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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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You are here: Input > Resources
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/Kbd_Registry

Keyboard-related registry keys in Microsoft Windows

Marc Durdin, 2001-08-19

Introduction

Document version 0.01: covers Windows 95, 98, 98/2, Me, NT4, 2K, XP.

This document lists a number of registry keys and file types and locations that are used for keyboard management in Windows, and also some Keyman-specific settings.

Each key will have one or more of the following tags to indicate what it refers to:

TagWindows version
[95] Windows 95, 98 and Me
[98] Windows 98 and Me
[Me] Windows Me
[NT] Windows NT 4, 2000 and XP
[2K] Windows 2000 and XP
[XP] Windows XP

Some precursory topics; see MSDN for details about these topics:

TopicDetails
keyboard file .kbd file in [95]; .dll file in [NT]
IME file .ime file
Keyman file .kmx file
   
Locale ID: is Language ID + Sort Order (MAKELCID)
Language ID: is Sub Language ID and Primary Language ID: (MAKELANGID) LangID = (WORD)((PriLangID & 0x3FF) + (SubLangID * 0x400)) e.g. US English = 0x0409; PriLangID = 0x9, SubLangID = 0x1.
HKL A handle to a keyboard layout, DWORD.
HIWORD(HKL): 0xExxx: indicates IME, search [keyboard layouts] to find.
  0xFxxx: alternate layout, layoutID = HIWORD(HKL) and 0x0FFF; search for layout ID in [keyboard layouts].
 

ERROR: unexpected else: directive

LOWORD(HKL): indicates language ID for installed keyboard.

[keyboard layouts] [95] [NT]

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layouts

Each subkey is a keyboard layout. Subkey can have following formats:

  • 0x000xxxxx: normal keyboard layout; xxxxx indicates Language ID.
  • 0x0xxyyyyy: substitute keyboard layout; yyyyy indicates Language ID; xx indicates layout # — not the same as layout id.
  • 0xExxyyyyy: IME; xx indicates IME #, yyyyy indicates language ID.
  • 0xDxxyyyyy: [NT] alternate keyboard layout; where multiple keyboard layouts are installed for a single language — xx is a incrementing number, yyyyy is the language ID.

Subkey values:

SubkeyValue
layout text: Textual name of the layout — displayed in Control Panel, etc.
layout id: Layout ID used in HKL (see HKL description); you need to search for this when doing reverse lookups on an HKL for a keyboard layout. Do not search on the “layout #” as defined in the subkey name.
layout file: file name of the keyboard (.kbd file in [95], .dll file in [NT]).
ime file: file name of the IME for IME layouts
keyman install: set to 1 when the keyboard layout was created by Keyman.

[keyboard layout] [NT][95?]

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout

Translations between DOS keyb codes and Windows keyboard layouts

[preload] [NT][95]

HKEY_CURRENT_USERkeyboard layoutPreload

[95] subkeys; [NT] values (‘1’..n — one for each keyboard installed).

Each subkey or value has a keyboard layout associated. See also [Substitutes]

[substitutes] [NT][95]

HKEY_CURRENT_USERkeyboard layoutsubstitutes

[95] subkeys or [NT] values for each substituted layout — where the layout is not the default layout associated with a language; for instance, if you use Dvorak keyboard with US English, there will be an entry in [preload] titled 00000409, which has a substitute 00000409=00010409. [NT only:] For multiple substitutes, e.g. you also have US International installed for US English language ID, you’ll have an entry in [preload] titled dxx00409, where xx is an incrementing number, and an entry in [substitutes] dxx00409=0050409.

Important Keyman Registry keys

The important Keyman registry keys are:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareTavultesoftKeyman5.0 — Keyman machine-wide settings
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareTavultesoftKeyman5.0 — Keyman curuser settings
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareTavultesoftKeyman5.0Installed Keyboards — Keyboards installed for all users
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareTavultesoftKeyman5.0Installed Keyboards — Keyboards installed for current user
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layouts — Keyman will install shadow keyboard layouts for Keyman keyboards in this location; you can identify these because they have the value keyman install set to 1.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun — Keyman.exe: starts Keyman on Windows startup
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstallTavultesoft Keyman — Keyman uninstall key. Also creates uninstall keys under parent key for all Keyman keyboards installed under [95] or keyboards installed for all users in [NT].

Keyboard installation locations

Keyman keyboards are installed in:

  • [2K] all users: Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataTavultesoftKeymanKeyboards...
  • [2K] cur user: Documents and SettingscuruserLocal SettingsApplication DataTavultesoftKeymanKeyboards...
  • [95] Program FilesTavultesoftKeymanKeyboards...

ERROR: missing end-if: directive


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