Alternative layouts

Keyferret supports alternative layouts to the base layout. When one of these layouts is selected, the keymappings are changed to enable other scripts to be entered.

Selecting a layout

Each layout is associated with a letter. To select a layout, hold down the CapsLock and press that letter before releasing CapsLock. Yes, that feels a bit weird when you do it for the first time, but you'll soon get used to it. To return to normal, press CapsLock again on its own.

CapsLock normally puts your keyboard into a special mode (one that types capital letters) and you can think of this simply as putting it into a different mode. The CapsLock light will turn on (assuming you have one) indicating that you're not in your normal typing mode.

While in a layout, you obviously can't use CapsLock to select capital letters, as that would exit the layout. That wouldn't necessarily work very well anyway depending on the layout, as the definition of what a capital letter is might not match up. If you need capital letters in layouts, you need to use the shift key.

Layout i: IPA characters

Keyferret has full support for IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet). You can enter all IPA characters from the base layout, but they are mixed in with characters for other purposes. Layout i gives you just the current IPA characters, to make them easier to enter.

While in the IPA layout:

  • Most lower-case letters work as normal (although “g” maps to “ɡ”, which is a special Unicode character that always looks right for IPA).
  • Upper-case letters map to small caps where appropriate (e.g. ʙ), and nothing at all otherwise.
  • Other characters can be reached by holding RAlt and pressing the closest character until it appears.
  • RAlt+/ puts a stroke through the characters that need it.
  • RAlt plus a capital letter creates modifier characters (e.g. RAlt+H → ʰ).
  • Other modifiers and symbols are mapped in hopefully obvious places – the best help is to hold down RAlt and see what's there.

Layout g: Greek

All Greek characters are available in this layout, including polyphonic accents for ancient Greek and archaic letters if you need them.

Note that you can also enter Greek characters from the base layout with RAlt+5... but that's quite laborious for more than a character or two at a time.

Layout c: Cyrillic

Every Cyrillic character supported by fonts is available in this layout, including many obsolete ones and rare ones. It's based on conventional Russian phonetic keyboard layouts.

Basic Cyrillic characters are available from the base layout with RAlt+6… but more complex ones are only available from this layout.

Because Cyrillic has more characters than the Latin alphabet, the [, ], ;, \ and = keys are required for extra letters. Even then, there are two standard characters used by Russian that require RAlt to reach:

  • щ, Shcha, is on RAlt+w. ш, Sha, is on w, and this is effectively a variant of that.
  • ё, Io, is on RAlt+e, or can be reached by typing e then RAlt+" to add the diaresis.

Note that you can enter й as и, RAlt+) but it's also available on the j key as per common convention.

While the diacritics are largely similar to the Latin layout, the modifier keys are a bit different due to the use of some punctuation keys for letters. Use the following with RAlt:

  • , : Decender
  • ,, : Tail
  • . : Hook / low tail
  • .. : Left hook
  • @ : Middle hook
  • ? : Komi palatization
  • / : Stroke / bar
  • + : Combining / modifier (particularly useful for Church Slavonic)

Ligature letters are reached as in the base layout, i.e. RAlt+DG for . Iotified letters are treated as ligatures of I plus a letter, e.g. RAlt+ia for .

Other letters are hopefully in fairly logical places.

Disabling Keyferret

You can also temporarily disable Keyferret by typing CapsLock+<BackSpace>. The CapsLock light does not show in this mode, but Keyferret is disabled until you press CapsLock again.