MilliKeys Features

Replace the Graffiti writing area with a mini keyboard

Graffiti was a great idea, but we can't all be Graffiti Masters. Some of us--me, for instance--would rather type. The MilliKeys software can replace the graffiti area and (optionally) the soft buttons (Applications, Menu, Calculator, and Find) with a miniature keyboard.

For download, installation and stamp-making instructions, click here.

The keyboard layout pictured on the right is built into MilliKeys--in other words, it always comes with the program. However, provided you're willing to go to some effort, you can modify this layout or make your own. Eventually I plan to make an application that will take a layout and produce a stamp automatically, but for now, if you make your own layout, you'll also have to make your own stamp.

Many layouts can be stored on the handheld at once.



The built-in layout: Almost anything with one stroke

The stamp (pictured above) shows you what letters can be input with each key. For instance, consider the H key:

In general,

By the way,

It's free!

MilliKeys is Free Software under the GNU General Public Licence.

Q. Why? Wouldn't people pay for this?
A. When I began to write MilliKeys, I did it from a user's perspective. That is, I went on the Internet searching for a free keyboard application that would meet my needs--and I couldn't find anything that did! There were some programs that came close, programs that would have been good enough if only they could be customized. But mostly, they were closed source, not customizable, and cost money.

I certainly didn't want to pay for a program that didn't meet my needs, and after finishing my search empty-handed, I felt that the only way to have a program that met my needs was to write it myself. I felt it shouldn't have been this way--there should have already existed an program like MilliKeys! But there was no such program, so I figured I would have to go to all the work of writing it myself.

By nature, whenever I have to do something myself that I felt I shouldn't have had to do, I think about what I could do to help others like me avoid the same problem. The solution was obvious. What I had been most hoping to find in my search was an open-source graffiti-area keyboard hack. Therefore, that's precisely what I would create. And I did. I also made it highly customizable for three reasons:

  1. It's in my nature to generalize, and to create generalized programs.
  2. I personally knew that I would want to be able to customize the application. I dislike having to customize by modifying source code (especially other peoples', but also my own)
  3. I wanted non-programmers to be able to customize the app.

Needless to say, just because it's free doesn't mean I don't want help paying my tuition fees, which at the University of Calgary have risen 136% in the last ten years!

If you like MilliKeys, please consider donating $5 to $20.

By the way, MilliKeys is my first program for PalmOS. I hope you enjoy using it.

Combine Graffiti & Keyboard Input

The "dumb" and "smart" passthrough options allow you mix Graffiti with MilliKeys. These options cause Graffiti to interpret your stroke under certain conditions. Specifically:

Further, if you're willing to do the dirty work yourself, you can insert "graffiti passthrough" (\G) characters into the layout. If \G is assigned as the key for a tap, then taps on that key are passed to graffiti. \G works a little different for strokes: if a stroke is assigned \G, MilliKeys will use the key assigned to the nearest direction. For example, if \G is assigned to up-right, and you stroke up and right (but a little more right than up), MilliKeys will run the right stroke in its place. However, if that stroke is \G also, then the stroke is passed to graffiti.

Potentially Input any character with one stroke

Using a 10x4 key layout, up to 308 characters can be input with a single tap or stroke.

Q. How is this possible?
A. A different character can be assigned to each of 8 stroke directions. That means each key can output up to nine characters. Simple arithmetic tells you 10x4x9=360 characters can be input, although after excluding very difficult strokes (such as downward from the bottom row), the number is reduced to 308.

Customize MilliKeys on the handheld itself

This is a bit difficult for a novice, so perhaps in the future I'll write a User's Guide of sorts. But making your own layout is certainly doable.

The Extra sublayout

An "extra sublayout" may be accessed using the \Q key (in the built-in layout, use the Intl stroke, upward on ). When invoking the extra sublayout in this manner, the graffit state indicator will show a bullet (•). For the built-in layout, the extra sublayout contains accented characters. To input a capital accented character, you need to press Shift (left side, third row), then input an Intl stroke.

An "extra lock" is also available via the \E key (not present in the built-in layout). The extra lock keeps you in extra mode until you input another \E key. The graffiti state indicator signifies the extra lock using a backslash-like symbol.SourceForge Logo

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