Quick keypad

The Quick Keypad category in the Parallels RAS Console allows you to define custom keys to perform common actions in published applications running on mobile devices. Custom keys appear above the standard keyboard in iOS and Android and can be tapped just like any other key on the virtual keyboard.

This feature is designed for users who run published applications on a phone or a tablet. When a particular software requires repeated selection of certain menu or toolbar items, using custom keys can significantly improve user experience. For example, let's say a user has some data entry task which requires them to press File > New and File > Save menu items over and over again. If you define two custom keys to perform these actions, the user will see them above the standard keyboard in iOS or Android, so instead of tapping the application's native menu items (which can be cumbersome), they can tap these keys, which is much easier and quicker.

To define custom keys, select the Quick Keypad category in the Parallels RAS Console. The Quick Keypads view in the right pane allows you to create a Quick Keypad template. A template is created for a specific application (or a group of applications with the identical UI design) and contains shortcuts to perform common actions in an application. Once a template is created, you assign it to a published application or a group of applications, so each application (or a group) has its own Quick Keypad.

To create a Quick Keypad template:

  1. Click the Tasks drop-down list and choose New Quick Keypad (or click the [+] icon).

  2. Specify a Quick Keypad template name (e.g. "Office apps").

  3. You can organize a Quick Keypad using a multi-level menu system. If you want to do this, click the New menu item and specify the menu item name. You can add sub-menu items too. To move a menu item across the tree, simply drag and drop it to the desired tree node.

  4. When you have your basic menu structure defined, you can add shortcuts (or you can do it any order you like).

  5. To add a shortcut, click the New shortcut item.

  6. In the Label field, enter the name (e.g. "New").

  7. Click the Shortcut field and press a shortcut on the keyboard as you would in the target application. For example, the standard shortcut to create a new document in many applications is Ctrl+N, so to input this shortcut, you would press and hold Ctrl and then press N. The shortcut will appear in the field as "Ctrl+N". You can input up to three shortcuts in this field.

  8. To add another shortcut to the template, click the New shortcut item again. Repeat until all desired shortcuts are defined.

  9. Click OK to close the dialog. The new template will appear in the Quick Keypads list.

To modify the template, right-click it and choose Properties.

You now need to assign the template that you created to an application (or multiple applications). To do so:

  1. Right-click a template and choose Assign to Application (you can also use the Tasks drop-down list or click the "link" icon).

  2. In the Assign Quick Keypad Template dialog, select one or more applications to which the template should be assigned.

  3. Click OK when done.

When a remote user runs an application on their mobile device and opens a virtual keyboard, they will see the extra keys corresponding to shortcuts that you defined for a Quick Keypad template. Tapping a key will perform the corresponding action (e.g. Ctrl-N, which will open a new document).

Exporting and importing a Quick Keypad template

To easily move a Quick Keypad template from one Parallels RAS Farm to another, use the Import and Export functionality. To export a template, right-click a template and choose Export. Specify the file name and location and click Save. To import a template, right-click on an empty space in the Quick Keypads list and choose Import. You can also perform these actions using the Tasks drop-down list.

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