Building a mini custom keyboard

Hi everyone. I want to build a mini key board. A lot of lab reports and documents I’ve been writing use weird Greek mathematical symbols, in word it goes something like this… insert>symbol>more symbols>scroll through the endless list because you cant remember the name, only what it looked like. 10mins later you find it.

I know you can buy mini dedicated keyboards, or do it though software. But that’s no fun. I want to make a mini keyboard that has all those useful symbols, or the shortcuts for them in word.
So I found the keyboard library. Since I didn’t have a 32u4 board I ordered a pro micro. I like to go on ebay shopping sprees this time of year because then things arrive just as the semester ends.

Anyway Am I thinking about this wee project the right way? I’m thinking it should just be a matter of hooking some digital pins to tack switches, some de-bouncing, and then use keyboard to send the shortcuts for the symbols I want that key to be used for.

Anything I should know in advance?

Also I want to use some aluminum plate for caps on the buttons. Any idea how I would go about transferring a design to them? I’ve been thinking about trying a toner transfer similar to etching with a laser printer. Anyone tried this?

One issue you might encounter is that the built-in Keyboard functionality only uses the KEYBOARD/KEYPAD page (0X07) of the USB HID interface specification. That limits you to what you can type on a 101-key PC keyboard. For weird characters you will probably want the UNICODE page (0x10). You will probably need your own version of Keyboard.cpp and Keyboard.h to use the other code page. Let’s hope your PC can understand a UNICODE keyboard.