Tuesday, November 13, 2012

EKH Tutorial 5 - Application shortcuts and Text strings

The is the fifth tutorial for External Keyboard Helper. You'll find a all the tutorials here.

A nice feature in External Keyboard Helper is the possibility to add Application shortcuts and Text strings to keys. In this example I will configure Alt+G to start Gmail and Alt+M to start Maps. I will also make it possible to quickly write http://www.apedroid.com by just pressing Alt+A.

I will not go into details on how to create a new custom layout, go to the second tutorial for that.

First I enter the Advanced settings and choose to setup some Application shortcuts.


Right now all the slots A0 to AF are empty.


I select the first slot, A0, and a list of all my installed and system apps shows up. From that list I select Gmail.



I repeat the procedure for A1 and select Maps and when I'm done the list looks like this.


Now I go back into Advanced settings and choose to configure Text strings.


Also here we find 16 empty slots, T0 to TF.


In the first slot, T0, I enter http://www.apedroid.com.



Do not forget to scroll down to the bottom of the list and press Save.



Now all that is left is to map them to keys so i choose to customize my layout. If I would already have mappings for G, M and A then I would need to select those from the list but since I'm using the English(US) layout in this example there are no current mappings to those keys so choose to add a new mapping.

First out is G which has scancode 34 and in the AltGr field I enter a0 for Application shortcut 0. The app will automatically change a0 into unicode 0x2410 so I could, if I wanted, have entered 0x2410 directly. However entering a0 (or A0) is much easier.


I repeat the procedure for M (scancode 50) and enter a1 in the AltGr field. For mapping the Text string the procedure is the same and I enter t0 in the AltGr field for A (scancode 30).


Back in the list of remapped keys I can see the new mappings.


Checking the mappings confirms that a0, a1 and t0 are translated into 0x2410, 0x2411 and 0x2400.


This is the end of tutorial 5 that should give you a pretty good idea on how to setup Application shortcuts and Text strings for yourself.

33 comments:

  1. Hi

    How can I configure a specific key to scroll the homescreen?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't think you can. I suppose you can map DPAD Left and DPAD Right if your keyboard does not already have cursor keys. However it won't be a one-press-to-change-homescreen solution.

    Never tried mapping page up and page down though. Probably won't work but could be wort trying.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there.

      External Keyboard Helper is a really god app! I have a problem which may or may not be related to External Keyboard Helper?

      I'm using Danish layout.

      I have a Microsoft Wedge Keyboard which is working fine, but then my son accidentally activated some kind of "shortcut mode" to launch apps only by pressing for example the "M button" for launching Gmail, and "C button" for launching Contacts.

      I have not set up any Application shortcuts or Text strings.

      I can't deactivate it!

      Which buttons did he press to active it?

      How do i deactive it, so i can use my keyboard again?

      Thx in advance

      Mikkel - Copenhagen, Denmark

      Delete
    2. Restart your device. On some Android versions it can get stuck in thinking that the "Meta/Windows" key is pressed down. Restarting the device solves the problem.

      Delete
    3. Aha!

      I actually solved it, by parring the keyboard with my android phone, and then parring it back to my tablet.

      If the problem occurs again i will try to solved it by restarting my device.

      Thx :o)

      Delete
  5. Love this app! It maximize the function of external keyboard on my android.

    ReplyDelete
  6. In the list of remapped keys (second to last screenshot) why does it say "Shift" to the right of each remapped character?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It shows the capslock mode for that key. See the explanation in the FAQ for more info on the different caps-lock modes.
      http://www.apedroid.com/android-applications/external-keyboard-helper/faq

      Delete
  7. Is it possible to put control characters into the text strings? I would love to be able to send the sequence "shift-cursor-right ctrl-x cursor-left ctrl-V off a key - a really simple way to transpose two mistyped characters. But it doesn't look as if this would be possible.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is it possible to include a carriage return in a Text string? Wanting to use my numberpad as hotkeys in an app...

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not currently possible but it's on my "might happen" list.

      Delete
  9. Is it possible to make a shortcut to an application using Ctrl key? For example, Gtrl-g for Goole. If I press Ctrl-g in Scancode input field, the program finally pick the ctrl scancode only.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not currently but making Ctrl+key a mappable option is on my "Might happen" list.

      I suppose if you are not using Ctrl for anything else you could check the option that threats left and right alt differently and also the "override special keys" option and then map one of the Alt-keys to the Ctrl key and then map application shortcuts to that key combination.

      Delete
    2. I don't recommend this. Apps like Google Drive, Chrome, DroidEdit, TeamViewer, etc. use ctrl-key keyboard shortcuts. Drive uses them in the editor- for example ctrl-b for bold. Chrome uses most of the same keyboard shortcuts as on Android. DroidEdit has configurable shortcuts. And TeamViewer will pass along almost any key combination you enter (if the Android system doesn't interrupt it). Also, in almost every app you can ctrl-a, ctrl-c, ctrl-x, and ctrl-v in a text field (to the effects you would probably expect).

      Delete
  10. thanks for making this looking forward to giving it a shot

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a Logitech blue tooth keyboard and a Samsung Note Pro12.2. The keyboard has a FN key to start email, browser and calendar, e.g., FN3, FN4, FN5. Only FN5 for the calendar works. How can I program the use of the FN key with 3 and 4 to open Email and Chrome? I tried the demo and it didn't work. I don't think it reads the FN scan code. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The FN key usually do not produce a scancode. Instead it often alters the scancode of another key. So one key can produce one scancode without FN and another with FN. If that is the case then you may be able to map the key with FN and without FN separately.

      Delete
  12. Hi, I add some shortcuts too launch applications but it does not seem to work with CyanogendMod 11 (Android 4.4.3).
    Do you know how I can make it works ?

    It was working with the stock ROM.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have followed this with care & I can't get it to work. I am using a Samsung Galaxy mobile with a Voglove BT keyboard which only has "Alt". There is no "AltGr" key. The keymap LOOKS as if it should all be fine :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Can I remap a key to send "ALT+TAB" codes?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I've tried that and it doesn't work. Seems Android picks that one up early in the input handling.

      Delete
  15. Hi! I've a question, and I don't know if EKH is ths right app. I have a Galaxy Note 10.1, and bought a Verbatim bluetooth keyboard. The keys work great, but there some keys (for setting more or less bright, copy, cut, paste) that I can't make them work.

    Is there any way of assigning these keys to their "original" function?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe. It depends on if those keys sends normal scancodes or if you use dual scancodes as some keyboards use for "special keys". Try the demo version if unsure and what you are looking for is mostly the keycode mappings (se tutorial #2). I've added custom keycodes for brightness, cut, paste, copy and more.

      Delete
  16. I really like the keyboard helper, but there is one thing I'm really missing, and that is a way to open new tabs in my Web browser with the keyboard. Can this be programmed in some way?

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am using an application that uses Function Keys 1-12 and Shift+Function 1-12. I cannot send F11 or F12, nor any of the Shift+F1-12. How can I create Function Keys 11 & 12 and Shift F1-12?

    ReplyDelete
  18. No problems with my SM-T520. I simply changed by default input method to EKH Keyboard by switching to virtual keyboard and then to EKH keyboard. Sure I couldn't uncheck Samsung Keyboard, but I have no annoying pop ups and I can use my custom shortcuts hassle-free.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This app works great. But for some reason when I press ctrl-[, it doesn't send an Escape signal, instead it types '['. Is there a way to enable the normal behavior for ctrl-[?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I tried using AB Shutter 3 as "Enter" or "Select" key. Not working!
    Any solution? I want to try it with Google Cardboard App.

    ReplyDelete
  21. hello. ı dıd the remappıng but nothıng works as ı dıd. what ıs the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  22. How do I program the app to map SLEEP/STANDBY/POWEROFF type of action to say F6 KEY on the usb keyboard

    Asking For Sony bravia android tv.

    ReplyDelete