Suggestion: U.S. International & MacNTouch / DigiTouch

Comments specifically about typing on TS keyboards, and about key layouts.

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Suggestion: U.S. International & MacNTouch / DigiTouch

Postby The00Dustin » 12 Mar 2007, 05:35

I don't know if anyone has left suggestions like this in other posts, but I wanted to create this topic specifically to address what Torben and another user were dscussing in the wiki regarding layouts and key counts on the MacNTouch.

Personally, I keep my old keyboard Qwerty for gaming and use my TouchStream for everything else. So to make it simple, my TouchStream is configured for Dvorak. If I were going to use a "DigiTouch" I would also hard cod eit to Dvorak. This also helps with portability.

I understand the idea of using Dvorak in Windows and using Qwerty on the TouchStream, and that was my original plan, as it seems crazy to pay for a hardcoded Dvorak standard keyboard (or to pay even more for a standard keyboard that switches between the two), and I was going to run Dvorak on my normal keyboard. However, I haven't stumbled across a standard keyboard where the keytops can be rearranged, and I wanted qwerty for gaming anyway.

There are two other reasons why I use the keyboard coding:

1) I'm in my BIOS a lot, and in my BIOS or booting frm a Live CD, not having the keyboard coded to Dvorak means trying to remember Qwerty (which I have never used on a TouchStream)

2) I had previously gotten hooked on the US International layout. There is no "Dvorak International" in Windows or Linux (don't know about Mac, doubt it), so in order to take advantage of the International layout's features, I have to use coded keyboards.


The reason I bring this up is because in Torben's note on the wiki about needing characters from two different longuages. I can offer a plausible solution using my setup. It would still be nice to have more invisible keys (I use all of mine on the TouchStream), but with just two invisible keys, you can have two-finger combos for all of the keyboard combo special characters. For instance, CTRL+ALT+z is æ and CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+z is Æ, so by having CTRL+ALT & CTRL+ALT+SHIFT as your two invisible keys, you have all sorts of options. This, of course, assumes you don't already have some other app taking over these various keyboard shortcuts. In addition to many combinations of CTR+ALT & CTRL+ALT+SHIFT combo special characters, there are certain keys that don't show up until the next letter is pressed, and then what is displayed depends on what was typed (I'll call these typing shortcuts).

Examples follow:

' " ` ~ these four keys don't show up until another key is hit. Using space will put them on the screen as normal. So will other keys that aren't tied to the characters such as punctuation marks. The only bad thing about this (Windows speecific) is that the space doesn't show up, so you have to type space twice after these characters when they need to be followed by a space.

'c gives me ç, but "c gives me "c

'a gives me á, `a gives me à, and "a gives me ä

~n gives me ñ

'C gives me Ç, "A gives me Ä, ~N gives me Ñ

The list goes on. So you should be able to type anything you need after learning the typing shortcuts and the special combo shortcuts like those mentioned further up. There are lots of non-language characters readily available in the combos too, such as ¢, ©, ½, etc.

On the other hand, it is important to know that when using the US International layout, ALT+#### combos go away, or at least I am fairly certain that this is the case for combos that have a different method like those listed above. The reason this is important is because it means your macros for these characters may no longer function.

I hope this helps some people who might be interested in the DigiTouch or who might need more functionality out of their MacNTouch.

Dustin
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Re: Suggestion: U.S. International & MacNTouch / DigiTouch

Postby TorbenGB » 01 Apr 2014, 12:01

I don't know if I missed it originally but I came across this just now. Using combos with dead keys (that's what they're called, although zombie keys might be more fitting because they turn out to not be really dead after all!) is a neat trick that gives me a new idea:

I'm wondering whether I can define a special "trigger key": this would be like a dead key in that it doesn't do anything by itself, but it would trigger a function that builds a character out of the next two characters. For the sake of illustration, let's say ¤ is the trigger key (although it should be something that is easy to type!): If I enter lowercase "¤ae" it would show up as "æ" while uppercase "¤AE" would become "Æ". For concenvience, mixed-case "¤Ae" would also become "Æ". This way, I can build any character I want, but it takes three key presses to do it. That's a significant downside.
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Re: Suggestion: U.S. International & MacNTouch / DigiTouch

Postby The00Dustin » 01 Apr 2014, 13:02

Are you talking customizing the fingerworks product to do this, or just something in general? For the record, US International CTRL+ALT+Z is æ and CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+Z is Æ. I'd say most anything you could build the way you're describing already has a shortcut, but I could be wrong.
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Re: Suggestion: U.S. International & MacNTouch / DigiTouch

Postby TorbenGB » 01 Apr 2014, 13:44

I was thinking to add something into the TSLP configuration. I didn't realize that your Ctrl+Alt examples were actual mappings.

Here's a poor-man's excerpt from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560

Press this key ----------- Then press this key ------ Resulting character
'(APOSTROPHE) --------- c, e, y, u, i, o, a -------- ç, é, ý, ú, í, ó, á
"(QUOTATION MARK) -- e, y, u, i, o, a ----------- ë, ÿ, ü, ï, ö, ä
`(ACCENT GRAVE) ----- e, u, i, o, a -------------- è, ù, ì, ò, à
~(TILDE) ---------------- o, n, a -------------------- õ, ñ, ã
^(CARET) --------------- e, u, i, o, a -------------- ê, û, î, ô, â

... but there are no Danish characters. To create those, type AltGr (or Ctrl+Alt) + (character):

AltGr + z = æ
AltGr + o = ø
AltGr + w = å
(combine with shift for uppercase version)

All the above is everything but intuitive, and I admit my idea is even worse. In effect, this is probably fine if you need to type one or two of these characters per day. But I type hundreds of them on a daily basis, so at least for me it's not good enough. I'm currently using DK Qwerty (it has an umlaut dead key for the German characters) and I'm training to switch to DK Dvorak (exists on Linux but not on Windows).

Bottom line: Never mind me, I'm just rambling and stumbling.
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