Hot Virtual Keyboard makes previous-generation on-screen keyboards look ancient. Type faster with configurable mouse gestures, launch programs, browse the Internet, and run programmable macros with any of the 70 keyboards included with Hot Virtual Keyboard. The new virtual on-screen keyboard employs advanced typing techniques used in modern mobile phones and communicators, including word auto-complete allowing you to choose the right word with a single click after entering just one or two letters.
Users of Tablet PC, UMPC, Panel PC, Car PC and similar touch-screen devices will find Hot Virtual Keyboard indispensable. Use a mouse, touchpad or fingers for on-screen typing. With Hot Virtual Keyboard, you can type faster and more conveniently than by using built-in Windows On-Screen Keyboard. Use gestures for quickly performing repeat operations such as shifting the case of the letters, specify applications to hide Hot Virtual Keyboard from, and set your own hotkeys to launch programs or Web sites, run macros, and perform operations such as copy and paste.
The new virtual onscreen keyboard replaces Windows built-in On-Screen Keyboard with a much more advanced alternative. It's just as useful and as compatible as the native application. Supporting all languages and all installed keyboard layouts, Hot Virtual Keyboard is a truly international tool. Supplying over 70 pre-defined keyboard skins, the virtual on-screen keyboard allows you to create, customize and configure a unique new keyboard to your personal liking. Adjust colors and gamma, assign unique sounds to groups of keys, set shape of the keys and choose your own background.
Using a virtual on-screen keyboard does not have to be a hassle. Try Hot Virtual Keyboard, and you'll never go back!
Are you new to Hot Virtual Keyboard? Read Using the on-screen keyboard first!
From this topic you can find out how to use virtual keyboard.
Do you have any questions? Read FAQ first.
If you have any problems with Hot Virtual Keyboard please read Frequently Asked Questions.
Hot Virtual Keyboard can be used for several purposes:
You can force the on-screen keyboard to be shown or hidden if you press the corresponding keyboard shortcut (by default, Apps).
See the On-Screen Keyboard section for the detailed description how to configure the appearance and behavior of the virtual keyboard.
Tips and tricks
A keyboard shortcut (or accelerator key, shortcut key, hot key, hotkey, key binding, key combo, etc.) is a combination of keys that you press simultaneously in order to perform a certain action.
Keyboard shortcuts are added, deleted and edited in a special window.
Open the context menu with a right click on the Hot Virtual Keyboard icon in the systems tray and select the Keyboard Shortcuts Settings item.
Next step: Specify the keyboard shortcut that will be used. There are two ways to do it:
Next step: Use the Action field to select the type of the action that will be performed when you press the specified shortcut key.
You can use the Active field to specify the display modes the specified action should work in. For instance, you can disable the Win keys and enable additional shortcut macros (see Play a keystroke macro) in the full-screen mode (when you start a computer game).
Last step: Specify advanced parameters for the selected action. See the list of all actions, their parameters and usage examples in the Action Types section.
Tips and tricks
You can customize the size of the on-screen keyboard and also the location, appearance and size of its keys.
To edit the appearance of the keyboard, open the Options dialog box, select the On-Screen Keyboard item and click the Edit keyboard type button. By default, the current keyboard type is opened. To edit another keyboard type, select the Open command on the File menu.
While editing the keyboard, you can use two types of virtual keys:
All key parameters can be specified in the fields in the lower part of the window.
You can use the following features while editing the keyboard visually:
Assigning an image to any key of the on-screen keyboard:
Additional keyboard settings (if you select this keyboard, Hot Virtual Keyboard will change the specified settings):
Tips and tricks
These types of macros are used when you configure the Paste Text action.
You can specify the position of the text cursor after the text is pasted. Just type the vertical slash character there.
Shortcut icons are displayed on the virtual keyboard. A separate set of shortcut icons is displayed for each application.
Since applications use different mechanisms for storing shortcut icons, it is impossible to detect them automatically. So Hot Virtual Keyboard uses its own sets of shortcut icons for each application.
To edit shortcut icons, open the Options dialog box, select the Shortcut icons item and click the Edit shortcut icons button.
By default, the Windows icon file is edited. To edit another icon file, select the Open command on the File menu.
Start the application you want to create icons for and select the name of the executable file in the File Name drop-down menu. The Main Window Class Name and Application Name fields are specified automatically after that.
The File Name and Main Window Class Name fields are used to determine what application is active. You can specify both of the fields or only one of them.
The Application Name field is used for information about the application. Specify your data in it (for instance, Very Popular Application by John Doe (firstname.lastname@example.org)).
To add a new icon, specify the keyboard shortcut in the Keyboard Shortcut field of select it on the virtual keyboard.
After that there are several methods to add the icon: load it from a file, capture it on the screen or paste it from the clipboard. If you capture an icon from the screen, fill all the area you do not need with the Fuchsia color and select it in the Transparent Color field. To see whether the icon is good, try selecting another style, for instance, black.
Finally, you can specify the hint that will displayed when you move the mouse pointer over the key with the icon on the virtual keyboard. It is possible to use only one language, preferably English.
Tips and tricks
Carefully study the existing action types to use the features of Hot Virtual Keyboard more effectively.
You can use this group of actions to configure shortcut keys for the Hot Virtual Keyboard features.
If you configure replacing shortcuts, you can realize the following ideas:
A keystroke macro is a sequence of keystrokes and their combinations. You have to only once specify what keys should be pressed and Hot Virtual Keyboard will repeat these keystrokes as many times as you specify.
You can use this type of actions to:
To start recording a macro, click the Record button.
To stop recording it, press the Pause key or click the record icon in the system tray.
During recording, all your keyboard actions are saved to the table that has several fields:
You can edit a previously recoded macro or create a new macro without recording it. To do it, click the Edit button.
After the macro is recorded, you can specify advanced parameters how it is to be played:
You can stop playing the macro at any moment. To do it, click the Pause or Esc key or click the playback icon in the system tray.
You can use the Paste Text type to:
Tips and tricks
You can use this type of actions to:
Tips and tricks
You can use this type of actions to:
This action type lets you open a GPRS or ADSL connection quickly.
Once you've established the connection with the hotkey, you can press the same hotkey again to close the connection.
Note: The connection must have already been defined in "Windows Networking".
You can configure shortcut keys for controlling the sound volume: turn it up, turn it down, disable it or enable it. A slider that you usually see on TV screens is displayed in the lower part of the screen whenever you perform any of these actions.
You can configure shortcut keys for controlling your display: monitor power on/off, start screen saver or open window Display Settings.
You can specify keyboard shortcuts for any of the following actions:
You can find the list of hidden windows in the context menu of the program. To show any of the hidden windows, select its name in the context menu.
Use hidden windows to temporarily hide from the screen applications that must be running, but that you do not need so far or that should not be visible (for instance, computer games).
Note: Some applications have a complex window structure and cannot be hidden because not the window you see, but a separate service window is hidden from the screen.
This group of actions is used to change the language, layout or case of text.
While developing Hot Virtual Keyboard, we tried to make the number of additional options as small as possible and left only those that are truly necessary.
To open the Options dialog box, open the context menu with a right click on the Hot Virtual Keyboard icon in the system tray and select the Options item.
The main properties are responsible for the interaction between Hot Virtual Keyboard and Windows.
Language - the language of the Hot Virtual Keyboard user interface.
Run Hot Virtual Keyboard at Windows startup - automatically launch Hot Virtual Keyboard when the system is started.
Set high priority for Hot Virtual Keyboard - use this parameter if some of the Hot Virtual Keyboard features are unstable.
Show the Hot Virtual Keyboard toolbar in the taskbar - activate the program toolbar with one button in the taskbar.
Hide the Hot Virtual Keyboard icon in the systems tray - don't show the icon in the system tray (next to the clock).
Add to the Windows context menu - if you select this checkbox, the Assign Keyboard Shortcut item will be added to the Windows system context menu. You can use this item to assign shortcut keys for quick access to applications, documents and other files.
The theme can change a wide range of visual elements including a colors, styles of drawing, fonts, etc.
Style - color scheme.
Style of drawing - normal, gradient of tube gradient.
Native style of the window - determines whether the application uses the native Windows paint style.
Windows 8 Style - determines whether the application uses flat and square style. When enabled, rounded corners of windows and buttons are turned off. Use option Style of drawing - Normal for full effect.
Common transparency - transparency of on-screen keyboard.
Background picture - the file of the image or photo to be used in the background. To remove the background image, clear the file name.
Font - the main font for visible window elements.
Characters font - the font for actually typed characters on the virtual keyboard.
Show labels and icons in the center of the keys - this option comes in handy if you use only one input language.
Show keyboard layout by default - the layout or language that is used to display key names in the upper-left corner.
Show keyboard symbols accessible via Shift when Shift is not pressed and font is not large - if the size of the key and font allow this, all numerical keys will contain characters that are typed in combination with the Shift key.
Show keyboard symbols accessible via Ctrl and Shift+Ctrl - displays the characters that become available when Ctrl or Ctrl+Shift keys are pressed. As a rule, such key combinations are not used for text entry.
Color finger areas - highlight keys in order to learn touch typing. Keys are highlighted in a different color for each finger.
Labels on system keys depend on the currently selected input language - change a text on keys: Backspace, Tab, Enter, Shift, Ctrl, Alt, AltGr, Pause, Esc, PgUp, PgDn, End, Home, Arrows, PrtScr, Ins, Del, Apps, Win, Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock.
Show the state of Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys - display as pressed when a keys is locked.
The interactive keyboard can be used as a keyboard shortcut reference. Specify the appearance parameters for the keyboard to be shown only when you need it.
Keyboard type - select the keyboard type: the location, type and size of keys.
Auto Hide - hide the keyboard after the time specified in the Disappearance delay field expires.
Lock - prevent the keyboard from moving.
Disappearance delay (msec) - the delay between the last time a key is pressed and the moment the virtualkeyboard disappears.
Show On-Screen Keyboard next to the text entry area when possible. Some applications draw the text cursor in their own way and do not provide information about its position: Firefox, OpenOffice, CorelDRAW etc. In this case the keyboard will be shown in the bottom of screen.
Show On-Screen Keyboard when the text cursor is visible - Some applications draw the text cursor in their own way and do not provide information about its state. In this case you can call the keyboard the usual way.
Extensions - You can install browser extension for the on-screen keyboard to appear when the cursor is placed inside a text field. The process is simple: the extension add keyboard-related information to the browser caption and the program monitors it for changes.
When I enter a password don't show which keys are tapped - don't show pressed keys when a password field is focused.
Docking - You can dock the keyboard at the top or bottom of the display. When you dock the keyboard, the desktop workspace will be reduced in size. Other application windows and desktop icons will be rearranged to adjust to change.
Move the keyboard to a screen border - when an on-screen keyboard is shown, it is automatically moved to the specified screen border even if it had been moved elsewhere.
Animate the launch of the on-screen keyboard - when the keyboard is started, it appears on the screen by sliding up or down from under the specified screen border. When the keyboard is closed, it slides under the specified border.
Type characters when keys are released - if you enable this option, characters will be typed when you raise your finger from the surface of a touch screen or release the mouse button. In the regular typing mode, key values are inserted as you type, just like with a regular keyboard. Especially useful in combination with the following setting.
Show a tip over a pressed character key - if you press a key, a small window with an enlarged version of the corresponding character will pop up. Especially useful in combination with the previous setting.
Show alternate characters or symbols - Hot Virtual Keyboard will show alternative characters when you press and hold a key. The selected character is typed when you release the key. The feature doesn't work when Enable key repeat setting is on.
Appearance delay (msec) - the delay between the moment the key is pressed and the moment the list of alternate characters appears.
Show key characters in the UPPER CASE - when this option is enabled, key characters are displayed in the upper case regardless of the state of the Shift and CapsLock keys.
Mouse pointer - there are three types of pointer: Standard (Arrow), Hand and Invisible.
Gestures function support (fast entering of capital letters, spaces, etc.) with selectable sensitivity:
If you enable this option, characters will be typed when you raise your finger from the surface of a touch screen or release the mouse button. In the regular typing mode, key values are inserted as you type, just like with a regular keyboard.
Note: The feature doesn't work when Enable key repeat setting is on.
You can zoom in to get a close-up view of your keyboard or zoom out to see more of the desktop.
Fit width - scale the virtual keyboard to match the screen width. It's a useful feature for frequent screen rotation in the portrait and landscape modes.
Width - the keyboard width scaling ratio. You can change the size of the keyboard window using a regular method - by dragging the edge of the window with your mouse.
Fit height - scale the virtual keyboard to match the screen height. You can select this option in combination with the "Fit width" option to fit the keyboard to the screen.
Height - the keyboard height scaling ratio.
Lock aspect ratio - locks the width/height scaling ratio, i.e. the width is scaled in the same proportion as the height.
Enable key repeat - generate repeated keypresses. Features Gestures and Type characters when keys are released don't work when this setting is on.
Repeat delay (msec) - amount of time that elapses before a character repeats when you hold down a key.
Repeat rate (characters per second) - the speed at which a character repeats when you hold down a key.
Hold down key until Shift, Ctrl, Alt and Win is pressed - when a key is pressed for the first time, it stays down until pressed again.
Enable AutoClick - when the cursor is placed over a key, the key will be automatically pressed with the specified interval between key presses. This is a useful feature for disabled people.
AutoClick delay (msec) - time that passes before a mouse click is done at your mouse pointer's current position.
Set capital after the specified character - Shift is pressed automatically after one of the specified characters is entered.
Delete a space before specified characters - if one of the characters on the list is entered and there is one or more spaces preceding it, they will be removed.
Add a space after specified characters - if one of the characters on the list is entered, a space will be added after it.
Add a space before specified characters - if one of the characters on the list is entered and there is no space before it, it will be added.
"." Shortcut - Double taping the space bar will insert a period followed by a space.
There are two different windows that are used for bringing up the virtual keyboard.
The first window can be placed anywhere on the screen and used for showing and hiding the virtual keyboard.
The second window is shown as an icon next to the text cursor. If there is no text cursor on the screen, this icon is not shown.
You can change the size of both windows, adjust their transparency and also make them disappear if the keyboard is displayed on the screen.
Auto Hide - hide when the keyboard is visible.
Show the floating On-Screen Keyboard icon next to the text cursor when possible - To open On-Screen Keyboard next to the location where you want to enter text, tap the floating On-Screen Keyboard icon. The icon appears automatically when you rest the mouse pointer or pen near the field that you want to complete, such as the Internet Explorer Address Bar, or when you tap the location on the screen where you want to insert text, for example, in the middle of a paragraph in a Microsoft Office Word 2003 document.
Some applications draw the text cursor in their own way and do not provide information about its position: Firefox, OpenOffice, CorelDRAW etc.
As you type each word, the program can provide you with a list of known words that begin with those characters.
How Word Auto complete works
Once you type enough valid characters to equal or exceed the Minimum Character Threshold, the word list is searched for all known words beginning with those characters. If any exist, the Word Autocomplete window will be displayed. If no word in the word list begins with the characters you've typed, no window will be displayed.
In order to use the Word Autocomplete feature, you will need files with extension dic (for example, "words.dic") in the folder "Data directory".
Minimum character threshold - the number of characters of a word to type before the Word Autocomplete window is displayed.
Number of displayed words - the number of displayed words in the Word Autocomplete window.
Appearance delay (msec) - the delay between the moment the valid characters are typed and the moment the Word Autocomplete window appears.
Add space after completed word - automatically types a space character after you've used word completion. This can be very handy in that you don't need to click on the Space key. You can right-click on the word when you don't need to add a space character.
Show as a set of buttons next to the on-screen keyboard - if the on-screen is visible, display words as a set of buttons; otherwise as a vertical list.
Auto Hide - hide the Word Autocomplete window if no words found.
Show, Hide and Move with the On-Screen Keyboard - show like a part of the on-screen keyboard.
Lock - prevent the Word Autocomplete window from moving.
Show numbers - display shortcuts in the left side of the Word Autocomplete window. You can paste a word with a numeric key.
Do not show words with 1 character remaining - do not show almost finished words.
Learn new words - save commonly used words in the file "custom.dic". Note: Words entered by users are recorded in UTF-8 format.
Confirmation of the addition of words to the custom dictionary - show window with confirmation of adding new word to the file "custom.dic".
Dictionaries - the dictionaries are ASCII files that may be edited directly.
Read/Refresh word list - use this button after editing dictionary.
Visible - show the language bar.
Lock the Language bar - prevent the language bar from moving.
Show, Hide and Move with the On-Screen Keyboard - show like a part of the on-screen keyboard.
Kind of the Language bar - Language Flag, Language Flag with a Name, Vertical List of Flags, Horizontal List of Flags, List of Flags with Names, Custom.
Show label - display label "Switch the input language or layout" next to the language flag for the custom view. The size of the flag depends on the size of the language bar: 16x16 or 32x32.
Transparency of the Language bar - transparency for language bar when it's not active.
Note: You can control the language bar settings by using context menu.
Application shortcut icons are shown on the virtual keyboard and help to find the necessary shortcut.
Show Windows shortcut icons, Show active application shortcut icons, Show Hot Virtual Keyboard shortcut icons - show the corresponding icons on the keyboard.
Show hints - show the hints on the virtualkeyboard.
Show information about the availability of application shortcut keys - select this checkbox to see marks in the lower-left corners of keys on the virtual keyboard about the availability of keyboard combinations with control keys:
Hot Virtual Keyboard changes the appearance of the keyboard and other settings depending on the currently active application.
How it works
If you switch to a specific application, Hot Virtual Keyboard will change the specified settings.
Install Setup Wizard - start the initial configuration wizard. If you use it to configure keyboard shortcuts, all previously specified keyboard shortcuts will be preserved.
Num Lock state - change the state of the NumLock key when Hot Virtual Keyboard is started.
Save to File - saves all program settings to INI-file.
Load from File - loads all program settings from INI-file. You can load settings from INI-file with a command line parameter /RESTORE.
You can use Windows Messages to manipulate the on-screen keyboard.
See also kiosk keyboard.
Developers can lock all the settings so that the end user cannot change them.
1. In the system registry, add the following DWORD parameter - AccessDenied=1 - to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ComfortSoftware\hvk
2. Restart the program.
Note: You can change parameter AccessDenied with files from the program installation directory: AccessAllowed.reg and
Note: When access is denied, you cannot close, move or zoom the virtual keyboard! But if you set AccessDenied=2, you can close, move and zoom the virtual keyboard.
You can specify different types of on-screen keyboards to be displayed.
To do this, change (from your program) the KeyboardName parameter in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ComfortSoftware\hvk.
You have to do it before showing the virtual keyboard with Windows Messages.
Hot Virtual Keyboard (hvk.exe) accepts optional command line parameters. These can be useful to developers, and to other programs calling the program.
Closes a previously launched instance of the program.
When the program is launched, an on-screen keyboard is forcibly shown. During a regular program start, the virtual keyboard is shown only if it was visible the last time the program was closed.
The program starts with hidden on-screen keyboard. During a regular program start, the on-screen keyboard is shown if it was visible the last time the program was closed.
When it's used, the program is launched with the same settings for all users.
Tells the program that its settings should be saved in the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ComfortSoftware\hvk
During a regular program start, settings are saved in: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\ComfortSoftware\hvk
Launches several instances of the program, where Num is the number of instances to be launched. Each instance will have its own settings. By default, you can launch one instance only.
Instructs the program to save its settings in an INI file. The settings are saved in the Backup.ini file located in the program installation folder (subfolder Data).
Special mode for use with remote control devices. Moving around over the keyboard can be done with the arrow keys. With Enter you can press selected key.
Opens the program settings window.
When the program is launched with this parameter, it loads the settings from the INI file specified in the command line. If another instance of the program is already running, the settings from the INI file are loaded into it. You can save the settings to an INI file using the Options window in the Advanced section.
For example: C:\Program Files\HotVirtualKeyboard\hvk.exe /RESTORE "C:\Program Files\HotVirtualKeyboard\params.ini"
You can completely turn on and off the program with these parameters. Use parameters /SHOWKEYBOARD and /HIDEKEYBOARD when you want to show or hide the on-screen keyboard.
Launches the action assigned to the specified hotkey.
For example: C:\Program Files\HotVirtualKeyboard\hvk.exe /ACTION Win+K
Launches the program in the safe mode. Some program functions will be disabled.
Causes the program to create a log file Log.txt in the program directory detailing program activity. This can be a helpful debugging aid.
The information contained in the log file is technical in nature and therefore not intended to be understandable by end users.
If a file with the specified name already exists it will be overwritten.
Q: How do you know if your product is registered?
A: Please select "About Hot Virtual Keyboard" from the context menu to see the registration status.
Q: I have lost my Hot Virtual Keyboard registration key. Now the program tells that is expired. How can I get my registration key back?
A: Send an e-mail to: email@example.com from the same e-mail address you used when you purchased the license to use Hot Virtual Keyboard. Please follow the format:
Request: Please resend me the Product Key
Using Hot Virtual Keyboard issues
Q: Can I use Hot Virtual Keyboard on a network, so all users get the same results for key presses?
A: Yes. You can place your Actions File on a network resource and open it on any workstation.
Q: Does Hot Virtual Keyboard support a "send email" action type?
A: Yes. Create the "Run program" Action and specify "mailto:" and the recipient's e-mail address.
Q: Can I use "Open URL" for FTP or Telnet?
A: Yes. When you create a Action, specify a standard URLs like "ftp://ftp.mycompany.com" or "telnet://mycompany.com" in the "URL to browse" text field.
Q: Can the "Sleep" key be used in a shortcut?
A: No, the "Wake", "Sleep" and "Power" keys cannot be choosen as hotkey or a part of a key combination for any Action.
A: Follow these steps:
1. In the Windows Start menu, click Start , and then click Control Panel.
2. Double-click Regional and Language Options.
3. Click the Languages tab, and then click Details under "Text Services and Input Languages".
4. Click Add under "Installed Services", and then click the language you want to add and the keyboard layout you want to use for that language.
Hot Virtual Keyboard is distributed as Shareware. You are entitled to evaluate the software for 30 days without charge. After 30 days, if you decide to keep the software, you must register your copy with us for a nominal fee.
For more information, please visit http://hot-virtual-keyboard.com/buy/
After registration you will get:
1. The Registration Key (by Email).
2. Notifications of every Major Upgrade and the new registration code, free of charge.
3. Life-of-product technical support.
4. No time limit on usage and no annoying registration notice.
Finally, by registering, you will enable us to improve our software and continue to develop high quality products in the future!
What You Get After Purchasing and Registering Hot Virtual Keyboard
Registration of Hot Virtual Keyboard entitles you to unlimited free updates of the software and email technical support. You will be notified of version updates and other important news by email. You can always download the latest release of Hot Virtual Keyboard from the web site (or other authorized sources) on the Internet.
You will then receive your registration code by email.
Subscribe to News