Virtual keyboard

A virtual keyboard is a software and/or hardware component that allows a user to enter characters. A virtual keyboard can usually be operated with multiple input devices, which may include an actual keyboard, a computer mouse, a headmouse, and an eyemouse. On a desktop PC, the primary purpose of a virtual keyboard is to provide an alternative mechanism for disabled users that can not use a physical keyboard.


Virtual keyboards can be categorized by the following aspects:

  • physical keyboards with distinct keys comprising electronically changeable displays integrated in the keypads
  • virtual keyboards with touchscreen keyboard layouts or sensing areas
  • optically projected keyboard layouts or similar arrangements of "keys" or sensing areas
  • optically detected human hand and finger motions
  • JavaScript virtual keyboards used to translate the input from one keyboard layout to another

In stylus-operated personal data assistants, which lack a physical keyboard, it is common for the user to input text by tapping a virtual keyboard built into the operating system of the PDA. Virtual keyboards are also used as features of emulation software for systems that have fewer buttons than a computer keyboard would have.

An optical virtual keyboard has been invented and patented by IBM engineers in 1992. It optically detects and analyses human hand and finger motions and interprets them as operations on a physically non-existent input device like a surface having painted keys. In that way it allows to emulate unlimited types of manually operated input devices such as a mouse or keyboard. All mechanical input units can be replaced by such virtual devices, optimized for the current application and for the user's physiology maintaining speed, simplicity and unambiguity of manual data input.

On the Internet, various JavaScript virtual keyboards have been created, allowing users to type their own languages on foreign keyboards, particularly in Internet cafes.

Virtual Keyboard is a small but powerful multilingual program for the text input with computer mouse.

That is practical if you work e.g. with another character set than that your hardware keyboard offer. Still another area of application of the program is safe input of the private data (e.g. login data, passwords, bank data, ect.).

The program Virtual Keyboard support German, English, French, Russian, Spanish as pre-defined languages, and Belorussian, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Lettisch, Polish, Romanian, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian as user-defined keyboard layouts. The user can to develop the user-defined keyboard layouts for ather languages.

Thus, the advantages of Virtual key board:
- Correct illustration arbitrary letter on the computer
- Supplementing keyboard (with right Alt)
- Independence from hardware and attitudes of the operating system
- Two input modes - text input in the same window or in the window of another program
- Support of different keyboard layouts
- Support of user-defined keyboard layouts
- Support of writing "right to the left"
- "Short keys" for selection of keyboards