
QWERTY or Dvorak?
Every Advantage2 keyboard comes preconfigured with the familiar QWERTY layout. Dvorak typists can load an onboard Dvorak layout using a simple onboard shortcut. These layouts (and other “hotkey” layouts) can be quickly configured for Colemak, Workman etc using the SmartSet App.
- Load Dvorak: “Program + F4”
- Load QWERTY: “Program + F3”
Install the optional palm pads for added wrist support and enhanced comfort. Peel the backing off the adhesive pads and apply to the integrated palm supports underneath your palms. The pads are designed to last 6-12 months and then be replaced.
Connect an optional Advantage foot pedal to boost productivity and eliminate repetitive key strokes. Connect the short RJ11 cable on the back of the keyboard to the foot pedal dongle. The pedal is programmed as an extension of the keyboard.
Get to know your Advantage2
Operating System Setup - Thumb Keys
The Advantage2 is preconfigured for Windows users
But can be quickly converted for Mac or PC/Linux users
Don’t like all the beeps and clicks?
Disable Key Clicks: Hold the Program key and then tap F8.
Disable Special Tones: Hold the Program key and the shift key, and then tap F8.
You're Ready to Type!
Familiarize yourself with the basic layout of the Advantage2. You’ll notice that the editing keys have been move to the left and right thumb clusters. This redistributes workload mover evenly among all your fingers and eliminates extending to these standard key locations. The alphanumeric keys are exactly where you would expect to find them.
The Advantage2 features an ortholinear key configuration (as opposed to staggered), meaning that all the keys arranged into vertical columns. This arrangement may feel unfamiliar at first, but it mirrors your natural finger motion for maximum ergonomics.
The Advantage2 is a dual-layer keyboard meaning each key can perform two distinct actions. Tap the “Keypad” to toggle on the “embedded” Keypad Layer to access the numeric 10-key, multimedia keys and other secondary key actions (legended in blue).
The Keypad LED in the center of the keyboard will illuminate to indicate when the Keypad Layer is active. *Note: Num Lock must be enabled on PC’s to get 10-key actions.
For number crunchers we recommend purchasing a single action foot pedal to activate the Keypad Layer.
Kinesis recommends starting with the Advantage2 during a period when you are not under a lot of work related stress. Trying to learn a new keyboard layout can be frustrating, and if you are under a deadline that can make matters worse. However, most people find it’s quite intuitive and not as daunting of a task as they initially thought.
Do not overtax yourself early on, and if necessary try using an online typing tutorial program for some low-pressure practice.
Customizing your Layout
The Advantage2 is a fully-programmable keyboard so if certain keys in the default layout aren’t positioned optimally for your workflow or typing style, its easy to move them.
To remap a key, use the onboard shortcut “Program + F12” to enter remap mode. First select the source key action on the keyboard, and then the physical destination key. Remaps only work in one direction so if you want to “swap” two keys, you’ll need to perform two separate remaps. When you’ve finished remapping, tap the Program key to exit. If you want to move actions between layers, simply use the Keypad key during the remap process.
A macro is a sequence of characters or key actions that are trigged by a single key press. Macros are powerful productivity tools that allow users to save time and eliminate repetitive key strokes.
To record a macro, use the onboard shortcut “Program + F11” to enter macro mode. First select the desired trigger key (a trigger key combination can be used with 1 or 2 modifier “co-triggers”). Then type out your macro content (up to 300 characters). When you’ve finished recording your macro, tap the Program key to exit. *Note: All keystrokes are logged, but the timing is not.
Use the SmartSet App for more advanced programming
The SmartSet App is powerful graphical application designed to make it easier to customize the keyboard’s layout, create/edit complex macros, and adjust keyboard settings. Unlike conventional keyboard software, the SmartSet App doesn’t get installed on your computer, it runs directly from the Advantage2’s onboard memory called the v-Drive.
Use the onboard shortcut “Program + Shift + Escape” to enable Power User Mode and then “Program + F1” to open the v-Drive. A Windows version of the App is pre-loaded on the keyboard but you can also save a Mac version to the v-Drive.
How do I switch between Windows, Mac, and PC mode?
The Advantage keyboard has three different Instant Configuration Settings: Windows Mode (Default), Mac Mode and PC Mode.
- To enter Windows Mode, press and hold the Program key and tap the F7/”win” key. The top four thumb keys while in Windows mode, from left to right, are: Ctrl | Alt | Windows | Ctrl.
- To enter Mac Mode, press and hold the Program key and tap the F5/”mac” key. The top four thumb keys while in Mac mode, from left to right are: Command | Option | Ctrl | Command. The keypad = key becomes a Mac keypad = key and Scroll lock initiates the shutdowndialogue (caution: on a PC this leads to an immediate shutdown!)
- To enter PC Mode, press and hold the Program key and tap the F6/”pc” key. The top four thumb keys while in PC mode, from left to right are: Ctrl | Alt | Alt | Ctrl.
See Section 5 of the User’s Manual for more information.
How long does it take to adapt to the Advantage2?
Adaptation is faster than you might think
You will need a little time to adjust to the shape of the Advantage2 keyboard. Laboratory studies and many years of experience show that most touch typists are productive (approximately 80% of full typing speed) within the first few hours. Full typing speed (or greater) is typically achieved gradually over 3-5 days. Full adaptation to editing and navigation keys may take 1-2 weeks.
After that, most users will see a jump in their average typing speed due to greater comfort and the optimized key layout of the keyboard. And remember, every key on the Advantage2 is programmable so feel free to move keys around to suit your workflow.
Don’t be discouraged if you find that it is taking you longer to adapt than you think it should. We encourage new users to consult the merchant’s return policy before purchasing and use the keyboard for the maximum allowable time before making a final decision (The Kinesis Store offers a 60-Day money back guarantee).
For those people that use the keyboard for a full 30 days, we find that there is a very low rejection rate. The Kinesis contoured design has been beloved by typists and programmers for over 25 years and once you make the switch, you’ll never want to type on another keyboard again.
How do I reset my keyboard to the default layout and/or settings?
Press Program + Shift then tap F9 (lights flash) to reset the active layout file by erasing all remaps and macros and restoring it to Windows mode.
Press and hold Program + F9 while plugging the keyboard in (hold until the lights flash and release) to erase all remaps and macros from all QWERTY and Dvorak layouts and reset keyboard settings to the factory default.
Will I still be able to use a "normal" keyboard?
Yes… but you won’t want to!
Because the muscle-memory you develop for the Advantage2 keyboard is so unique, most users have no problem using conventional keyboards when forced to do so. It’s not uncommon for Advantage2 users to purchase a keyboard for each of their workstations and even pack it for travel so that they are always able to enjoy the comfort of the contoured shape.
How do I remap a key?
You can remap a key using the onboard shortcut or the SmartSet App.
- Press and hold the Program key and tap F12 to enter Program Remap Mode (lights will begin flashing rapidly). Release the Program Key
- Tap the “source” key action you want to copy (lights will slow down).
- Tap the “destination” key where you want to assign the copied action (lights will resume flashing rapidly)
- Tap the Program Key to exit Program Remap Mode (Program Remap Mode will remain active and accept remap pairs until you tap the Program key to exit)
Note: Remapping is a one-way process, to swap key actions you must perform two separate remap actions.
Note: To remap an action from one layer to another (e.g. top level to keypad layer), simply use the “Keypad” key to navigate between layers during the remap process.
Enable Power User Mode (Program + Shift + Escape) and open the v-Drive (Program + F1). Navigate to the “KINESIS KB” removable drive in File Explorer and launch the App. Select the desired key in App and either tap the key action on the keyboard or select from a list of Special Actions using the button at the top of the Programming menu.
How do I create a macro?
A macro is a sequence of key strokes that can be stored in your keyboard and played back with click of a single trigger key or key combination. You can record a macro on-the-fly using the onboard shortcut or you can build a macro using SmartSet App.
Onboard Macro Recording
- Press and hold the Program key and tap F11 to enter Program Macro Mode (lights will begin flashing rapidly).
- Select your trigger key or key combination (lights will lights will flash slowly). Up to two modifiers may be used as “co-triggers” in concert)
- Then type your macro content on the keyboard and tap Program when the macro is complete.
Note: Every keystroke is recorded so if you make a mistake, we recommend restarting the macro or using the SmartSet App to edit it.
Note: To delete an existing macro, begin as if you were going to re-program the same trigger key, but after selecting the trigger key, tap the Program key again. The LED will stop flashing and the macro will be erased for this key.
Enable Power User Mode (Program + Shift + Escape) and open the v-Drive (Program + F1). Navigate to the “KINESIS KB” removable drive in File Explorer and launch the App. Select the desired key in App and the use the Macro Editor to type out your macro, customize the playback speed, and assign up to two co-triggers.
Can I disable the beeps and clicks?
The Advantage2 keyboard produces two sounds: a soft “click” noise when pressing any key and a louder “Tone” noise when pressing Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, Num Lock, Keypad or Insert.
Press and hold the Program key and tap F8. Use the same shortcut to re-enable Clicks.
Press and hold the Program key and the shift key, and then tap F8. Use the same shortcut to re-enable Tones.
How do I access the 10-Key?
To keep the footprint of the Advantage2 as small as possible, we have relocated the standard numeric 10-key into the embedded “Keypad” layer. To access these actions simply tap the small Keypad key to toggle to the keypad layer. *Note: Num-lock must be enabled on your PC.
For users that extensively use a 10-key we recommend purchasing a single action foot pedal to toggle between the keypad and alphanumeric layer. You’ll find it much more efficient because it eliminates having to reach for the Keypad key.
Where are the pop-up feet?
Pop up feet promote harmful wrist extension by causing the wrists to bend up and back to reach the keys. All Kinesis keyboards are designed to have a zero-degree slope and no popup feet to address this damaging posture. Learn More