In my last blog I talked about some of the more visible new features in version 8 of Keyman Desktop.  In this blog I'd like to quickly go through some of the important features that are just little bit less visible.

Full x64 support

Keyman Desktop 8 now includes full x64 support so that you can type into 64-bit applications such as new versions of Adobe products and Microsoft Office 2010 x64 Edition. The x64 support is transparently managed and requires no changes to your configuration in order to be accessible.

A new 64-bit host program is included in the Keyman Desktop install package and will be automatically installed if you install on an x64 edition of Windows Vista or Windows 7.  This program is called keymanx64.exe, and the back-end engine library is keyman64.dll.

Keyboard options

Keyman keyboard developers can now add options into their keyboard layouts.  The options can be configured from the Keyman Desktop Configuration interface. 

Some applications of keyboard options are:

  • Selection of alternate keyboard mappings, such as entering vowel modifiers before or after the vowel characters.

  • User control of whether to use CTRL or ALT etc. as a modifier key.

  • In languages where text is usually entered without word breaks, a user may choose whether or not to insert visible or invisible breaks at syllable boundaries.

Many of the most popular Keyman Desktop keyboard layouts currently have a number of variants available, which can be confusing.  With keyboard options, these can be reduced to a single keyboard with an intuitive Options dialog box.

More information about Keyboard Options is available in the Keyboard Options documentation.

Unicode 6.0

Keyman Desktop 8.0 includes full support for Unicode 6.0 in its Character Map and related tools.

Mnemonic layout support for On Screen Keyboard

Mnemonic layouts will now work even better on European keyboards.  Keyman Desktop will detect the layout of your hardware keyboard and show the On Screen Keyboard in the same layout.

Integration with Tavultesoft Activation Client

For large deployments of Keyman Desktop, these can be centrally managed with the Tavultesoft Activation Server.  Version 8.0 of Keyman Desktop can be configured to interrogate the Activation Server automatically to activate itself.

Improved Compatibility

The Keyman Engine keystroke processor built into Keyman Desktop has been made even more compatible with major applications such as OpenOffice, Microsoft Office and popular web browsers.

Improved Tools

  • The Font Helper is more accurate and provides extra detail for Pro users to help select the most appropriate fonts for your language.
  • The Character Map tool includes better support for Planes 1-15 of The Unicode Standard, and improved filtering and searching for specific characters by name, as well as of course supporting Unicode 6.0.
  • The Text Editor is available with a quick click from the Keyman menu to make it easy to type some text that can be pasted into applications that are not yet fully Unicode compatible.  The Text Editor shows helpful font hints for the selected Keyman Desktop keyboard.    

Keyman Developer

The most important new feature in Keyman Developer is that KeymanWeb keyboards can now be created without purchasing a separate KeymanWeb Pack.  This means that you can create a new keyboard layout for both Windows and the Web, with a single tool and single source file.

Keyman Developer includes a number of other minor improvements, such as better registry setting support for packages and installers, and polish of the Character Map.

Follow our progress

I'll be continuing to report on the status of Keyman Desktop 8 development using the #keyman8 tag on my account @mcdurdin.  Use the tag #keyman8 when you tweet about Keyman 8 and our development team will see your comments instantly — well, assuming we are not asleep.

Tell us about your experience

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4 thoughts on “More new features in Keyman Desktop 8”

Dan Gauthier · December 14, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Both Desktop and Developer will be released at the same time? How many betas approximately do you expect to have? One or two more? And, as things go as planned, do you expect this to be finished in January?

Marc Durdin (Tavultesoft) · December 15, 2010 at 7:55 am

Dan, thanks for the questions. We currently plan to release both Keyman Desktop and Keyman Developer at the same time. At this stage we do not plan to have any more major beta releases but may do incremental releases as we come closer to the final release, especially if there are serious bugs in earlier betas. However, I hesitate to publish any release dates, tentative or otherwise, as they have a way of coming back to bite us!

Jayden Brown · December 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I would love if we can create a new keyboard layout for both Windows and the Web, with a single tool and single source file.That’s quite good. I am not sure but if the release tentative dates are over?


Marc Durdin (Tavultesoft) · December 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

Jayden, thank you šŸ™‚ Keyman Developer 8 can be downloaded right now in beta form and can already be used to create keyboards. We are not yet ready to publish full release dates!

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