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Thread: Color Keyboard Guide

  1. #141
    Ha Ha now you look like a true Master Yoda. I like it

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    Phatmartino (2011-09-08)

  3. #142
    This is very informative and I appreciate all the tips given here. I have started to implement a theme, but ran into a slight problem. Essentially, I am using the background method using keyboards and keys styled as I want. I want to let the system take care of the letters and symbols on those keys. This works quite well and I'm happy with the keyboard appearance. The problem I see is that I cannot seem to be able to control the appearance of the popup sheets for special characters (like U, O, A, etc.). These popup dynamic text with alternate characters (like , , , etc.), but it seems that those symbols inherit the appearance of my main keys (in my case I use white symbols with black etch). In addition, since my keys are transparent, the alternate symbols look awful on the popup sheet:



    Any ideas on how this can be fixed?

    A second question relates to the shift-key symbol. When pressed, I get a halo around the filled arrow. Is there a way to style that halo? Or get rid of it?
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  5. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
    . The problem I see is that I cannot seem to be able to control the appearance of the popup sheets for special characters (like U, O, A, etc.). These popup dynamic text with alternate characters (like , , , etc.), but it seems that those symbols inherit the appearance of my main keys (in my case I use white symbols with black etch). In addition, since my keys are transparent, the alternate symbols look awful on the popup sheet.

    Any ideas on how this can be fixed?

    A second question relates to the shift-key symbol. When pressed, I get a halo around the filled arrow. Is there a way to style that halo? Or get rid of it?
    Hey thanks, and nice keys!

    To start easy, the halo mentioned is actually an image that can be included in the Popups folder called kb-shift-halo.png. If it's not present in the Popups folder, the native one that you're seeing will be used.

    If you take a look at post #126, there are a few attached zips, one of which is kb-shift-halo.zip. It's a psd with the spacing worked out (though it is specifically setup to work with the BG image psds also included in that post, it should still help show how to use the image).

    You can also choose not to use a shift halo by including one that is just a transparent image.

    Using the Hex text for symbols as you are, you can set the 3 ControlStates of the "Arrow" symbol on the Shift key separately wether you use a shift-halo or not. I can go further into this if desired...

    There's so much more info I need to add to the guide, I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how to reorganize and add it all at the same time...

    Those zips mentioned and most zips I've posted include text files that contain a lot of the info I need to add, so for the moment it can't hurt to dl any of them and take a quick look.

    I'm only guessing based on the "0" rectangular radius on the mentioned Alt Popup unpressed keys from your screen, but are you using the BG method plist from this guide?

    Though control of all native elements on those Alt Pops is limited when using a BG image method, there are some parts that have been figured out further since I posted those (with the help of many who have posted here).

    In any case other than having used my template plist and not having made any changes, can you post a copy of your current plist so I can look at some specifics?

    Always eager to help!

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  7. #144
    Thanks for the quick reply and helpful suggestions. As to your question, yes, I have used the original plist included in the first post for background model. If I use it as is, the keys will not be labeled, since you specify SymbolColors as UIKBColorClear. But if I change the the symbol color to UIKBColorWhite and the etch to blac, your plist suffers from the same problem (although the symbols on the keys show up just fine).
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  9. #145

  10. #146
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    Hey, looked into some more recent plists and remembered I had made a requested theme that uses this method with white symbols. That is the biggest sticking point (using white text) as far as the Alt Pops, and I had worked it out as best I could...

    Here's a screen of how I left it. Total stinker, but at least the "selected" is easily visible and the "unselected" are visible enough to get you to them...

    I know these Alt Pops are more important to some than others, so I have done quite a bit of testing, but much more could surely be done...

    Let me know if this is good enough that you want me to post a copy now, before doing a lot more playing around with it.


    -img_1237.png

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  12. #147
    Thanks, that's pretty much where I'm at now too. But I did find the Leg1on theme and that appears to have solved the popups, but I need to investigate further, since that theme does not use white text. But please post that plist so I can see how you managed the black key on top of the popup.
    Come visit AlohaSoft

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  14. #148
    the force is strong in that one! good to see someone else giving you another challenge Phat

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  16. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by iZangetsu View Post
    the force is strong in that one! good to see someone else giving you another challenge Phat
    Agreed! By the way, I'm also digging your signature gif. Ichigo! Awesome.


    @armadillo - Apologies, there was site maintenance going on last night by the time I tried to reply...

    Here's that entire theme. Not sure what you did with the BG images as far as which ones you made and what you called them, but this theme is an example of the images necessary for this method and how I chose to name them along the same lines as the template you have.

    It will also show the shift halo set to be transparent, and the shift key arrow set to show the different states. The "Caps Lock" state is shown only by a change in the shape of the arrow because it's set for all symbol parts to be white, but this can be played around with if a more drastic change is desired.

    The "pressed key" on the Alt Pop is specifically controlled by these strings under <k>CustomColor</k>

    UIKBColorKeyBlueRow1Highlight
    UIKBColorKeyBlueRow1GradientStart
    UIKBColorKeyBlueRow1GradientEnd

    And in this plist the symbol is controlled by:

    <s>AltPopSymbol</s>


    Which is called out by:

    <s>DisplayType=String;ControlState=4</s>


    Red Hybrid 1.zip

    Let me know of any questions, I'll gladly elaborate where needed.

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  18. #150
    Finally got it to work.

    -img_0207.png

    plist can be found here: ColorKeyboard.plist
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  20. #151

  21. #152
    On to another question. I do have separate background images for 0 state (shift). Is there a way to distinguish between shift and caps-lock states? I would like to have different appearances of the standard, shifted, and caps-locked buttons, preferably by providing a full background image for these three states.
    Come visit AlohaSoft

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  23. #153
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    As far as I know, the only control you have over the Caps Lock state is to change the native key parts (Highlight, Foreground, and Symbol/SecondarySymbol) using DisplayType=Shift;ControlState=4.

    This would mean, for instance, that you could show the normal and temp shift using the BG images you have while making no change to the native shift arrow for those states, and then have the arrow fill in to denote Caps Lock.

    As well, depending on the sizing of the keys on your images compared to the native keys, you could use a hex defined key FG for the Caps Lock state only...

    Don't know if you've looked at the possibility of using that same idea to create "animation" of the pressed secondary keys (Delete, Return, Space), but The possibilities there and regarding the Alt Pops are created by the multiple ways to achieve hex control of colors and transparency, and help to make things nebulous once you start down a particular path. (One choice ends up affecting other options). Seems like you're pretty good with this stuff, so I'm sure something can be worked out that you like.

    Hey, with just a quick look, was it basically changing the normal popup symbols to be black that solved the Alt pop unpressed symbols?

    Thanks, and I'm happy to converse further about all of this!

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    It's Mi (2011-09-17)

  25. #154
    Essentially, you need to delete the CustomColor definition for UIKBColorKeyBlueRow1GradientStart/End. You have set them to 00000000. Once removed, the system will restore the default gradients. Then you had set up PoSymbol as 000000FF (white) and used it in DisplayType=DynamicString. I just set the SymbolColor to black. I think that's pretty much it.

    Your animation approach will work fine for plist-styled keys, but not for background bitmaps, since I would have to remove transparency to achive foreground gradients. My keys are not symmetrical as you may have noticed, so I cannot modify key colors easily. All I can do is change symbol color...

    But I have yet another problem. It relates to the bottom left keys. Everybody seems to be theming for multiple keyboards (hence the globe key). However, in alerts, the two buttons merge when you input a password. So the alert images need to be different (this I can deal with). The problem is when the user only has one keyboard enabled. Then the globe button will disappear in all states. Any solution to that situation?
    Last edited by armadillo; 2011-09-09 at 12:16 AM.
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  27. #155
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    Well, the easiest thing to do is what I had been doing so far with this method, making one "key" in my images the same size as the Return key. This basically makes two symbols on one key, and allows for the necessary symbol changes to happen seemlessly. This also makes your kb compatible for anyone that does not have any International kb's setup.

    I thought I even noticed an instance where only those keys change depending on what field you're focused in (probably username and password instances). I would guess that's an instant change back and forth from alert to standard.

    Looking at most "Fully BG Method" kb's (meaning text is on the images) this obviously isn't an issue because the text won't change.

    Either way has limitations...

    You could also cover Alert and Standard separately with your BG images, and make a separate theme with one key for those with no Int. kb's.

    Here's a shot of the "one key" approach:

    -imageuploadedbymodmyi1315521545.713646.jpg

    Hey, if you download that Red Hybrid 1, it shows a possibility for secondary key animations over a BG image...

    Forgot, extreme by comparison, but you could come up with "Symbols" meaning an image to represent those or even all secondary keys text (instead of using hex text or Ps text) like arrows, symbolic pics and such.
    Then make just the hex symbols for those keys transparent.

    Basically employ the "Full" BG image method for only those keys...

  28. #156
    i did that for Freeburd with the hybrid 5-Row. its much easier to deal with that problem this way IMO.
    still loving this method Master

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  30. #157
    Color Keyboard Yoda Phatmartino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iZangetsu View Post
    i did that for Freeburd with the hybrid 5-Row. its much easier to deal with that problem this way IMO.
    still loving this method Master
    Hey, nice! That looks great!

    I agree, especially where ease is concerned, though I definitely feel as though there are a lot of nuances not yet fully realized that could continue to provide more possibilities for this issue and others!

    Thanks, armadillo for the questions and help with some solutions! I admittedly end up looking too deeply for some answers that are quite simple!

    Mind what I have learned... Help me it can...

    Happy to try and help further if needed!

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  32. #158
    Okay, this is odd. I have now themed my alert backgrounds to use a single button and the standard backgrounds with divided 123/Globe buttons. Then I went to Settings-Wifi and opened a network with password. I get the keyboard and it asks for user name (dual buttons as expected). When switching input to the password field, the globe disappears and .?123 appears centered, but I still keep dual buttons. It seems that there is no switch between standard and alert backgrounds in that setting.

    To make sure it's not some stupid mistake I am making, can someone tell me where I can actually invoke the alert backgrounds? I need to be sure I can see my alert images somewhere.
    Come visit AlohaSoft

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  34. #159
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    Yeah, looked back and in post #130 I had pictured the same problem when signing into Apple ID...

    To just come across the "normal" Alert mode kb, I would usually go into Facebook app and enter "status", or do anything in the app store app while signed in, but having been away long enough to only need to enter the password. I can't even think off the top of my head where else it comes up...

    The instances with the Email/Password fields may prove to be the sticking point. I'll keep my thinking cap on!

    Just noted the same username/password issue in a couple more instances such as signing into email accounts in browser apps...

  35. #160
    Before I give up entirely on trying to skin alerts, does anyone know of a theme that actually uses different images for standard and alert keyboards? I don't care about the actual theme appaearance, I just want to know if I can actually see a theme that successfully displays an alert keyboard anywhere.
    Come visit AlohaSoft

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