Chapter 4 Working With On-Screen Keyboards

On-screen keyboards are typically used in situations where no keyboards exist or access to a keyboard is not possible, for example, wearable computers or palm devices. You can also use on-screen keyboards with a mouse or no-hand tools.

4.1 Using the GNOME On-Screen Keyboard

The GNOME On Screen Keyboard (GOK) is the default on-screen keyboard in Oracle Linux. GOK enables you to select windows and input text without using a physical keyboard.

To start the GNOME on-screen keyboard from the GNOME Classic desktop:

  1. From the Applications menu, select System Tools, and then select Settings.

  2. In the All Settings window, click the Universal Access icon to open the Universal Access settings panel.

  3. In the Typing section, toggle the Screen Keyboard setting to ON.

To start the GNOME on-screen keyboard from GNOME desktop:

  1. In the top bar, click Activities to open the Activities overview.

  2. In the Type to search... field, start typing "universal access", then click the Universal Access icon to open the Universal Access settings panel.

  3. In the Typing section, toggle the Screen Keyboard setting to ON.

For more information, go to https://help.gnome.org/users/gnome-help/stable/keyboard-osk.html.en.

4.2 Using the Florence Virtual On-Screen Keyboard

In addition to GOK, you can install the Florence virtual keyboard. The florence package (version 0.6.2) is available in the EPEL 7 package repository, which can be found on the Oracle Linux 7 package repository list web page, under the "Packages for Test and Development" section.

Install the florence package by using the command line as follows:

# yum install florence

To start Florence from the GNOME Classic desktop:

  1. From the Applications menu, select System Tools, and then select Settings.

  2. In the All Settings window, click the Universal Access icon to open the Universal Access settings panel.

  3. Click the Florence icon.

To start Florence from the GNOME desktop:

  1. In the top bar, click Activities to open the Activities overview.

  2. In the Type to search... field, start typing "florence", then click the Florence icon.

Configuring Preferences for the Florence Virtual Keyboard
  • Toggle whether the Florence icon is displayed or hidden by clicking the icon in the desktop.

  • Set the autohide option by right-clicking the Florence icon located in the GNOME panel, then selecting Preferences from the drop-down list. Setting this option hides the tool from view until you select an area to edit.

  • Configure Florence to be transparent by using the same Preferences dialog box.

For more information, right-click the Florence icon located in the GNOME desktop panel, then choose Help from the drop-down list.

See also the Florence project page at http://florence.sourceforge.net.