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Disabling Tablet PC Input Panel

 

Tracy Schultz
Microsoft Corporation

February 2004

Updated, September 2006

Applies to:
   Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
   Windows Vista

Summary: You can use registry keys to disable Tablet PC Input Panel that appears next to text entry areas in your application. This method does not require that you recompile the application to disable Input Panel. It provides a simple way to patch previously released software in which Input Panel interferes with the interaction model or other aspects of your application. Readers should be familiar with Input Panel. (4 printed pages)

Contents

Introduction
Disabling the Input Panel UI
Disabling the Caret Tracking Query
Conclusion

Introduction

Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 operating system includes the ability to open Tablet PC Input Panel next to any editable text input control, such as an edit control or an editable combo box. You may not want Input Panel to appear in applications that implement ink-enabled surfaces, the pen input panel in the Tablet PC Software Development Kit version 1.5, or a custom text insertion model. By using the DisableInPlace registry key, you can prevent Input Panel from appearing in your application. The information in this article pertains only to Input Panel when it appears next to a text entry area. It does not pertain to Input Panel when you dock it at the top or bottom of the screen or when launched from the Edge Tab in Windows Vista.

Figure 1. Input Panel not docked

Disabling the Input Panel UI

Setting the DisableInPlace registry key to zero prevents the Input Panel user interface (UI) from appearing in an application. You must place the DisableInPlace registry key at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\TabletTip\. Then, add a new registry value by using the full path of the application in which you want to disable Input Panel. The following example registry entry disables Input Panel in an application called MyApp:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE 
\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\TabletTIP\DisableInPlace]
"C:\Progam Files\My App\MyApp.exe"="1"

Disabling the Caret Tracking Query

If you still see a problem in your application after you disable the Input Panel UI, it may be necessary to disable the underlying framework, which queries your application for the caret location. For example, Input Panel may expose a crashing bug in your application's accessibility support code. Turning off the caret tracking query also prevents the Input Panel UI from appearing. To disable the framework, set the EnableCaretTracking registry key to zero. You must locate this key at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\
CaretTracking\
.

To disable the caret tracking query for all windows and all versions of an application, create an application folder with a globally unique identifier (GUID), using the full path name of the executable. Then, place the EnableCaretTracking registry key in this folder.

To disable the caret tracking query for all windows for a specified version and all later versions of the application, create a subfolder in the application folder. Name the subfolder with the earliest version number of the application for which you want to disable the framework. Then place the EnableCaretTracking registry key in this subfolder. To disable Input Panel in a specific window, create a second subfolder in the version folder and name it with the window class, and then place the EnableCaretTracking registry key in this second subfolder. You can also disable Input Panel in multiple windows by creating multiple folders within the version folder. Input Panel always examines the leaf folder first, which means that settings for specified windows or versions override application-wide settings.

The following example registry entry disables caret tracking in MyApp version 7.1.0.0 and later, in all instances of the CMyApp:FontSize window class:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\
AppCompatFlags\CaretTracking\]
"C:\Progam Files\My App\MyApp.exe"="
{4E3A8E7D-A65D-47ed-98C0-D8DAC6333EBB}"
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\
AppCompatFlags\CaretTracking\{4E3A8E7D-A65D-47ed-98C0-
D8DAC6333EBB}\7.1.0.0\MyApp::FontSize]
"EnableCaretTracking"=dword:00000000

Conclusion

The DisableInPlace and EnableCaretTracking registry keys provide two options for patching software where interaction issues exist between Input Panel and your application without recompiling your application. Use the DisableInPlace registry key to prevent the Input Panel UI from appearing. Use the EnableCaretTracking registry key to disable the underlying framework.

For more information about the dependency of Input Panel on caret tracking, see Caret Tracking in Tablet PC Input Panel.

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