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Access Metro On Screen Keyboard with Mouse

    Question

  • In order to use Metro with a mouse but no keyboard, one would need to access the on screen keyboard.
     
    Is this possible?
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:38 PM

Answers

  • Ah, OK, I have finally gotten to use the regular OSK in Metro, because it stays on top of all apps (including Metro apps). I did not realize this before. But it is kind of klutzy if you want to open and close it, because opening it involves a transition to the desktop and back.
     
    One borderline acceptable way is to always keep it open and use the "Fade" and "Nav" modes.
     
    What I really wanted was to have some automatic way of bringing up the on-screen keyboard, as there is in the touch interface.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:55 PM

All replies

  • On Wed, 21 Sep 2011 19:38:30 +0000, davewilk [MVP] wrote:

    In order to use Metro with a mouse but no keyboard, one would need to access the on screen keyboard.
    ?
    Is this possible?

    I'm not what scenario would cause one to have a mouse but no keyboard and
    no touch but sure, you'd just need to find the executable (Osk.exe) and run
    it.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    You have junk mail.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:04 PM
  • I'm not what scenario would cause one to have a mouse but no keyboard and
    no touch but sure, you'd just need to find the executable (Osk.exe) and run
    it.
    How will I hook that up to a specific edit field in a Metro application (Metro IE10 for example)?
     
    I want it to work as conveniently as it does in the touch interface.
     
    Why? I want to put Windows 8 on my HDTV and control it with an air mouse (the excellent Loop Pointer from Hillcrest Labs).
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:44 PM
  • On Wed, 21 Sep 2011 23:44:04 +0000, davewilk [MVP] wrote:

    How will I hook that up to a specific edit field in a Metro application (Metro IE10 for example)?
    ?
    I want it to work as conveniently as it does in the touch interface.
    ?
    Why? I want to put Windows 8 on my HDTV and control it with an air mouse (the excellent Loop Pointer from Hillcrest Labs).

    You can't do that automatically, that's not the way the system is designed.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.  --
    Kulawiec

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:27 AM
  • On Wed, 21 Sep 2011 23:44:04 +0000, davewilk [MVP] wrote:
    How will I hook that up to a specific edit field in a Metro application (Metro IE10 for example)?
    ?
    I want it to work as conveniently as it does in the touch interface.
    ?
    Why? I want to put Windows 8 on my HDTV and control it with an air mouse (the excellent Loop Pointer from Hillcrest Labs).
    You can't do that automatically, that's not the way the system is designed.
    What I wqas looking for was a way to activate the OSK that is used in Metro, not the usual Windows one.
     
    I don't have an x86 touch device, but I would imagine that if you press (or is it long press) an editable field in a Metro application, the Metro OSK appears automatically.
     
    Mouse and (single) touch are not that different in concept, and I suppose I am wanting them to behave a similarly as possible.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:10 AM
  • What I was looking for was a way to activate the OSK that is used in Metro, not the usual Windows one.

    @ David

    Can you get to your Taskbar?  Touch Keyboard is a button on the right in it.   Or did I enable that on mine?   ; )

    Also, could you customize your mouse so that it could simulate the press of a  Win- key using one of its buttons?

    BTW I also pinned the OSK.exe to my Taskbar but found that if it is active the Metro Touch Keyboard is not available.   YMMV.

     

    HTH

    Robert
    ---

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 5:21 PM
  • Can you get to your Taskbar? Touch Keyboard is a button on the right in it. Or did I enable that on mine? ; )
    There are various ways of getting to the desktop (and so the taskbar), but I do not see how that will help with activating the OSK for use in a Metro app.
    Also, could you customize your mouse so that it could simulate the press of a Win- key using one of its buttons?
    Maybe, but I'm not quite sure exactly what you want it to simulate.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:22 AM
  • There are various ways of getting to the desktop (and so the taskbar), but I do not see how that will help with activating the OSK for use in a Metro app.


    OIC.   The Metro style Touch Keyboard via the Taskbar is completely separate from the Metro style Touch Keyboard available to Metro style apps.  Then I might as well remove it from the Taskbar and leave just the real OSK there.   Thanks for that bit of clarity.   ; )

    So an example of what you are looking for is in the Notespace app?   Do we get the source for those?  Or that one in particular?   That would be your best answer.

    BTW the keynote mentioned using DSK.  Do you know if that is possible without affecting my real keyboard?   Hunt and peck with QWERTY is for the birds.   ; }

    Wow.   The real OSK.exe is a practical answer to your problem and half the answer to mine.  I can add DSK and switch between it and QWERTY using Win-Space.   Who knew?   Thanks for making me find this!


    Robert
    ---

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 5:27 AM
  • So an example of what you are looking for is in the Notespace app? Do we get the source for those? Or that one in particular? That would be your best answer.
    I'm not sure I understand you. On a desktop machine (no touch) how do I bring up the OSK (and use it) in NoteSpace?
    BTW the keynote mentioned using DSK. Do you know if that is possible without affecting my real keyboard? Hunt and peck with QWERTY is for the birds. ; }
    For now, I would be happy to use any on-screen keyboard in Metro. I generally prefer using the mouse to a keyboard, but my specific interest is if I have Windows 8 installed on my HTPC, and I have a pointing device (Hillcrest Labs Loop Pointer) and I want to surf the net using Metro IE, how can I type? If I use desktop IE (or any other browser), I can use the regular OSK, but in Metro I do not see how to do it (let alone bring up the OSK by clicking (or long-clicking) in the text field as I can in the touch interface).
    Wow. The real OSK.exe is a practical answer to your problem and half the answer to mine. I can add DSK and switch between it and QWERTY using Win-Space. Who knew? Thanks for making me find this!
    Again, how does this help me actually use OSK inside a Metro app?
     
    More generally, I want the mouse to be able to do all the single-touch things that can be done in the touch interface. In the Metro emulator, you can put the mouse into touch mode (though even there the OSK cannot be brought up automatically, which I think is a bug).
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:23 PM
  • Ah, OK, I have finally gotten to use the regular OSK in Metro, because it stays on top of all apps (including Metro apps). I did not realize this before. But it is kind of klutzy if you want to open and close it, because opening it involves a transition to the desktop and back.
     
    One borderline acceptable way is to always keep it open and use the "Fade" and "Nav" modes.
     
    What I really wanted was to have some automatic way of bringing up the on-screen keyboard, as there is in the touch interface.
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:55 PM
  • So an example of what you are looking for is in the Notespace app? Do we get the source for those? Or that one in particular? That would be your best answer.
    I'm not sure I understand you. On a desktop machine (no touch) how do I bring up the OSK (and use it) in NoteSpace?


    See?  That's where being able to press a Win- would help.   <eg>

    Let's see then.   No Win-.   Mouse only.   Display only.  (e.g. via Win-P).

    So first I press Win- to get into Metro mode and click on Notespace.   (Preparation to simulate your condition.)   Well this was probably too easy because I already had an IE Desktop window up but I just moved my mouse pointer to the left, got the thumbnail for that, clicked on that, clicked on the OSK button I have in my Taskbar, clicked on the Start button, clicked on the Notespace button again.  (Apparently I could alternatively mouse to the left again, get the Notespace thumbnail and get directly to it that way.)   In either case I see the OSK in a completely usable position on top the Notespace window.   E.g. I can click on a yellow tile, and start clicking letters (in whatever mode of keyboard I want, e.g. clicking Win-Space if I want to do some DSK practice. <w>)

    The real OSK.exe is a practical answer to your problem
    Again, how does this help me actually use OSK inside a Metro app?

    More generally, I want the mouse to be able to do all the single-touch things that can be done in the touch interface. In the Metro emulator, you can put the mouse into touch mode (though even there the OSK cannot be brought up automatically, which I think is a bug).


    In the case of Notespace and not having previously started something else I was almost going to agree with you and then I found this:

    1. Mouse up to the top and right click.
    2. Notespace's control bars appear
    3. Mouse down to the bottom left
    4. Metro's Start menu appears
    5. Click on Start
    6. Have Desktop as an item in your Start screen (FWIW it's my first tile, a double)
    7. Click on Desktop and you can then start OSK from it.
    8. For the rest see my previous description.

     

    Robert
    ---

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:05 PM
  • Mouse up to the top and right click.
    Notespace's control bars appear
    Mouse down to the bottom left
    Metro's Start menu appears
    Click on Start
    Have Desktop as an item in your Start screen (FWIW it's my first tile, a double)
    Click on Desktop and you can then start OSK from it.
    For the rest see my previous description.
    Yes, this is pretty much what I figured out, though I'm not quite sure why you need the frst two steps.
     
    The thing I was missing was that the regular desktop OSK always sits on top of Metro apps. This I think would not be possible if the desktop were really "just an app".
     

    David Wilkinson | Visual C++ MVP
    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 4:23 PM
  • not quite sure why you need the frst two steps.


    I thought I had tried bringing up the Start menu without doing that and that it was part of the problem.   Evidently not.

     

    ---

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011 8:24 PM