KKBSwitch – keyboard layout indicator
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KKBSwitch - a keyboard layout indicator for TDE.

KKBSwitch displays an icon in the system tray that indicates which layout is currently active and enables you to switch layouts by clicking the icon or by selecting from the menu.

It is useful when you have configured the XKeyboard extension of your Xorg Server to have more than one keyboard group, for example US/ASCII and Russian. It displays an icon in the system tray that indicates which layout is currently active. Note that KKBSwitch does not help you configure XKeyboard, it merely serves as the indicator of the current group.

Features include:

  • displays an icon in the system tray indicating the active keyboard group.
  • Configurable icons for the keyboard layouts (chosen from country flag pixmaps that ship with TDE).
  • The "toggle mode" to toggle between the two most recently-used keyboard layouts.
  • Choose to use a global layout, a per-application layout or a per-window layout.
  • Configurable keyboard shortcuts.

NB: You still have to configure XKeyboard with the usual xorg options (XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions).

Using KKBSwitch

The most basic usage is simply to let it sit in the system tray and show you which keyboard group is currently active. You can also click the KKBSwitch system tray icon to switch keyboard layouts. When right-clicked, the system tray icon displays a menu with the following entries:

  • one or more entries corresponding to the configured keyboard groups (XKeyboard can have up to 4 groups configured). The currently active group will be checked. Selecting a menu entry corresponding to a group will make that group active.
  • "Configure Keyboard Switch..." entry lets you configure KKBSwitch
  • "About Keyboard Switch" displays a standard "About" dialog
  • "Quit" quits KKBSwitch.

Configuring KKBSwitch

In the KKBSwitch configuration dialog you can do the following:

  • set the icons corresponding to the available keyboard groups. Note that KKBSwitch will try hard to guess the correct icon based on the name of the keyboard group (the names are configured in XKeyboard). For example, it will display the US flag for US/ASCII group, German flag for German group, Russian flag for Russian group, etc. If it cannot guess an icon, it will display the "default" icon, which simply shows the group's number. Use the configuration dialog to customize the icons:
  • select a group in the "Available keyboard groups" listbox, and click "Change icon..." button. You will be able to select from the list of country flag pixmaps that is shipped with TDE.
  • turn the "Toggle mode" on and off. "Toggle mode" is a convient feature of KKBSwitch, which is useful if you have more than 2 groups. When "Toggle mode" is on, pressing the XKeyboard's group switch key or clicking KKBSwitch's tray icon will toggle between the two most recently used groups. To activate the third or the fourth (if available) group you'll need to right-click KKBSwitch's tray icon and select the desired group from the menu. For example, I have US/ASCII, Russian and Ukrainian layouts configured. Most of the time I use either US/ASCII or Russian layout and switch back and forth between them without activating the rarely needed Ukrainian layout. But sometimes I need to write something in Ukrainian, so I select this layout from the tray icon's menu. When "Toggle mode" is on, the two most recently used groups will be marked with an asterisk in the KKBSwitch tray icon's menu.

DCOP Bindings

As of version 0.2, KKBSwitch can be manipulated programmatically with DCOP. It exports an interface named KBSwitchIntf. The interfaces offers the following methods:

  • int getNumKbdGroups() returns the number of configured keyboard groups (layouts)
  • ASYNC selectNextGroup() does the same thing as clicking on the KKBSwitch's tray icon, i.e. makes the next keyboard group active. If in "toggle mode", toggles between the two recently used ones, just like clicking on the tray icon does.
  • ASYNC selectGroup(int groupno) makes the group whose number is groupno active (like selecting a group from the tray icon popup menu)
  • TQStringList getGroupNames() returns the list of the keyboard group names as configured in XKeyboard.



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