See? The MSKLC support story is as easy as 1 2 3 4...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/10/22 09:06 -04:00, original URI:

Over in the Suggestion Box, Gene Sorensen asked:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for an incredibly helpful tool in the MSKLC, and for your helpful blog. I have two questions related to the MSKLC:

1. Will the MSKLC install into 64-bit Vista? We are using it in 32-bit Vista, and I know it creates keyboards for 64-bit environments, but will the tool itself install and work in 64-bit Vista? (We need to buy a new computer.)

2. When installed into 32-bit XP MSKLC warns we will not have access to all features unless we install it into Vista. I cannot find any features missing except access to the new languages and keyboards available in Vista. Are there any other features we are "missing" by using it in XP?

Thanks again,


For the first question, eve the old version of MSKLC (version 1.3) which could only build x86 keyboard layout DLLs, could be installed and run on 64-bit Windows. and the new version (1.4) can install on 64-bit and build 64-bit keyboard layouts as well. So there should be no problems there at all, whether you author keyboard layouts (a) on 64-bit, (b) for 64-bit, or (c) both on and for 64-bit, you will be just fine with the latest version of MSKLC -- version 1.4.

For the second question, the warning will indeed show up in these cases:

Vista or later 

and it will show up every time unless you both check the Don't show me this again checkbox and don't uncheck the View|Options Remember Settings After Shutdown checkbox (if you don't remember settings then MSKLC won't remember the first checkbox!).

Actually, this feature existed in the earlier version of MSKLC as well -- if you run it on Windows 2000 you'll get the warning about how if you don't run it on >= XP you won't get all the features....

Now the new platform (anything >= Vista) gives you several advantages:

  1. As you mentioned, they provide a larger list of keyboards in the File|Load Existing Keyboard list;
  2. They have a larger number of fonts installed for the support of different languages and scripts;
  3. They have a later version of Uniscribe and GDI+ on them, which will again support a larger number of languages an scripts;
  4. The Locale Builder tool, one of two ways to get custom cultures on your machine, only will install its locale on >= Vista, and these items are included in the locale list o MSKLC;
  5. The helpful screen shots in the included CHM file showing how to use MSKLC 1.4 were mostly done using Vista with glass so they will look more like what you are using.

But if you look at this list you will notice that all of these capabilities (which can make your job easier in authoring layouts) are optional and you can definitely proceed without them if you like.

There is even a help topic that talks about how you can developer keyboard layouts even if you can't see the characters, by using the Unicode code points (it also shows how you can explicitly choose some other font you have installed that will then help the characters show up properly!).

You can even use the tool to download later versions of the Unicode standard to get a fuller list of character names, any time you want -- and that can be done on any platform, as long as you have an Internet connection....

But none of these features are required and I have authored many a layout even on Windows 2000 and then later installed it on Server 2008 with no problems.

So you miss features, sure. But not ones that have to block you. :-)


This blog brought to you by(U+1234, aka ETHIOPIC SYLLABLE SEE)

Gene Sorensen on 22 Oct 2008 12:33 PM:

Thank you, Michael, for such a quick response. Very helpful.


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