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The Open command is accessed through the File | Open menu item, or by clicking the button (Open) on the main toolbar.

Choosing Open is the first step in editing an existing layout. Even when creating a new layout, you will usually start by opening an existing layout on which the new one will be based, and then create it through Save As. The only exception would be creation from scratch of an entirely new layout without basing it on an existing one.

Note: if you want to quickly open a layout that is part of the Language bar list, the Open in editor button on the Manage Language bar list dialog is a convenient alternative to the generic Open command.

KbdEdit dialog Open keyboard layout

The Open keyboard layout dialog displays a list of all layouts installed on the system, and allows you to select the layout you wish to open. For each layout, the list shows four attributes:

  • KLID is the layout's unique numeric identifier. KLIDs are used internally by Windows as the principal keyboard identifiers, but you will probably prefer to identify a layout thorough its other, more "human readable" attributes.
  • Name (also known as Layout text) is a descriptive layout name.
  • Layout file is the name of a Windows DLL file which contains the layout's definition. These files are stored in the Windows System directory (which is usually C:\Windows\System32). You usually don't need to worry about layout DLL files; KbdEdit takes complete care of them as you create, modify and delete layouts.
  • Language is the name of a language (more precisely, a "locale") for which a layout is registered. Numeric locale information is actually encoded in the lower four KLID's digits, but its "human readable" representation is shown as the Language column.

The list can be sorted on any column by clicking on the column's header. This makes it easier to locate a desired layout by any criterion (KLID / Name / File / Language).

Ticking the "Show only custom layouts" checkbox filters the list so that only custom KbdEdit-generated layouts are shown. This comes in handy when making incremental iterative changes to an existing custom layout, which would otherwise be difficult to locate among the myriad of Windows standard layouts.

Once you have located the desired layout, you can open it in either of two ways:

  • Selecting (single-clicking) it in the list, and then clicking the "Open" button.
  • Double-clicking it in the list.

Opening a layout will firstly close any layout that may have been previously opened, warning you of any unsaved changes. The selected layout will then become active, and is immediately available for editing and previewing.

As an added benefit, the Unicode palette is automatically uncluttered whenever a layout is opened: its active subrange is adjusted to include only Unicode subsets used by the layout.

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