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The soft keyboard is HORRIBLE!

    General discussion

  • If there is a better place to log these issues by all means redirect me.

    Here are a few issues on the dev preview tablet:

    1. The soft keyboard gets in the way of data entry in both desktop and metro modes. The keyboard covres the entry field. If you are going to copy a phone OS UI you need to go all the way and copy the dedicated input box that appears when you select the entry field.
    2. The soft keyboard appears even when you have a hardware keyboard connected. While typing on the hardware keyboard dismisses the soft keyboard this is rather disruptive.
    3. Have to switch states to get numerics and symbols on the soft keyboard is rediculous. Implement long-press for a least the numbers and the most used symbols.

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:11 PM

All replies

  • Also I might add that the thumb keyboard's buttons are too small. I understand the idea of keeping them within reach of an outstreached thumb but the buttons are so small they are almost unuseable. Maybe this should be configurable (zoomable?)
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:53 PM
  • I don't mind the split thumb keyboard for casual use, but I found the full keyboard to be really frustrating. We really need an option for having a more productive layout with a number row and a tab key. An alt key wouldn't hurt either, I have no need for emoticons but I would like to be able to use shortcut keys.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:39 PM
  • +1 for thumb buttons too small. The concept is great but it is unusable for me right now because I constantly mistype.

    +1 for having a way to disable OSK while physical keyboard is connected.

    Also it would be nice if keystrokes were confirmed by a letter appearing over the key that was pressed (as in all phone OSes). Would make typing much easier.

     

    I wouldn't go as far as to call OSK horrible but there's definitely room for improvement here. Which is expected given the fact that it is dev preview.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:09 PM
  • Sorry I should have qualified "horrible". I was reflecting from the OSK from Windows 7 and previous. In that context it's horrible as they haven't improved it that much. All they have to do is pick up just about any modern day smart phone to see how horrible this implmentation is in comparison.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:23 PM
  • FYI, This is the information I have recevied about the soft keyboards in Windiows Developer Preview. 
    There are two “virtual”/”soft”/”on-screen” keyboards in Windows Developer Preview.

    The first is the “On-screen Keyboard” also known as “OSK”. This is primarily designed for users who have difficulty using a physical keyboard. The OSK has a few changes in Windows Developers Preview with the addition of some new buttons to aid navigation and so forth. This one has the keypad version with the numbers at the top starting with 789.

    The second is the "Touch keyboard and Handwriting", formerly known as the "Tablet PC Input Panel" in Windows 7 or "TabTip". This is the default touch keyboard that users will be interacting with in Windows Developer Preview. This is the one with the inverted keypad with the numbers starting with 123.
    This version has a reduced number of keys which are bigger and more touch friendly. This keyboard is primarily designed for text entry scenarios and for that reason a number of keys that appeared on the Windows 7 keyboard such as DEL, UP/DOWN, ALT have been omitted from the standard keyboard mode.

    Users can still enable the old “compatibility” keyboard mode which has all the traditional keys by going to the “Language” Control Panel, selecting “Advanced settings”, checking the “Enable the compatibility touch keyboard” option and clicking “Save”. Users can then switch to compatibility mode by touching the “Input switcher” key on the bottom right of the touch keyboard and selecting the compatibility keyboard icon (the icon is a keyboard with more keys).

    Hope this helps with your issues.

    Marilyn

     

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 6:54 PM
    Moderator
  • Marilyn,

    Thanks for time providing all of the details on keyboards. I'm not sure what has happened on my developer preview tablet but I can no longer toggle between keyboard types. The button for the input selector is gone (in both metro and desktop modes). I've tried enabling and disabling the "compatibility mode" keyboard, reboot, rinse, and repeat and it only provides what I believe you refer to as the "Touch keyboard and Handwriting" keyboard -- not in compatibility mode as it has the number pad starting with 123 at the top. I did receive a windows update this morning and rebooted accordingly. Maybe something came through in the updates that put me in this state? I can't tell you what was installed as it appears the old windows update UI is gone and the new UI doesn't provide a way to look at installation history.

    The bottom line for me regarding numeric input is that during "text input" I want an easier way to enter numbers as I have on my HTC Android phone. Longpress seems like a good way to go and if there were an option to enable that I would be more satisfied with the experience. That said, the obscuring of the text input field by the keyboard is the number one issue for me. In that regard it really seems like Microsoft is expecting each and every application developer to write special data entry code when the OSK is used.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:15 PM
  • 1. yes, something needs to be done with the on screen keyboard hiding the field you're trying to type in, not sure a dedicated field is the way to go but as a stop gap solution it'll be better than typing bling.

    2. agree 100%

    3. i can live with state switching for numbers / symbols but your idea sounds a better way of doing things

    I'll also add:

    a. numeric keypad: can we have the option for phone style or keyboard style (1,2,3 at the top or 7,8,9)

    b. inconsistency in soft keyboards - i'm sure at some point I've seen an option to 'dock' the keyboard in some places but not in others

    c. multiple soft keyboards? i had a response on here telling me to try osk.exe - yet another inconsistent keyboard

    d. on the login screen - if i don't have a hardware keyboard attached why not pop up the sotware one for me (alpha or numeric if using pin logon) why make me click on the only field on the screen to bring up the keyboard?

     


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:38 PM
  • I didn't see this when I posted. Thanks for clarifying the keyboard situation


    Acer W500 tablet Ageing HP laptop Too much apple stuff
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:41 PM
  • If there is a better place to log these issues by all means redirect me.

    Here are a few issues on the dev preview tablet:

    1. The soft keyboard gets in the way of data entry in both desktop and metro modes. The keyboard covres the entry field. If you are going to copy a phone OS UI you need to go all the way and copy the dedicated input box that appears when you select the entry field.
    2. The soft keyboard appears even when you have a hardware keyboard connected. While typing on the hardware keyboard dismisses the soft keyboard this is rather disruptive.
    3. Have to switch states to get numerics and symbols on the soft keyboard is rediculous. Implement long-press for a least the numbers and the most used symbols.

    Thanks.


    I've taken the developer preview tablet on the road a few times now in place of my laptop and have a few more practical things to say.

    1. Per my original #1 I've learned about docking the OSK in desktop mode and that helps out quite a bit. That said there is no equivalent for metro IE. It is near impossible to fill out forms because the keyboard is always in the way. This is a must fix.
    2. On both the metro and desktop OSK you need to add the Tab, escape, and up/down arrow buttons. I know it's all about the white space and minimal chrome but the lack of these keys makes navigation during data entry nearly impossible. There is plenty of space on the left and right side of the OSK. This is one time where function should beat form. Come on Microsoft! Don't just copy others; do better!
    Saturday, October 1, 2011 11:26 PM
  • The soft keyboard gets in the way of data entry in both desktop and metro modes.


    If you're talking about Touch input I think this is essentially the same as W7 where the Tablet Keyboard can popup unnecessarily even though I have the real Desktop OSK.exe docked or pinned on top.

    I used this page to test with:

    http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/Performance/Sudoku/Default.html

    E.g. I can pin the real Desktop OSK.exe down at the bottom out of the way and use it as input in both Metro and Desktop mode.  I think the thing to note to help avoid the problem is that if you want to touch in the vicinity of where you last touched you are likely to activate the Touch keyboard.  So, if necessary touch somewhere else first and then make the move you otherwise would have wanted to do.   That avoids having the Touch keyboard popup.   The same tip seems needed to help avoid unwanted right-click or doubleclick detections.

    Maybe all my practice on W7 has improved my technique but I think I would say that I am actually having less trouble with this on W8.   Note that the Keyboard buttons resize as you resize the OSK window; so if you only want the numbers you can make them bigger and then only have that much of the keyboard showing at the bottom of the screen.   ;  )

     

    FWIW

    Robert Aldwinckle
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    Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:08 AM