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Function Keys & the Escape Key

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cdvorak View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 19 2008 at 3:25am

We use AccuTerm with a medical Practice Manager System (PMS). On some of the main screens of that program, users have the ability to search by Patient Name.  The Function keys (f2-9) are used to access commonly used screens, all of which start off with the Patient Search field. And one of the  keystrokes within the program is <escape><escape> = Cancel, or move back one screen. The problem occurs when users hit <escape> only once (accidentally), then one of the F keys. Accuterm interprets that as a letter, and inserts it into the search field, and our PMS then searchs on that letter.  For example, <escape>F8 = 'G',  and the first patient, with last name starting with 'G', pops up. So users, not paying attention, select the same wrong patient... Continually....  ********* So, can we edit the normal keyboard settings so that <escape><function key> doesn't do this?  We have v 5.0e on most PC's, 5.3b on a few. On 5.3b, F8 = ^AG^M

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PSchellenbach View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSchellenbach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2008 at 9:43am
Hi cdvorak -

This is a tricky problem to resolve. The problem is that the ESC character is often used as a prefix for multiple functions and this is going to very hard to change. Things like PageUp, PageDown, Shift+Tab, all begin (internally) with an ESC character. The server has no way of determining whether the ESC character that it sees if because the user pressed the Escape key, or if it is part of another sequence. Some servers resolve this ambiguity by timing - it another character arrives after the ESC within a pre-defined window, then the ESC is part of a sequence, otherwise it is because the user pressed the Escape key.

The only effective solution that I can see is to reprogram the Escape key to either send the entire Cancel sequence in a single keypress (sends 2 ESC characters on each keypress), or to disable the Escape key entirely and program another key to send the Cancel sequence. Either way, the users will need to be retrained about how to perform a Cancel.

Let me know if you need more info, or have other ideas about how to solve this.

Thanks,

Pete
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cdvorak View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cdvorak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2008 at 12:15am
Pete: thanks for the quick reply!  We'll have to play with it on our end.  We'll have to decide what's the best course for us: re-training 400 users, or living with the unintended errors.
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cdvorak View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cdvorak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2008 at 2:20am

I don't see a way to re-program the Escape key in AccuTerm. Am I missing something?  Or did you mean re-programing it in our PMS?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSchellenbach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2008 at 3:53am
Hi -

The Escape key cannot be reprogrammed from the Keyboard settings screen - you need to use Notepad or Wordpad to edit the session configuration file (.atcf). You need to add the following line to the [Keyboard] section in this file:
[Keyboard]

27="^[^["
The above example re-programs the Escape key to send two ESC characters. If you want to disable the Escape key, use:
27="[]"


Thanks,

Pete
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cdvorak View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cdvorak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2008 at 4:57am
Yes, that does work.  Thanks for all the info!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timbertoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2009 at 7:45am
Hi Pete!
I have had to do a lot of repetitive work through a menu system over the last few days.  I was able to really cut down on the keystrokes by programming certain function keys.  As I was working, however, it would have been better if I could have programmed the one or more of the 4 symbol keys on the numeric keypad (/ * - +). 
 
While cleaning up my config files, I noticed that the function keys all have a numeric value.  I have not been able to find a listing of what they are and you do not have a tab in Settings|Keyboard for the numeric pad (you might want to consider that for some future release! :) )
 
I am using the vt100 emulation.  Please send me the numbers I should use for these 4 keys plus the . and the Enter keys on the numeric pad.  For doing things like I have been doing, the numeric pad would have been more efficient and the ergonomics would have been better.
 
Thanks!
 
Boyd
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSchellenbach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2009 at 11:24am
Hi Boyd -

Here is a list of the key numbers for the various non-alpha keys on the standard Windows keyboard (key numbers are shown in hex - you need to convert to decimal to use in AccuTerm's config file):

VK_BACK             \x08

VK_TAB              \x09
VK_RETURN           \x0D
VK_PAUSE            \x13
VK_CAPITAL          \x14          (you can program this key, but it still toggles caps lock)
VK_ESCAPE           \x1B
VK_SPACE            \x20
VK_PRIOR            \x21
VK_NEXT             \x22
VK_END              \x23
VK_HOME             \x24
VK_LEFT             \x25
VK_UP               \x26
VK_RIGHT            \x27
VK_DOWN             \x28
VK_INSERT           \x2D
VK_DELETE           \x2E
VK_HELP             \x2F
VK_NUMPAD0          \x60
VK_NUMPAD1          \x61
VK_NUMPAD2          \x62
VK_NUMPAD3          \x63
VK_NUMPAD4          \x64
VK_NUMPAD5          \x65
VK_NUMPAD6          \x66
VK_NUMPAD7          \x67
VK_NUMPAD8          \x68
VK_NUMPAD9          \x69
VK_MULTIPLY        \x6A
VK_ADD              \x6B
VK_SUBTRACT        \x6D
VK_DECIMAL          \x6E
VK_DIVIDE           \x6F
VK_F1               \x70
VK_F2               \x71
VK_F3               \x72
VK_F4               \x73
VK_F5               \x74
VK_F6               \x75
VK_F7               \x76
VK_F8               \x77
VK_F9               \x78
VK_F10              \x79
VK_F11              \x7A
VK_F12              \x7B
VK_NUMLOCK          \x90            (you can program but still toggles numlock)
VK_SCROLL           \x91            (you can program but still toggles scroll lock)
VK_ENTER            \xFD            (keypad Enter key)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSchellenbach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 12 2021 at 12:58pm
Update for AccuTerm 8

In AccuTerm 8, the session config file is in JSON format. The "keyboard" property contains individual properties for each programmed key. For example, to program the left-arrow key (virtual key code = 37 or \x25 in the above table) to send a Ctrl+U, and shift-left-arrow to send Ctrl+H, the following properties would be used in the config file:

"keyboard": {
"key37": "^U",
"key1037": "^H"
},



You can use one of the online "JSON Prettifier" sites to make the JSON easier to edit -
AccuTerm will be fine with that.


Check the AccuTerm 8 Help, AccuTerm 8 Reference -> AccuTerm Programming -> Keyboard,
for control character prefixes.


The key property name is the word "key" followed by the Windows virtual key number.
The key number can be modified by adding one of the modifiers from the table below.

For a more complete list of Windows virtual key codes, see this page:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/inputdev/virtual-key-codes

Modifier

Shift

Ctrl

Alt

Modifier

Shift

Ctrl

Alt

0

no

no

no

4000

no

no

yes

1000

yes

no

no

5000

yes

no

yes

2000

no

yes

no

6000

no

yes

yes

3000

yes

yes

no

7000

yes

yes

yes



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