Auto naming keys

When you enter a text into the “Text” field of the touch layout window of a newly created key, its Unicode value is automatically written into the “Unicode” field (ex.U+0061 for “a”), while a text like “T_new_258” is written into the “ID” field. Wouldn’t it be nice, if the “ID” field would be automatically filled with the Unicode value of the key (ex. U_0061 for “a”)?


Hello @anvaolon,

Thank you for reaching out about this.

We see that the “ID” field will not trigger to change to a replacement letter if the “Text” field is inputted through typing. In order to get it to replace automatically, it would have to be done by dragging the letter from the Character Map onto the key on the touch layout keyboard or the “Text” field. It works on “T_new_258” keys, other existing keys, and the “ID” field.

You are welcome to create a feature request for Keyman Developer. As for now, this is the alternative.

Let us know if you have further questions.

If you are basing the keyboard on a phiysical layout, the challenge for such a feature request is that you often do not want it to be U_XXXX, as that would bypass the existing rules for, for example [K_A]. I try to use the key name whenever it exists in the physical layout, and only use T_ or U_ for keys that are touch-only.

You are right, my example was not the best. What concerns the letter “a”, it is already present in the default touch layouts, with K_A as ID, so this is not what I was speaking about. I ment the new added special keys, as example “ĉ”, “ŭ”, or similar ones.

Thank you for the information @anvaolon.

We apologize if we miss your point but we can find the characters you are looking for by pasting it into the “Text” field. But, the ID is not automatically replaced.

In order to change the ID, you can type it in manually or see the image below.

It comes to how fast you can copy and paste numbers.

We hope this answer your question. Let us know if you have further question.

Thank you @Matthew_Lee for the information.

Is it not recommended to create a feature request on this and stick with the options of drag/drop and manually typing it in so that it does not bypass the existing rules?

Thank you @mengheng for your answer, I actually did so, but having a lot of keys, where I had to manually type in the right ID, I thought it would be easier, if the application did it itself.


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There is a secret way to do this already – and I am sorry I was slow to get to this topic!

  • Hold the Ctrl key while dragging and dropping a character from the Character Map to the touch layout editor, and it will replace the ID as well as dropping the character in.
  • Hold the Shift key while dropping, and it will add the character to the key.
  • Finally, hold Ctrl+Shift, and it will both add the character to the key, and update the ID to match the full set of characters represented on the key.

@mengheng, we should document this – would you like to check the Keyman Developer documentation to find a good place to add this information?

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Yes, I will look into it today @Marc. Thank you for telling us the secret way to do this.

Thank you @Marc for revealing us this secret way. I tried it and it actually works. I also realized that you can get the same result, by dragging the character into the “ID” field, instead of the “Text” field.

But my question was actually not about dragging a character, but about writing its text into the Text field. So, when I create a new key on the touch layout, by pressing one of the green triangles with the “+” sign, the “Text” and “Unicode” fields are empty and the “ID” field is set to a value in the form of “T_new_???” (where the question mark means any cipher). Then if I write a text in the “Text” field, let’s say “ŭ”, the “Unicode” field is automatically set to the “U+016D” value, but the “ID” field is still “T_new_???”, while I think it could be more useful, if it was automatically set to “U_016D”. It’s actually not a big deal, but it could be useful.


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There isn’t really a way to do this at present. Using the hotkeys mentioned above or drag/drop is pretty much the way to do this at present, @anvaolon.

If you have created a feature request for this already, please drop the link so we can track the progress together. It helps us prioritize if the feature requests come from Keyman users rather than from inside the Keyman team!

Much thanks!

Thanks @mengheng, I just created the feature request.



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