Microsoft Natural number pad chop

I’ve used a Microsoft Natural keyboard for going on 20 years. My setup is a trackpad on the left and a mouse on the right, so I can switch hands when using the cursor. This keyboard doesn’t have any fancy switches or expensive build quality, but it’s a good keyboard for me. However, it is very wide. After one time too many slamming my mouse into the side of the number pad, I got a new keyboard without one (I hardly use the number pad, anyway).

If Microsoft made a version of this keyboard without the number pad, I would have bought it in a heartbeat. It seems like I’m not the only one. Dan Beahm chopped the number pad off the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000:

Well, I finally got fed up enough with the pain in my right shoulder to take the time and effort to cut off my keyboard’s number pad. I’ve never understood why an “ergonomic” keyboard would dedicate so much physical real estate to a number pad, when that’s obviously where the mouse needs to be used.

Dan Beahm's modified Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

He links to earlier, more detailed instructions for the Microsoft Natural Elite by Trevor Blackwell, which are now offline, but can be found on the Internet Archive:

It’s always bothered me to have the numeric keypad on a keyboard. I write programs and prose, but I never enter in columns of numbers. Are there still people who do this? I thought computers were supposed to liberate us from that sort of thing. Anyway, this vestige of adding machines had to go! It forces the mouse to be about 3 inches farther away from where I’m typing than it needs to be, which adds up to a lot of unnecessary arm movement over the years. So I set about to chop the numeric keypad off the otherwise excellent Microsoft Natural Keyboard. It worked well (on my second try) and took about two hours.

Trevor Blackwell's modified Natural Elite