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Topics - supersocialist [ switch to compact view ]

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Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Treo-like "Alt" key for Windows
« on: December 10, 2006, 07:31 PM »
Windows has a really terrible interface for entering things like accents on letters. Because the mobile keyboards are so cramped, Palm came up with a pretty nice solution: the "alt" key pops a small window up near the cursor, allowing the user to replace the just-typed character with an alternative loaded from a table.

The window is a narrow column showing a number of alternatives for the previous key: various accents over vowels, for example. Selection starts at the top and each press selects the next one down. It loops an infinite number of times, and also accepts pointer selection. Space bar and enter select the currently-highlighted alt-character, and clicking outside or esc dismisses the window without replacing the character.

There are hacks to change the order on a Treo, so I know it'd be possible to dig those ones out, but a lot of them wouldn't be useful on a real keyboard. It'd be easier to read the table from a text file anyway. The user would only have to load charmap once to build the table.

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