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Virtual Keyboard using jQuery UI ~
JavaScript HTML CSS
Latest commit 7d1d35d @Mottie version bump

Originally posted by Jeremy Satterfield in his blog, jQuery plugins and on Snipplr. Currently maintained by Mottie.

Bower Version NPM Version devDependency Status

Features (Demo)

  • An on-screen virtual keyboard embedded within the browser window which will popup when a specified entry field is focused.
  • The user can then type and preview their input before Accepting or Canceling.
  • Add custom keyboard layouts easily.
  • Add up to four standard key sets to each layout that use the shift and alt keys (default, shift, alt and alt-shift).
  • Add any number of optional modifier keys (meta keys) to add more key sets.
  • Each meta key set can also include the shift, alt and alt-shift keysets.
  • Position the keyboard in any location around the element, or target another element on the page (using jQuery UI position utility)
  • Easily modify the key text to any language or symbol.
  • Allow direct input or lock the preview window.
  • Set a maximum length to the inputted content.
  • Scroll through the other key sets using the mouse wheel while hovering over a key to bypass the need to use alt, shift or meta keys.
  • Easily type in characters with diacritics. Here are some default combination examples - it is possible to add more.

    • ' + vowel ( vowel with acute accent, e.g. ' + e = é )
    • ` + vowel ( vowel with grave accent, e.g., ` + e = è )
    • " + vowel ( vowel with diaeresis, e.g., " + e = ë )
    • ^ + vowel ( vowel with circumflex accent, e.g., ^ + e = ê )
    • ~ + certain letters ( letter with tilde, e.g. ~ + n = ñ, ~ + o = õ )
  • Enable, disable or add more diacritic functionality as desired.

  • Use callbacks and event triggers that occur when the keyboard is open or closed and when the content has changed, been accepted or canceled.
  • ARIA support (may not be fully implemented)
  • jQuery UI themes are used by default, but Bootstrap themes can also be applied.
  • Built in watermarking. It emulates HTML5's placeholder, if the browser doesn't support it.
  • Typing extension allows you to simulate typing into the keyboard for demo purposes or to assist user input.
  • Autocomplete extension will integrate this keyboard plugin with jQuery UI's autocomplete widget.
  • Multiple region specific keyboard layouts included in a separate directory. This is a work in progress and slowly growing.


  • Install using bower via bower install keyboard.
  • Install using npm via npm install virtual-keyboard.
  • Use with AngularJs via bower install ng-virtual-keyboard.


Wiki: Home | FAQ | Setup | Usage | Options ( Layout, Language, Useability, Actions ) | Methods | Theme | Log

To Do

  • Waiting for requests :)
  • Add more regional keyboard layouts.
  • Add an input mask extension. I think I'll try to make it compatible with this plugin.
  • Allow attaching a keyboard to a contenteditable element.

Known Problems

  • IE and Opera:
    • In a text area with multiple carriage returns, the caret positioning will be off when repositioning it with the mouse.
    • Using the right and left arrow keys to navigate through a text area with multiple carriage returns is problematic. The caret doesn't behave like in other browsers when moving from one line to the next. You can always reposition the caret using the mouse.
  • Opera: When pressing the tab key while inside a textarea, all browsers but Opera add the tab to the virtual keyboard textarea.
  • Safari: See the QWERTY Text Area demo with a locked input. While using the virtual keyboard to type, it enters the text in backwards! This is because textareas with a "readonly" attribute always returns zero for the caret postion.
  • Typing Extension:
    • When pressing "Alt", the key set will change to the alt key set, but the focus will be moved to the browser menu. Pressing it quickly a second time will return the focus. This is build into the browser and it isn't possible (as far as I know) to automatically restore the window focus the first time alt is pressed.
    • Holding down the Alt key and trying to type is also not possible since the Windows OS is assuming you are trying to type a shortcut key to access the browser menu. You can still click the keys in the alt key set with the mouse.
    • Simulated typing on the keyboard breaks when the CapLock is on. Still looking for a cross-browser solution.


  • Required
    • jQuery 1.4.3+
    • jQuery caret (included with source)
  • Optional
    • jQuery UI Positioning Utility (optional, if you position the keyboard yourself)
    • jQuery UI CSS (can be customized) / Bootstrap CSS
    • jQuery mousewheel plugin - allows using mousewheel to scroll through other key sets
    • jQuery UI Autocomplete widget - use with jQuery keyboard autocomplete extension


  • Install node.js - this includes npm (node package manager).
  • Run npm install in the root directory.
  • Run npm install -g grunt-cli to install the grunt command-line interface.
  • Make any changes to the code.
  • Unit tests will be added later.
  • Run grunt to perform a new build in the /dist folder.
  • Submit a pull request from a branch other than the main.


  • Keyboard code: MIT License for all versions.
  • Caret code by C. F., Wong (Cloudgen): MIT License
  • Layouts files: Most are under WTFPL, unless the file itself specifies otherwise.

Change Log

Only the latest changes will be shown below, see the wiki log to view older versions.

Version 1.25.8 (11/21/2015)

  • Add endrow break after spaces. Fixes issue #402.
  • Remove extraneous preview data-attributes. Fixes issue #351.
  • Grunt:
    • Update dependencies.
    • Add rudimentary unit testing.
  • Destroy: remove isCurrent class.

Version 1.25.7 (11/15/2015)

  • Readme: Add link to ng-virtual-keyboard for Angular JS.
  • alwaysOpen changes:
    • Do not redefine stored preview object when alwaysOpen.
    • alwaysOpen keyboards are now activated without using focus. Fixes issue #395.
  • Restricted input compare to string. Fixes issue #399.
  • Add restrictInclude option & update hex demo.
  • Do not include space with enter unless using old IE.
  • Mousewheel tweak, possible fix for issue #379.
  • Clear clone variable on keyboard close. Fixes issue #397 & pull #398.
  • openOn option now allows multiple events.

Version 1.25.6 (9/24/2015)

  • Caret: Fix caret when currently focused keyboard is refocused with no preview window. See pull #394, thanks @isfs!
  • Grunt: update dependencies, again.
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