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SWTBot/Keyboard Layouts

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Revision as of 17:06, 11 April 2010 by (Talk | contribs) (added link to keyboard strategy discussion)

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Keyboard Layouts in SWTBot

Keyboard strategies

SWTBot can send keyboard events using different strategies:

These different strategies are made available because the keyboard handling is very different depending on the native widget toolkit, keyboard layout and operating system / JRE / SWT version. Not all strategies work in all cases, see KeyboardTest & non EN keyboards to learn more about the reasons why different strategies are provided.

Keyboard layouts

The Keyboard strategies need to send events with key codes, not with characters. For example, for a QWERTY/Z keyboard layout, to type the character '!', you need to press "SHIFT+1" and these events will be generated:

  • KeyDown Shift
  • KeyDown 1
  • KeyUp 1
  • KeyUp Shift

SWTBot comes with '.keyboard' files which define a mapping from characters to keys, for example from character '!' to the keystrokes 'SHIFT+1'. This mapping is different depending on the keyboard layout of the system executing the tests. SWTBot includes some keyboard layouts, but the layout for your keyboard might be not available as of now.

Keyboard configuration

By default, SWTBot uses the AWT keyboard strategy. This can be configured using the system property "org.eclipse.swtbot.keyboard.strategy" or the variable SWTBotPreferences#KEYBOARD_STRATEGY.

The keyboard layout is automatically detected from the system. To define the keyboard layout explicitly, you can set the system property "org.eclipse.swtbot.keyboard.layout" or set the variable SWTBotPreferences#KEYBOARD_LAYOUT.

The value of the keyboard layout property should be of the form [][MAC.][upper-case-two-character-country-code]. For e.g. or If the package name is omitted, the layout is loaded from the SWTBot package org.eclipse.swtbot.swt.finder.keyboard. The prefix "MAC." marks keyboard layouts for Mac keyboards.

Creating keyboard layouts

If your keyboard is missing, please file a bug for SWTBot in Bugzilla. Please mention the country code and operation system.

Keyboard layouts can be created using a generator class in the 'org.eclipse.swtbot.swt.finder.test' bundle. You need to get this from the SWTBot repository, see SWTBot/Contributing. To create keyboard mappings for your keyboard:

  • Change Keys#specialChars() accordingly for your keyboard.
  • Execute KeyboardLayoutGenerator followed by KeyboardLayoutFilter
  • Files keyboard.layout and keyboard.layout.filtered will be generated in the root of the plug-in.
  • Rename keyboard.layout.filtered to [COUNTRY_CODE].keyboard.
  • You probably need to check and edit this file manually.
  • You should execute the SWTKeyboardTest and/or AWTKeyboardTest test classes to check if your .keyboard file is working properly.
  • Please file a bug to contribute the keyboard layout once you got it working or attach it to your bug for the missing keyboard layout!

.keyboard file format

.keyboard files are simple text files with the following format:


The <CHARACTER> is the complex character that needs to be typed, and the <KEY_COMBINATION> is the combination that types the <CHARACTER>. Valid <KEY_COMBINATION>s are: CTRL, SHIFT, ALT, COMMAND and all other keys on the keyboard, capitalized ( 'T' is valid, 't' is not). Similarly '3' on a US keyboard is valid, '#' is not.

For example:

! shift + 1
@ shift + 2
# shift + 3
$ shift + 4

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