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Options dialog

The Options dialog is accessed through View | Options menu item. Alternatively, you can use the button (Options) on the main toolbar. The dialog is also opened automatically at startup when KbdEdit is run for the first time.

This is where you can change global settings which affect KbdEdit's look and feel.

 KbdEdit dialog options keyboard type auto complete popup hints font choice

Keyboard type

The "physical keyboard type" group of radio buttons defines how Return and surrounding keys are drawn on the keyboard display. Different keyboard models have different layouts for these keys - if the Return key shape shown by KbdEdit does not correspond to your physical keyboard, you can try one of the following options to find the closest match:

  • Big Return small Backspace
  • Mid-sized Return big Backspace
  • Small Return big Backspace
  • ABNT - mid-sized Return small Backspace (commonly used for Brazilian Portuguese)
  • ABNT - mid-sized Return big Backspace
  • ABNT - small Return big Backspace
  • Big keys - special keyboard type for early learning; the option corresponds to the BigKeys LX model. Please visit the BigKeys website for more details.
  • Japanese 109 - keyboard type commonly used in Japan. If you have a bought laptop in Japan, this keyboard type will enable you to reprogram the five additional keys (three extra keys to the left and right of the reduced-size space bar, one key to the left of the reduced-size right Shift, one key to the left of the reduced-size backspace)

Preserve aspect ratio

The setting defines the stretching mode of the keyboard display on the High-level, Low-level and Preview screens when main window is being resized.
The setting does not affec the Sticker map screen - its keyboard preview is always drawn with the original aspect ratio.

If checked, the keyboard preserves its original width / length proportions, potentially leaving extents of unused space around it. If unchecked, the keyboard display is stretched to fill the entire available space.

Aspect ratio preserved Aspect ratio not preserved
KbdEdit stretched along X axis, aspect ratio preserved KbdEdit stretched along X axis, aspect ratio not preserved
KbdEdit stretched along Y axis, aspect ratio preserved KbdEdit stretched along X axis, aspect ratio not preserved

Most users will prefer to keep the setting at the default, preserving the original aspect ratio. In certain special cases, however, it may be favourable to allow the "free-form" resizing. One example are keyboard layouts with plenty of ligatures (sequences of multiple characters produced by a single key press) - if the keyboard display is allowed to stretch along the X-axis, the increased width of individual key caps can fit longer ligatures without forcing their wraparound and/or truncation.

Auto complete

The Auto complete checkboxes turn on/off various productivity-improving auto complete features.

  • Popup hints enables context-sensitive hints in popup menus.
  • Auto-map upper-lower case enables automatic mapping of upper-case letters to Shift position when drag-drop or the Key Mapping popup dialog is used to map a lower-case letter to a non-Shift position.
  • Turning Overwrite non-empty mappings on will auto-map upper/lower equivalents even if the target positions are not empty, overwriting any previous mappings they might have. The setting is turned off by default, meaning that non-empty target mappings are preserved.

The auto-complete also works in the opposite direction: auto-mapping of lower-case to non-Shift when upper-case is assigned to Shift. Similar logic is also applied to Caps on/off positions of keys with separate Caps Lock mappings.

Note that Overwrite non-empty mappings is available only if Auto-map upper-lower case is turned on.

Misc settings

The Open default layout at startup check-box is used to disable loading of the user default layout at startup. In most cases, you would like to keep this check box ticked - you are probably using KbdEdit to customize this layout.

If, however, you find the opening of the default layout at startup annoying, you can turn the feature off by clearing this check-box. It will cause KbdEdit to start with the "Untitled" layout, which is normally activated by executing the New command.

the Font combo box lets you select the font used to draw the characters representing layout's Unicode mappings: mappable key captions in High level editor, Unicode palette entries, Character magnifier text, characters in Dead char and Ligature editors, etc.

If you are editing a layout for a less common language which uses its own alphabet, it often happens that standard Windows fonts like Arial, Times New Roman or Tahoma do not include all the necessary code points. The missing code points are drawn as a generic "undefined" character, usually a blank square.

In these cases, you might try various fonts present on the system, until you find one that fully covers your language. As you scroll through the Font combo, UI elements on the main window (High level key captions, Unicode palette etc) are updated in real time, giving you an immediate feedback and making it easier to find a font with the best coverage.

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