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A dynamic keyboard using pages

This tutorial focuses on the step by step creation of a dynamic keyboard containing a page control with two pages. The first page will contain alphabetic keys and the second numeric and function keys.

The following procedures will be demonstrated:

  • Creating, moving and sizing a PageControl
  • Creating pages
  • Switching pages at design time
  • Making a key cause a page change

To begin, start the MountFocus Keyboard Designer and select File | New. This will open a new keyboard file. The property editor will show the properties of the new keyboard.

Click on the Page Control tool and place a page control on the keyboard surface in the upper left corner. The default size for a page control is 100 x 100. This is too small for our purposes, so let's change the size to 150 x 610.

You can accomplish this either by dragging the handles to the proper size, or by changing the sHeight and sWidth properties in the property editor.

All pages placed on the page control will automatically size themselves to the size of the page control.

Place two pages on the page control by clicking on the Create new page tool icon.

Notice that although there are handles visible, you cannot change the size of the page.

Right click on the page and select Select Page from the pop up menu to see a list of available pages. If you click on None, you will see the page control where you can make changes to the size.

Right click again and select page 1 from the Select Page pop up menu.

This will be our alphabetic page, so place 26 keys on the page in three rows, either by creating the keys yourself or by copying keys from the keypool.

dynamic 3 key p1

Next, we'll need a key that allows us to access the second page on the page control.

Place a key in the lower right corner of the key and we'll put a label on it with more than one line of characters.

To do this, you need to open the caption editor and select the Lines property, which will open the strings editor. This makes it easier to type more than one line of text.

Type Num [enter] Page and click OK and OK again in the caption editor.

You should have a key that looks something like this:

dynamic 3 key numkey

Now we need to assign an action to this key. Click on the SelectPage property and choose Page2 from the list. When this key is clicked, the page will change to the numeric page.

The last thing we'll do on this page is change the name of the page from Page1 to Alpha.

Now let's build the numeric and function key page.

To change pages in the Keyboard Designer, right click on the page and select Page2 from the SelectPage menu.

Place 10 keys in one row at the top of the page and place labels on them starting with the number 1 and ending with the number 0.

Underneath this row, place 12 keys, with labels starting at F1 and ending at F12.

Next to the "0" key, place another key with a label that says Alpha Page, and assign that key to change to the Alpha page when clicked again using the SelectPage property. Your second page should look like this:

dynamic 3 key numpage

Let's test the keyboard by clicking on the Run Keyboard icon.

If you would like to download the keyboard file that was created in this tutorial, click here.

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