Building Qt Virtual Keyboard


This document describes how to build the Qt Virtual Keyboard plugin.

The project is split into the following subprojects:

examples/virtualkeyboard/basic/basic.proQt Virtual Keyboard Demo application
src/virtualkeyboard/virtualkeyboard.proQt Virtual Keyboard plugin
src/virtualkeyboard/styles/styles.proQt Virtual Keyboard Style plugin that enables style decorations for the keyboard
src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/hunspell/hunspell.proA project file for compiling the Hunspell library.

Note: This project is used if the Hunspell library is built from sources rather than depending on the system library. The project will be activated when the source code is extracted to this directory.

src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/lipi-toolkit/lipi-toolkit.proA project file for compiling the lipi-toolkit library.
src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/openwnn/openwnn.proA project file for compiling the OpenWNN library.
src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/pinyin/pinyin.proA project file for compiling the PinyinIME library.
src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/t9write/t9write.proA project file for including T9 Write dictionaries as resources.
src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/tcime/tcime.proA project file for compiling the TCIME library.

The input methods are implemented either in C++ or QML. Qt Virtual Keyboard provides implementations of PlainInputMethod, MultitapInputMethod and HunspellInputMethod. The MultitapInputMethod is implemented in QML while the others are implemented in C++.

Build Instructions

The Qt Virtual Keyboard can be built for Linux Desktop/X11, Windows Desktop or Boot2Qt targets. The target is automatically detected by QMAKE and requires no special configuration parameters.

Qt Creator is the preferred build environment for Qt Virtual Keyboard as you can then leverage the shadow build functionality and rapidly switch between build targets.

Configuration Options

The table below contains the top-level options for configuring the virtual keyboard features.

lang-<code>Enables the specified languageThe specified language can be activated using lang-<code> option, which has the format "language[_country]", where:
  • language is a lowercase, two-letter, ISO 639 language code
  • country is an uppercase, two-letter, ISO 3166 country code

This option can be used to define the language support as required. The virtual keyboard can support one or more languages at a time.

For example, CONFIG+=lang-fi activates the Finnish language.

The virtual keyboard automatically includes the English language if no other languages are specified.

lang-allEnables all the languagesEnables all the languages supported by the virtual keyboard. This flag is essentially an alias for CONFIG+="lang-ar_AR lang-da_DK lang-de_DE lang-en_GB lang-es_ES lang-fa_FA lang-fi_FI lang-fr_FR lang-hi_IN lang-it_IT lang-ja_JP lang-ko_KR lang-nb_NO lang-pl_PL lang-pt_PT lang-ru_RU lang-sv_SE lang-zh_CN lang-zh_TW"
handwritingEnables handwriting inputThis flag enables handwriting input using the first engine available at build time in the following order: t9write, lipi-toolkit. To enable handwriting input using a specific engine, use the feature-specific configuration instead. For example, CONFIG+=lipi-toolkit.
arrow-key-navigationEnables arrow key navigation for the keyboardAllows controlling the keyboard using the arrow and return keys.

Advanced Configuration Options

The table below shows the advanced configuration options that will be applied automatically when activating a certain top-level feature. The options can also be used for enabling or disabling a specific feature.

In most cases, these options are not needed, but there are also cases where their use is justified. For example, the Traditional Chinese language (CONFIG=lang-zh_TW) will include both Zhuyin and Cangjie input methods by default. This behavior can be changed by adding the preferred input method to the configuration, e.g., CONFIG+="lang-zh_TW zhuyin".

Advanced CONFIGTop-level CONFIGDescriptionRemarks
disable-desktopn/aDisables Desktop integrationBy default, the desktop integration is enabled when the target environment is X11 or Windows desktop. With this option, the desktop integration can be disabled.

Note: For embedded integration, where the InputPanel is instantitated by the application, there is no need to use this option explicitly. The virtual keyboard will not create the desktop input panel if the application creates InputPanel before the focus is set to an input field.

disable-layoutsn/aDisables built-in layoutsBy default, the virtual keyboard plugin contains the English keyboard layout. By specifiying the disable-layouts configuration flag, the built-in layout(s) are excluded from the virtual keyboard plugin.

Note: In this scenario, the QT_VIRTUALKEYBOARD_LAYOUT_PATH environment variable should be set to the file system directory containing the custom keyboard layouts before running the application.

disable-xcbn/aDisables X11 integration

Note: Deprecated since 1.3. Use disable-desktop instead.

disable-hunspelln/aDisables Hunspell integrationHunspell integration is enabled if the Hunspell library is available on the system, or if it is built using the local project file. Integration can be disabled using this option.
staticEnables static builds of the virtual keyboardThis option enables static builds.
retro-stylen/aEnables Retro styleChanges the default keyboard style to the Retro style. Both styles are still included in the package, but this option allows you to change the built-in default style.
pinyinlang-zh_CNEnables the Pinyin input method for Simplified Chinese.This option activates the Pinyin input method for the Simplified Chinese language.
tcimelang-zh_TWEnables the both Cangjie and Zhuyin input methods for Traditional Chinese.This option activates the both Cangjie and Zhuyin input methods for the Traditional Chinese language.
cangjielang-zh_TWEnables the Cangjie input method for Traditional Chinese.This option activates the Cangjie input method for the Traditional Chinese language.
zhuyinlang-zh_TWEnables the Zhuyin input method for Traditional Chinese.This option activates the Zhuyin input method for the Traditional Chinese language.
hangullang-ko_KREnables the Hangul input method for Korean.This option activates the Hangul input method for the Korean language.
openwnnlang-ja_JPEnables the OpenWnn input method for Japanese.This option activates the OpenWnn input method for the Japanese language.
lipi-toolkithandwritingEnables the handwriting input method using Lipi Toolkit.Handwriting recognition is based on the open source Lipi Toolkit.
t9writehandwritingEnables the handwriting input method using T9 Write.Handwriting recognition is based on the commercial T9 Write product from Nuance Communications.

Building Documentation

make docsGenerates documentation

Hunspell Integration

By default, HunspellInputMethod will not be available unless the Hunspell library and development headers are found. For Linux/X11 targets, the Hunspell library can be provided by installing the libhunspell-dev package. Alternatively, the Hunspell sources can be extracted into the src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/hunspell directory. If Hunspell sources are used, then the dictionary files must also be copied into the src/virtualkeyboard/3rdparty/hunspell/data directory. Furthermore, if Hunspell sources are used, will be used for all targets.

An example of how the directory structure should look after copying in the Hunspell sources and dictionary files is listed below:

└── hunspell
    ├── data
    │   ├── en_GB.aff
    │   └── en_GB.dic
    └── src
        └── hunspell
            ├── affentry.cxx
            ├── affentry.hxx

Static builds

The virtual keyboard can be built and linked statically against the application. This implies that Qt is also built statically (using the -static option in the configure command line).

Static builds of the virtual keyboard are enabled by adding CONFIG+=static to the qmake command line and then rebuilding.

Some third party modules used by the virtual keyboard are always built as shared libraries. These modules are Hunspell and Lipi Toolkit.

Using the static plugin

The following section should be added to the application project file that uses the statically built virtual keyboard.

static {
    QTPLUGIN += qtvirtualkeyboardplugin
    QT += svg

QTPLUGIN causes qmake to pull linker dependencies for the virtual keyboard plugin. The SVG module is required as an extra dependency for Qt, since the SVG format is required by the default styles.

From here on, using a statically built virtual keyboard is no different from the normal case.


Desktop Targets

Add a Deploy Step that executes the make install command, then deploy using the Deploy All command.

Boot2Qt Targets

The installation is done by copying the necessary files to the memory card, or by using the adb push command.

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