Authoring keyboard layouts for non listed languages

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/04/05 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

Dr. Dilan Roshani just sent me a message via the contact link:

Subject: Non listed language

Thank you for your great blog. I have a rather rare issue using MSKLC to create
my custom keyboard. I would like to create a keyboard for Kurdish language but
Kurdish in not listed among the predefined languages in MSKLC. The application
does not allow me to create keyboard from scratch for a coutume defined
language. Do you have any solution to this issue please? There are more that
7000 languages in the world and I am not sure why MS application would not
allow to define a non listed language.

In my case I am trying to create a Unicode based keyboard for Kurdish language.

Thank you

Dr. Roshani,

The very first release of Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (version 1.3) had this limitation.

But with the second release (version 1.4), I removed that restriction.

You can download MSKLC 1.4 for free from The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator MSDN launch page.

Once you have it, there are four ways to make it a Kurdish keyboard:

1)  You can create a Kurdish custom culture using .NET 2.0 or better, in which case Kurdish will be on the list of languages to select.

Need more info about custom cultures? See How to: Create Custom Cultures and/or .NET Internationalization: The Developer's Guide to Building Global Windows and Web Applications: Chapter 11 - Custom Cultures.

Note that you need the custom culture to author the keyboard layout; the people who install the layout do not.

2) You can create a Kurdish custom locale using the Microsoft Locale Builder.

For more information on MSLB, see Enable Global Apps With Locale Builder And Windows Vista. I forget where the latest published version is, so if no one else knows I guess you can stick with the custom culture.

Note that just as with #1m you need the custom locale to author the keyboard layout; the people who install the layout do not.

3) You can install Windows 8, which includes a Kurdish locale on it!

You can base your keyboard on it, and the people who install your keyboard do not have to be running Windows 8.

4) You can download the Kurdish Language Interface Pack from directly in the Language Profile UI.

And then you can check out the keyboard we did, either the optimized one (below)

on the regular one (which you can load into MSKLC!).

Check out our Kurdish LiP, too! :-)

DilanR on 8 Apr 2013 2:56 PM:

Thank you Mike, sorry I added some notes some other places as well. I guess I need to target the most users here who are on Windows 7. I have used MSKLC 1.4 for while. When I am about to create installer files, in the project window, I have language selection. I do not have the option to select anything but listed. I have not tried your option #1 which I am going to do now.

Thank you.

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