On-Screen layout for simple keyboards

When creating an on-screen layout in Keyman Developer for a language in Latin script with only a few special characters. What is the best practice for displaying special characters on the on-screen layout. For example, to display an open o, one could use a semi-colon followed by an ‘o’. How can one best display that in the on-screen layout? Suggestions are welcome.

@Kent_Schroeder there are a range of strategies I use.

  1. retain the key sequences, so still type semi-colon followed by an ‘o’.
  2. add open-o to long press on ‘o’ key

You’d probably do both 1 and 2, ie retain the desktop rules and have a longpress.

  1. You could create a unique key on default and shift layers of touch layout equivalent to “;” on desktop to type extended Latin characters

  2. If language doesn’t use all of a-z and A-Z letters and frequency of typing open-o is high, I might consider moving the unused or rarely used latin characters to longpress and place open-o on the primary key

there are other strategies as well.

If you aren’t otherwise using a right-alt layer and don’t have many variants for any letter, adding such a layer could work.


Also, here are some keyboards that had to deal with a similar question:

There is some variation in the approaches for the layouts used there (along with use of one or two extra layers), so maybe checking those out could help give you some ideas.

Although, right-alt designs are better for languages where the characters on the right-alt layer are infrequently typed.

Thanks for all the feedback. It helps clarify my thinking.