The Paris Bible Project and Transkribus: the Virtual Keyboard

The Paris Bible Project and Transkribus: the Virtual Keyboard

What is the Virtual Keyboard

When working with a new alphabet or in the case of special characters (called glyphs in Transkribus) not found on a laptop keyboard or in Transkribus, a feature that proved to be useful for the Paris Bible Project (PBP) is the Virtual Keyboard. This functionality can be opened at the bottom of the transcription section with the keyboard icon (v.1.16.0) and it contains pre-loaded alphabets linked to Unicodes. There is also a “Custom” tab that allows the user to personalize a keyboard for individual projects. For us, this possibility made it easier to have our most frequently used characters in a handy place. The correction work became more efficient by avoiding copy-pasting characters from tables outside the platform or inputting the Unicodes manually each time.

For example, in the PBP we often wanted to use combining Unicodes (such as U+0304, the macron “ ̄̄”) or to use glyphs that approximate ways that medieval scribes write (such as the insular d “ꝺ” or the rotund r “ꝛ”).

Figure 1: The keyboard icon in Transkribus version 1.16.0 for viewing the alternative keyboards.

How to customize the Virtual Keyboard

To customize the Virtual Keyboard, you can press the “Edit” button and a table will appear with the possibility to add Unicodes for characters of your choice. There are two ways to insert the new characters: putting the Unicode in a standardized format (U+0000) or just copy-pasting the character in the table. In the following image, both examples are shown. You can include multiple characters by listing them on separate lines. Transkribus will automatically include them in the Virtual Keyboard and recognise them as characters with their Glyph, Unicode, and Description.

Figure 2: The windows for editing the Virtual Keyboard and batch adding Unicode characters.

The customized Virtual Keyboards appear only to you and are not shared in the collection. One easy way to have a shared keyboard with your team is to create a table with excel/spreadsheet altogether and insert them all at once in your individual Transkribus. In this way, you will be able to work more efficiently and have all the characters you need at hand!

NiccolòAcram Cappelletto

Update: In the latest version of Transkribus Lite, the virtual keyboard set up in the expert client will populate into the Lite interface.

Further Readings

Transkribus Glossary. Virtual Keyboard.

Suggested citation:

Cappelletto, Niccolò Acram. (14 July 2021). The Paris Bible Project and Transkribus: the Virtual Keyboard. Paris Bible Project.

This post is published with a CC BY-SA-NC 4.0 International license.