The On-Screen Keyboard vs the Touch Keyboard: 2 very different Windows 8 things…

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/03/29 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

The other day, my friend and one of my main contacts in Cherokee Nation Roy Boney sent me a message in e-mail after I had asked him about how things were going with Windows 8 and the Cherokee keyboards and font and locale.

In particular the keyboards, of course. Though I care about all of those things!

Anyway, his mail went something like:

ᎣᏏᏲ Michael,

We’ve been playing around with Windows 8 preview.  The UI font looks gorgeous!  Seeing the locale data in that font is great.  We are definitely looking forward to when we get localization complete so we can see the whole product in syllabary!

We have some questions about the Cherokee keyboards on Windows 8.  We have been testing a desktop version of Win 8 and also running Win 8 on a Samsung tablet.

1.) How is the Cherokee Latin US keyboard different from the standard English keyboard?  We cannot type in Cherokee using Cherokee Latin.  Is there something we’re missing?
2.) On Windows 8 desktop, the Cherokee Nation layout is identical to the "one key one stroke layout" we are used to seeing.  On the tablet, the Cherokee Nation layout is structured in a way we have not seen.  It is detailed as such:

Default keys

Keys with Pop-ups and associated syllables Ꮖ - Ꮗ Ꮘ Ꮙ Ꮚ Ꮛ Ꮹ - Ꮺ Ꮼ Ꮽ Ꮾ Ꮤ - Ꮨ ᏖᎿ Ꮿ - Ᏸ Ᏹ Ᏺ Ᏻ Ᏼ Ꮲ - Ꮭ Ꮮ Ꮯ Ꮰ Ꮱ Ꮬ

Ꮝ - Ꮜ Ꮞ Ꮟ Ꮠ Ꮡ Ꮢ
Ꮣ - Ꮥ Ꮩ Ꮪ Ꮫ
Ꭶ - Ꭸ Ꭺ Ꭻ Ꭼ
Ꭽ - Ꭾ Ꮀ Ꮁ Ꮂ
Ꮳ - Ꮴ Ꮵ Ꮶ Ꮷ Ꮸ
Ꮃ - Ꮄ Ꮆ Ꮇ Ꮈ
Ꮎ - Ꮑ Ꮓ Ꮔ Ꮕ Ꮏ Ꮐ
Ꮉ - Ꮊ Ꮋ Ꮌ Ꮍ

Can you explain the logic behind this layout?

Thanks for all your work on this.  And I have to say: I LOVE reading your blogs.  Entertaining and informative!


Roy Boney, Jr.

I love good news!

I still plan to make it out to Oklahoma at some point this year, and to North Carolina at another. :-)

Anyway, let me talk about his questions a bit -- I have the answers.....

For question #1, the Cherokee (Latin) US keyboard is basically just Cherokee sitting atop good old kbdus.dll, the US English keyboard. The initial setup and some later parts of Windows require typing plain old Latin script text. I talked to Andrew to make sure he understood that the Cherokee keyboard has the English keyboard available by the CAPS LOCK key, so that one may be unnecessary, though from a discoverability standpoint there are some advantages to having it on the list.

Plus, even if you find the Cherokee Phonetic layout to be intuitive (discussed earlier in The evolving Story of Locale Support, part 6: Behind the Cherokee Phonetic layout in Windows 8), tricks like hitting the CAPS LOCK key to get to English are really mire tricks you have to know in order to get to them. So providing an additional way to find kbdus.dll by default is not the worst thing in the world.

Anyway, people who would rather it didn't clutter their Windows 8 can always remove it. Especially if they find the "Cherokee (Latin) tag confusing. Since it is a, a little bit!

For question #2, we get to the point in the title of this blog.

Because, as I said, The On-Screen Keyboard and the Touch Keyboard are two entirely different Windows 8 things.

The On-Screen Keyboard can be found in the Ease of Access Center:

The Ease of Access Center, a great place to activate the On-Screen Keyboard!

Once you activate it, you will see it, whether in English:

The US Keyboard, a-la-OSK!

Or Cherokee Phonetic:

The Cherokee Phonetic Keyboard, a-la-OSK!

Or whatever.

This keyboard, which is designed to mimic the physical layout, will behave the same way that the regular keyboard does.

But the Touch Keyboard is a slightly different beast.

On a tablet (which may have no keyboard by default), it is there by default.

But you can also activate it in the Desktop case, with a handy right-click choice on the Deskband:

Getting at the Windows 8 Touch Keyboard when you don't have a Tablet...

It will then pop up this different layout:

Looking at the Windows 8 Touch Keyboard in Cherokee...

If you hold down a key for a bit, you get the flyout Roy was talking about:

Activating a flyout on the Windows 8 Touch Keyboard in Cherokee...

This is known in some circles as the "Touch Optimized Layout", which is something I can talk about further in some future blog.

Or maybe I'll find someone from the team that did the work here to write a guest blog -- I don't do that often enough, really!

Anyway, that probably clears things up enough for now.

Roy, hope you're still loving the Consumer Preview, and the Blog, and this blog.... :-)

David on 11 Apr 2012 6:53 AM:

These modern innovation on screen keboard are eating up the necessity of using the conventional physical keyboard. On screen keyboard not only eases you in less space but also helps you keep your eye and hand at the same place.

Mats on 14 Jul 2012 8:09 AM:

This article needs one more step.

How to replace the touch keybord with the on screen keyboard or another complete keyboard.


touch keyboard lacks needed keys like delet and arrow up/down

referenced by

2013/04/17 One of these days you'll want to stand back, as I am working to ARM myself with another Surface RT!

2012/08/29 And they seem to have thus shipped what rightfully should have been exiled from the product

2012/04/24 Can't Touch This! (Though I can TYPE this because I have the hardware, and the keyboard…)

2012/04/04 Can't Touch This! (unless you have the hardware, I mean)

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