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FYI: custom skins for Samsung XT9

82 posts in this topic

Posted

Just so you know, you can create custom skins for Samsung own XT9 keyboards.

Its pretty easy, in the Windows directory there is:

1) Key image files - both released and pressed

Samsung_i900....image.[subtype.]bmp

2) Map files, that define shape and location of actual keys by color codes

Samsung_i900....map.[subtype.]bmp

3) Layout files, that actually define which keys produce what effect (colors from map files are used to define which key is which).

Samsung_i900....[subtype.]xml

By editing these files you can pretty easely do almost any keyboard layout & appearance. Without any third party software installation, and using all poweful input options XT9 allows.

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Posted

That's pretty cool! We could do the diamond keyboards with the actual underlying samsung software ;-)

P

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Posted

but I guess there will never be the option to have the pop up letter on the display after pressing a letter on the samsung keyboard, or do you think that would be possible to add this function somehow?

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Posted

but I guess there will never be the option to have the pop up letter on the display after pressing a letter on the samsung keyboard, or do you think that would be possible to add this function somehow?

honestly I dont understand the use of these letters. firstly, finger pretty much covers them. secondly, if you will confirm every time what letter you holding down, your typing slows down to crawl.

XT9 uses intelligent correction, its not actually necessary to press correct letters every time, it corrects most of the misses anyway.

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Posted

No, that won't be possible to add I wouldn't think.

Pointless too IMHO ;)

P

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Posted (edited)

the question is anyone have tried? and if you can post your modified keyboard here? and whats "common" and map file for?

anyway, with a help of some simple photoediting software, we can actually make the keys a little fatter and shorter in portrait mode, just like those Resco keyboard, but doing it manually is a big job.

the most thing i can do now is change the color of the keys to black, photoshop can do the trick

Edited by Massive Attack
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Posted

anyway, with a help of some simple photoediting software, we can actually make the keys a little fatter and shorter in portrait mode, just like those Resco keyboard, but doing it manually is a big job.

I don't see how you can make them *fatter* (if you mean wider). In default samsung skin they are as wide as possible - if you try to make them any wider, the complete upper row (ie qwertyuiop) simply won't fit.

You can make them only less tall, decreasing overall keyboard height and making individual keys somewhat more square-shaped. But this will only decrease the key area.

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Posted (edited)

The thing about the Resco keyboard is, that the letters are not connected but there is a little space between them. The keys are smaller, but u hit the wrong neighbouring key less often. At least thats my experience.

But as its only a skin, the way the samsung keyboard is layout and responds cant be changed?!

Edited by ollip
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Posted

The thing about the Resco keyboard is, that the letters are not connected but there is a little space between them. The keys are smaller, but u hit the wrong neighbouring key less often. At least thats my experience.

But as its only a skin, the way the samsung keyboard is layout and responds cant be changed?!

Well, as I wrote, the actual contours for the keys is in the map file, so the actual shape that reacts to the presses can be done to match (reduced) key image.

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Posted

Now only find a way to change the keys of the phonepad... Any1 found out where to change them?

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Posted

Actually i pretty much like to have numbers with the alpha keys...also to make the entire keyboard panel like iphone so its easier to press and also to lower the height to gain back more viewing space at the top.

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Posted

Just so you know, you can create custom skins for Samsung own XT9 keyboards.

Its pretty easy, in the Windows directory there is:

1) Key image files - both released and pressed

Samsung_i900....image.[subtype.]bmp

2) Map files, that define shape and location of actual keys by color codes

Samsung_i900....map.[subtype.]bmp

3) Layout files, that actually define which keys produce what effect (colors from map files are used to define which key is which).

Samsung_i900....[subtype.]xml

By editing these files you can pretty easely do almost any keyboard layout & appearance. Without any third party software installation, and using all poweful input options XT9 allows.

I am not an expert so can you post in .cab file or some sample for us to use? I like the idea not to use third party software..

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Posted

Sorry, I don't have enough of designer skills to make anything even better than Samsung default one, I only technically looked how to do it ;)

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Posted

Only just saw this thread. A few days ago I modded the first symbol screen to include the Swedish characters å, ä and ö. Works like a charm.

Still would like to figure a way to add a column of buttons to the Samsung keyboard to get these characters on the actual keyboard screen.

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Posted

Still would like to figure a way to add a column of buttons to the Samsung keyboard to get these characters on the actual keyboard screen.

Edit a map file, add buttons with diff colors. Put new entries in the xml schema which correspond to color values you've added.

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Posted (edited)

Edit a map file, add buttons with diff colors. Put new entries in the xml schema which correspond to color values you've added.

I've now adjusted my initial ambitions to adding a giant, single row space bar to the bottom of the existing landscape keyboard (to help me avoid accidently hitting the send button in Messenger). But I'm getting stuck at the firs hurdle.

The map files don't appear to be standard bitmaps. I haven't been able to even open one with a regular image viewer/editor. Any suggestions as to how to go about it?

Edit: Just realized you are only referring to the ...map.bmp files and not the ....map files. So what is the purpose of the .map files or the .kbd files if all that is needed is the image.bmp, map.bmp and .xml files?

Edited by Quist09
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Posted

Just ran a test. I altered the .bmp files refered to in the first post and copied them to my Windows directory. There was no change in the keyboard.

The change I made was adding an extra row with a single button. I tried to define this area with a color, but MSpaint would only fill it with a color already on the keyboard. Assuming I was dead in the water here, I figured that if the assumption on how to mod these keyboards is right, if I saved the bmp files, without altering the xml file, it should still present a dead button at the bottom of the keyboard. It didn't.

Now I'm thinking that in order to add or remove keys, you need to be able to modify the .map files and the .kbd files too.

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Posted (edited)

Only manage to change the bmp but not the keys layout. Probably need to edit .map...

screen02fz9.png

Edited by kaer
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Posted

yeah, it seems you cant change the places of the keys, unless you can crack the kbd and map file, the most we can do is skin the keyboard and/or exchange keys

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Posted

There are no .kbd files. There are .kdb files, but these are instructions to XT9 on how to process letters, there are no layout here.

.map files are build automatically from .map.bmp and .xml files. You may try to delete .map files and soft-reset, it should rebuild them. Or just rename them so you can restore them if anything goes wrong.

To edit .map.bmp, get a decent editor and not this MSPaint crap ;) These are bitmaps with palette, you can use for example, GIMP to edit them properly and add new colors.

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Posted

Interesting. I deleted the .map, rebooted and I don't even see the image of phonepad now. Tried deleting the .xml, same. Altho it did regenerate both files after a reboot. Back to drawing board, maybe it's the map.bmp mess up.

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Posted

You should not delete .xml, there are actual commands for the keyboard layout in here, and .map.bmp are used to define the key positions which you reference in .xml by color codes (these must exactly match).

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Posted (edited)

I couldn't figure out how to get GIMP to let me add a color to the palette, but since I'm just trying to add a big space bar at the bottom, I figured I'd let the system see it as an L-shaped key extending down from the current space bar.

Got it working, but my clever design made the thing so wide (tall? top to bottom anyway) that it blocked the screen. Back to the drawing board.

Any advice on how to get GIMP to let me add colors to the palette? Or should I use one of GIMP's own palettes and rewrite the color codes in the xml files (i.e. loads more work)?

Edited by Quist09
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Posted

I couldn't figure out how to get GIMP to let me add a color to the palette, but since I'm just trying to add a big space bar at the bottom, I figured I'd let the system see it as an L-shaped key extending down from the current space bar.

Got it working, but my clever design made the thing so wide (tall? top to bottom anyway) that it blocked the screen. Back to the drawing board.

Any advice on how to get GIMP to let me add colors to the palette? Or should I use one of GIMP's own palettes and rewrite the color codes in the xml files (i.e. loads more work)?

File | Dialogs | Color Map

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Posted

Cheers Ingvarr. Will have a look at it when I get a chance. Thanks for your help in general too.

In the meantime, I got to thinking that I actually like the portrait version of the Samsung keyboard, because the letter keys are not located right next to the Send button in Messaging as they are in the landscape keyboard. Also got to thinking that I already had a ready-made .map.bmp etc. just with the wrong dimensions.

So basically, I used the files from the portrait keyboard and resized everything to fit the landscape dimensions 400x111. Still needs some refining, but I'm pretty happy.

In the next few days, I'll be running it through the hoops to see how I like it. If all goes well, I may ditch Resco Pro Keyboard and Adaptxt for my landscape solution.

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