ECTkeyboard - Main menu and functionality
Main Menu Navigation
The Menu of the program provides the user with fast access to all main controlling components of the ECTkeyboard. The user can choose a required selector working mode, save and load program settings, restore default settings, choose one of the available interface languages, or show the text output window through the menu. The menu of the program also allows the user to enable or disable virtual keyboard mouse control. All elements of the menu are conveniently grouped and have individual hotkeys, which allow the user to perform fast program setting.
The main menu of the program is shown in fig. 3.
Let's look closer at the items on the menu.
About, the F1 hotkey. By using this item, the user can open an informational window of the program, which contains some information about the developing company, contact details, and useful links, as well as information about the current version of ECTkeyboard (see fig. 4). More detailed information about the About window can be found in the 'New About window' chapter of this manual.
Check for Update. It allows the user to check for an updated version of the program on the developer's website. In case there's an update available, the program will open a window with information about the latest version (see fig. 5). If there's no update available, the user will see a corresponding notification (see fig. 6). In case the program can't establish a connection to the server (no internet connection, the server is not responding, or the connection is blocked by a firewall), the user will see the 'Error in Connection' message (see fig. 7).
Show Output Window, the F5 hotkey. This item of the menu or the corresponding hotkey allows the user to show the text output window, which contains all the text typed with the virtual keyboard (see fig. 8). The output window can be closed by clicking the left mouse button on the red 'close' button in the upper right corner of the window.
Mouse, the F6 hotkey. This option enables or disables mouse control. Mouse control allows using the matrix of symbols as a virtual keyboard for fast text typing. When mouse control is enabled, the corresponding item of the main menu is marked with a checkmark and cells of the matrix of symbols are highlighted when the user moves the cursor above them. ECTkeyboard was mainly created to be controlled with keys. The mouse control mode was created mainly for debugging and testing purposes.
Set Global Hook, the F8 hotkey. This item allows the user to enable the controlling actions global interception mode and can be used in order to emulate mouse buttons actions. This mode enables global interception of keystrokes in windows of any programs. Thus, the user can continue working with the virtual keyboard, even if the ECTkeyboard window is not active at the selected moment in time.
Exit, the F10 hotkey. This item allows the user to exit the program, saving all settings changes.
This menu makes it possible to choose one of ten possible working modes of ECTkeyboard (see fig. 9).
Each of the working modes is created for users with various levels of motor activity and allows for choosing the most convenient way of program operation:
- Modes 0, 0A and 0B allow for choosing the required symbol of the virtual keyboard by using cursor keys.
- Modes 1 and 1A iterate highlighted rows and columns in automatic mode, switching to the automatic symbols iteration on the second stage.
- Modes 2 and 2A automatically change highlighted symbols in vertical or horizontal order.
- Mode 3 divides the virtual keyboard into two separate halves. After selection of a half, it's divided into two new parts until the user selects one symbol.
- Modes 4 and 5 are intended to work with various eye-tracking devices.
More detailed information about the modes of data input can be found in the 'Program working modes' chapter of this manual.
The Settings submenu (see fig. 10) allows the user to open the settings window of the program, export and import settings as/from configuration files and restore default values for all the parameters of ECTkeyboard.
Show Settings Window, the F3 hotkey. By using this menu item, the user can open the settings window of the program that contains all the options that have changeable values.
Load Profile, the F4 hotkey. This item of the main menu or the corresponding hotkey opens the standard dialog window of the operating system, which allows the loading of a previously saved configuration file with all ECTkeyboard settings and parameters.
Set Current. This menu item allows the user to apply settings that were manually selected or imported from a file with the Load from File item to the main window of the program.
Load from File. This command involves the very same principle as the Load Profile item of the menu, but the main difference is that such settings are not applied to the main window by default, allowing the user to change necessary parameters in the settings window.
Save to File. By using this menu item, the user can export all the settings of ECTkeyboard into a separate configuration file in order to use it for fast loading in future. The application supports an unlimited amount of configuration files, which can be really handy when the program is launched from a portable storage device or in cases where several different users are working with the program on one computer. These configuration files allow the user to change the appearance and functionality of the virtual keyboard on-the-fly.
Reset to Default. This option can be used in cases where the user wants to restore to the initially selected settings of ECTkeyboard. This item of the menu revokes all the changes that were made in the settings of the program, restoring the settings profile from the executable file of the program.
ECTkeyboard supports various localization languages and allows the user to switch between them on-the-fly, thus making it possible to work with the program in native languages of different users. The language choosing menu (see fig. 11) allows the user to select a required program interface language.
Set Language File, the Ctrl+F2 key combination. This item of the menu opens a standard dialog window for the operating system, allowing the user to choose one of the available localization files in the folder of the program. The program interface, all items of the menu and the parameters description of the settings panel of ECTkeyboard are going to be translated into a different language after confirmation of a new file selection.
Set English, the Ctrl+F3 key combination. This item allows the user to select English as the interface language, without opening any additional windows.