Barcodescanner Keyboard User Manual V2

The soft-keyboard with an integrated barcode scanner provides a fast and convenient way of scanning bar-codes with any application. Scanned bar-code data appears as entered manually by the user, manual typing or voice input are of course still supported.

Introduction

Android Barcode-Scanner Keyboard

The Barcode-Scanner Keyboard provides an additional input method for your Android device. It offers a convenient keyboard for manual typing (or voice-input) which is extended by an additional key for fast barcode scanning. App-switching or copy & paste is not required. For the target app there is no difference between user input or scanned barcodes - in both cases, the data appears as typed by the user.

The Barcode-Scanner Keyboard offers support for all common input languages. The suitable keyboard layout is manually configured or activated automatically depending on the system language of your handset.

The Barcode-Scanner Keyboard is extremely easy to use and enables you to scan bar-codes without leaving the target app.


Features:

  • State-of-the-Art keyboard layout
  • Voice recognition, suggestions, dictionaries, fast keyboard switching
  • Multi-language support
  • Guided installation
  • Configurable scanner keys
  • Quicktext (custom text modules) support
  • Integrated camera scanner (portrait, landscape, automatic)
  • Versatile licensing capabilities
    Google Play licensing, online activation without a Google account, bulk licensing with license files based on device id (serial number or IMEI)
  • Simple bulk configuration by files
  • Rule-based scanner behavior, adjustable initial keyboard layout
  • Automated barcode scanning in certain input fields
  • Uses version 3.2 of the ZXing barcode scanner engine
  • External barcode scanner support

Barcode-Scanner Keyboard Installation

Barcodescanner Keyboard Installation

The guided setup routine (e.g. Barcodescanner Keyboard from Google Play) installs, enables and activates the Barcodescanner Keyboard automatically. No additional steps are required by the user.

Please perform the following steps to re-enable the Barcodescanner Keyboard if it was deactivated:

  • Navigate to Android Settings > Language & Input
  • Tap on Current Keyboard and select Barcode Keyboard

For older Android versions you may need to navigate to Android Settings > Language/Keyboard, check Barcode Keyboard and confirm the security warning. After enabling the keyboard it needs to be adjusted as active input method: touch an input field for some seconds until a menu appears. Select Input method and choose Barcode Keyboard.





The Keyboard

The Barcode-Scanner Keyboard is organized as follows:

This is how Barcode-Scanner Keyboard looks
  • Quicktext
    Action Key - A-Button
    Long-tap the "A" icon to edit quicktexts. A short tap inserts the defined quicktext in the active input field.

  • Scanner Key
    ActionKey - Camera Scanner
    A short tap on the barcode icon opens the camera bar-code scanner. The barcode data is inserted into the current input field after scanning.

  • Settings
    ActionKey - Settings
    Tap on the settings key or press the ?123 key to change keyboard settings.

  • Voice Input
    ActionKey - Microphone
    Tap on the microphone icon to activate the voice input.

Barcode-Scanner Keyboard Settings

Barcode-Scanner Keyboard - Common Settings

To modify the Barcode-Scanner Keyboard options, press either the ?123 or the settings key. Alternatively, go to Android Settings -> Language & keyboard -> Barcode Keyboard. The keyboard preferences are divided into preferences which are relevant for the barcode keyboard functions (Common Barcode Keyboard Preferences) and preferences which are relevant for generic keyboard functionality (Common Keyboard Preferences). The following options are available if you tap on Barcode Keyboard Preferences:

  • Common

    This section is used to specify general barcode keyboard options like if and where scan-/settings-key should be displayed and how to modify quicktexts.

    Scan-key in suggestion bar

    Adjust whether the scan-key is displayed in the suggestion bar or not.

    Settings-key in suggestion bar

    Adjust whether the settings-key (cog wheel) is displayed in the suggestion bar or not.

    Suggestion bar for numeric keypad

    Suggestion bar is displayed if the numeric keypad is active.

    Scan-key left of space bar

    If selected (this is the default), the scan-key is displayed on the left of the space bar.

    Custom scan-keys

    Define individual keys used for barcode scanning. You have the possibility to extend the key-popup with barcode scanner functionality or to replace the key with the scanner functionality (the original key is still available in the popup with a long-tap). Configured scanner keys are marked with a thin red frame.

    Quicktext-key in suggestion bar

    Define whether the quicktext-key is displayed in the suggestion bar or not.

    Quicktexts

    Add, edit or delete own quicktexts.


  • Camera Scanner
    Barcode-Scanner Keyboard - Camera Settings Camera Scanner

    Choose between the internal camera scanner (based on barcode scanner engine from ZXing) or select any other installed camera scanner app which supports the use by 3rd party applications. For the built-in scanner it is possible to configure the preferred orientation used for barcode scanning (landscape, portrait or auto-mode). Tip: certain OEM versions of the Barcode Scanner Keyboard also show the entry HSM SwiftDecoder which is a high-performance, professional scanner engine.

    Batch Scanning

    If this option is selected, the barcode scanner works in batch mode and scans barcodes continuously until interrupted by the back key.

    Pause Between Scans

    This option is only available if the batch-mode is enabled. The specification of the waiting time between single scan operations in milliseconds (1000 milliseconds = 1 second).

    Flashlight

    If checked, the flashlight is enabled while scanning bar-codes (this option may not work on all devices).

    Autofocus Mode

    Choose between Normal or Compatibility mode (useful if you are experiencing difficulties).

    Permanent Autofocus

    Enable or disable the permanent autofocus: If disabled, the focus is adjusted only once when a scan is initiated.

    Autofocus Delay

    This option is only available if "Permanent Autofocus" has been enabled. The delay between individual autofocus attempts is adjusted in milliseconds (1000 milliseconds = 1 second).

    1D / Linear Bar Codes

    Enable or disable the recognition of certain 1D or linear barcodes.

    2D Bar Codes

    Enable or disable the recognition of certain 2D barcodes.

    Barcode Character Set

    Use this option to ensure the correct decoding of bar-codes which are encoded using a special character set. The following character sets are available: automatic mode, ASCII, Latin Alphabet, UTF-8, UTF-16, Korean (949), Russian (20866), Japanese (Shift-JIS), Traditional Chinese (950), Traditional Chinese (Big5).


  • Camera Scanner (only available in OEM Version)

    These options are available only if the scan-engine HSM SwiftDecoder is selected.

    Feedback on Success

    If enabled, a sound is played after a barcode was scanned successfully.

    Show Aimer

    If enabled, a crosshair symbol is displayed while scanning.

    Scan Region

    Selects the region used for scanning barcodes.

    Enable Front-Facing Camera

    Selects the camera to be used for scanning. Tip: for better results use the camera with the higher resolution.

    Support for AccessToGo

    Enables better scan-support for the RDP app AccessToGo.

    Silent Scan

    If checked, no sound is emitted when scanning.


  • Barcode-Scanner Keyboard - Common Settings
  • Keyboard Behavior
    Keyboard Behavior

    Define behavior (prefix, suffix,...) for target-apps. By the means of Simulation Rules the user is able to configure the keystroke simulation mode and cursor movements per target application.

    Enable Automatic Scans

    If disabled, the Autoscan feature is turned off for all Simulation Rules (see below for further instructions). This setting is only available for the internal camera-scanner.


  • Import/Export

    This section provides functions to import or export the configuration of the app from/to XML files. Whenever a configuration file is found in the Download folder, Barcode Keyboard reads it, applies the settings and renames it thereafter.

    Import

    Import a configuration file (from Google Drive, a local storage location, etc.).

    Export

    Export the configuration to an XML-file ("BarcodeKeyboard.xml").

    Password Protection

    Set a password to avoid unintended configuration changes. Clear the password to remove the protection.


  • About

    This section provides commands for displaying the user manual, the software version and the copyright information. In addition you can display your license information or enter a manual license.

    User Manual

    This command shows this web-page in your browser. Please contact us in case of questions, suggestions or if you want to report a bug.

    YouTube Videos

    This command opens TEC-IT’s YouTube channels with relevant data acquisition videos.

    License

    This command opens a dialog which displays the current state of your license. You may purchase a full license directly via Google Play. For users without access to the Android Market or if you are interested in a bulk-license with special pricing, the Barcode-Scanner Keyboard can be licensed by entering an activation key. Activation keys are available from TEC-IT upon purchase, licensing with activation keys requires one-time internet access.

    About

    Displays the current software version, a copyright notice and 3rd party credits.

Scanner-Keyboard Simulation Rules

Simulation Rules

By the means of so-called simulation rules the user is able to configure prefixes, suffixes (like an appended ENTER) and various other settings which are used to scan a barcode into a specific target application. When transforming a barcode into keystrokes, Barcode Keyboard searches the appropriate rule for the current target app. If no such rule is found, it applies the default rule.

  • List of Simulation Rules

    To maintain simulation rules, go to Android Settings -> Language & keyboard -> Barcode Keyboard -> Keyboard Behavior. You see a list of predefined rules. Except for the default rule at the bottom each rule is valid for a specific app only. By tapping on a rule you have the following options:

    • Disable rule
      This option disables the selected rule.
    • Enable rule
      This option enables a previously disabled rule.
    • Edit
      Modify the rule settings (see below).
    • Remove
      The initial default rule can't be deleted.

    A new rule can be added with the button Add Simulation Rule. While it is possible to add multiple rules, only one rule can be enabled for a single app or for the default section.

  • Edit a Simulation Rule
    Rule name

    The user-defined name of the rule.

    Applies to

    Specifies the app for which this rule should be applied. If you select All Apps this rule will be a default rule (a default rule is applied only if no other app-specific rule exists).

    Simulation rule Add a Simulationrule

    Each simulation rule allows the user to add cursor control commands before and after the barcode data. The following placeholders are supported:

    • ${INPUT} or ${I}
      This is the placeholder for the barcode data
    • ${ENTER} or ${E}
      Placeholder for the enter key
    • ${TAB} or ${T}
      Placeholder for the tab key
    • ${DOWN} or ${D}
      Placeholder for the cursor down key
    • ${UP} or ${U}
      Placeholder for the cursor up key
    • ${LEFT} or ${L}
      Placeholder for the cursor left key
    • ${RIGHT} or ${R}
      Placeholder for the cursor right key
    • ${F1} ... ${F12}
      Placeholder for the function keys F1 to F12
    • ${NOW} or ${N}
      Placeholder for the current date and time
    • ${WAIT###} or ${W###}
      Placeholder for a delay in milliseconds
    • ${KEY###}
      Placeholder for a generic keycode - see Android Keycode List for a complete list of keycodes
    • For a complete list of placeholders press the ... button.

    Any placeholder (except for the function keys) can also be used with a multiplier: ${R3} is equivalent to ${R}${R}${R}. Example: To instruct Barcode-Scanner Keyboard to insert the barcode data followed by the enter key use this rule: ${I}${E}.

    Simulation mode

    Two methods for simulating user input are available:

    • All keys at once
      Scanned barcode data is inserted as a single string into the target app. This simulation mode does not support the simulation of special keys like backspace (${BACKSPACE}) or cursor movements (like ${DOWN}).
    • One key at a time
      Scanned barcode data is forwarded keystroke by keystroke (byte by byte) to the target app. This method is recommended if the target app is a browser or an RDP (remote desktop) application.

    If you have problems forwarding keystrokes to a specific target application you may have to add an application specific rule for the app in question. Most likely browser or remote desktop (RDP) applications require the setting One key at a time for correct bar code forwarding.

    Unknown Keys

    If One key at a time is active and this option is selected, any character which can't be mapped to keycodes is forwarded as hexadecimal character codes. This options is useful for debugging.

    Initial Keyboard Layout

    Specifies the initial keyboard layout for this rule. Choose from Letters, Numbers and Symbols in Shifted or Unshifted state.

    Enable Autoscan

    Enable or disable the autoscan-feature for this rule. If enabled the keyboard checks if the content (or hint) of an input field matches a trigger pattern (see below). Whenever the cursor is placed into an input field and a match is detected the scanner is invoked automatically.

    Look for trigger pattern

    The keyboard tests for matches of the trigger pattern with the Input hint (an input hint in a field provides the user with information on what he needs to fill in, the input hint is usually displayed in gray color), the Field content or both (Input hint or field content).

    Trigger pattern

    In order to start the scanner automatically when the cursor is placed into an input field, the input hint or the field content must match this trigger pattern. Enter a fixed text or a regular expression.

Barcodescanner Keyboard Privacy

TEC-IT respects your privacy. Your data is safe.

The Barcode-Scanner Keyboard does not log, store or forward typed text, passwords or other personal data. Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding phishing, key logging or spying.

Important background information: In order to use an alternative input method on Android devices, the user must manually activate this method. By default, Android displays a security hint whenever an alternative input method is activated. This security hint can safely be ignored for all input methods developed by TEC-IT.

Sample security hint: "This input method may be able to collect all the text you type, including personal data like passwords and credit card numbers. It comes from the application Barcode Keyboard (or a similar name). Use this input method?"