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[MOD][HOWTO] Adjust your hardware keyboard's default language

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Thanks Meter: 6,558
By Diamondback, Retired Developer Committee Lead / Retired Senior Moderator / Inactive Recognized Developer on 27th January 2012, 10:27 PM
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Hey guys,

Currently we have a very annyoing problem with the hardware keyboard. Imagine the following situation:
  • You have a country specific keyboard layout (like a german QWERTZ layout)
  • You don't want to use the pre-installed ASUS on screen keyboard

What happens now is the following:
  • You deselect ASUS' on screen keyboard
  • As soon as you do this, your hardware keyboard loses its custom layout and reverts to a generic QWERTY one

To "solve" this issue you normally need to do the following:
  • Switch to the localized ASUS keyboard once you dock your Prime
  • Switch back to the keyboard of your choice once you undock the Prime

I think I don't have to say that this behaivior is less than optimal.

I played a bit around with the system files and found out how to change the default keyboard layout to what ever you want to have.

Here is the result:
  • I don't need to ever select the ASUS keyboard again
  • I still could use the ASUS keyboard to change the keyboard layout (I could change the hardware layout to QWERTY for example)
  • I finally don't need to hassle around with different keyboards anymore

Okay now enough of that, here is how to do it:

First some facts:
  • We need to replace 2 /system files, so this may break any further OTAs
  • AFAIK the files weren't changed since the first update and normally those files aren't subject to changes, so the risk of breaking OTAs is not that high
  • If you do a backup of those files you can always restore that backup before applying OTAs

  • A rooted Prime
  • Some app to edit the /system partition (e.g. "Root Explorer")
  • The ability to read the entire post and to follow my instructions

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any damage - software or hardware - you may do to your Prime. Please don't do this mod if you have no idea what I am talking about.

(I used Root Explorer for this, so if you use another app the steps may be a bit different)

So let's get started:
  1. Undock your Prime (just to be sure)
  2. Open Root Explorer and go to "/system/usr/xt9/keychars/"
  3. Copy the file which represents your keyboard's language (e.g. qwerty-de_DE.kcm for my german Prime dock)
  4. Now go to "/system/usr/keychars/" (note the missing "xt9" in the path)
  5. Mount your system as "read/write" (the little button with the caption "Mount R/W")
  6. Rename the file "asusdec.kcm" to "asusdec.kcm.bak"
  7. Paste your own "qwerty-xy_XY.kcm" file here (the one you copied before)
  8. Rename that file to "asusdec.kcm"

  9. Go to "/system/usr/xt9/keylayout/"
  10. Now copy the file you want to use ("qwerty-de_DE.kl" for my german dock) (the file is called the same as the last one you copied, only the extension is different)
  11. Go to "/system/usr/keylayout/" (again the "xt9" is missing from the path here)
  12. Rename the file "asusdec.kl" to "asusdec.kl.bak"
  13. Paste your own file and rename it to "asusdec.kl"

  14. Reboot

After the reboot, dock your Prime and test the results. If you did everything right, you should be able to select a non ASUS keyboard while keeping your custom keyboard layout.

If you want to revert the changes, just delete the two files we changed and rename the backups back to the original name.
The Following 21 Users Say Thank You to Diamondback For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift Diamondback Ad-Free
27th January 2012, 11:16 PM |#2  
DJ H-Up's Avatar
Junior Member
Flag Hamburg
Thanks Meter: 2
THX for this MOD

That is right what i needed.
28th January 2012, 03:39 AM |#3  
newellj79's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 299
Wow. Are you guys the forum police? He posted in the wrong spot. Who freakin cares... Sometimes I think it would do alot of people good to just get out and have some fun.

edit... moderator, feel free to delete this post as it is most assuredly off topic.
28th January 2012, 10:25 AM |#4  
Striatum_bdr's Avatar
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Works Great, thanks.
28th January 2012, 11:41 AM |#5  
Senior Member
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Thx for this great mod worked like a charm! And its easy to revert to stock if an OTA comes around. Renaming some files isnt that much of a hassle.

Now which onscreen keyboard would you guys suggest? The original android one is ok but i'm missing the numbers.
28th January 2012, 03:19 PM |#6  
Striatum_bdr's Avatar
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Thumb keyboard
28th January 2012, 03:34 PM |#7  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 496
Originally Posted by Striatum_bdr

Thumb keyboard

Sep thats what seems to be the best.
29th January 2012, 12:02 AM |#8  
Junior Member
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Oh thank... I always see this mod in my dream

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using xda premium
29th January 2012, 06:24 PM |#9  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 9
Thumbs up Worked!
Excellent, thanks! Now I keep my Swiftkey when not docked. Why Asus is forcing us to use their keyboard is beyond me.
1st February 2012, 01:08 PM |#10  
geinome's Avatar
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Thanks Meter: 4
Originally Posted by Gnopps

Excellent, thanks! Now I keep my Swiftkey when not docked. Why Asus is forcing us to use their keyboard is beyond me.

Swiftkey doesn't really work very well for me. it glitches up massively when trying in polaris office. But when undocked works fine. wierd....
6th February 2012, 06:01 PM |#11  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 9
This worked fine for me until I did the last firmware upgrade. I use Swiftkey as my soft keyboard and now I get its suggestions at the bottom of the screen all the time. Like the user above Polaris Office doesn't work at all when docked.

How can I get rid of Swiftkey when docked and use the true Asus keyboard then, is it only possible with an app?

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201
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