How do I add a DEL key?

My latest full-size keyboard is a Logitech K350 wireless ergonomic keyboard, which I like very much. It had a feature I would love to include on my TextBlade, but I don’t recall seeing any information on how that might be accomplished. The delete key is one that I use quite often. On the Logitech keyboard it resides on the numeric keypad as an alternate to the “period” key, and on a set of separate keys that include Home, End, Page Down and some cursor movements there is a large stand alone Delete key. I use the Delete key primarily to delete a group of things together. For example, I highlight a group of e-mails on the Logitech keyboard, then hit the Delete key to delete all of the selected e-mails together.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how I could add the Delete function to a key on the TextBlade.

I’m not sure what you are referring to, I guess, because using your example, I selected some emails, hit the standard delete key on the TB and they were all deleted.

There are actually multiple delete options you can put almost anyplace on the TB. The standard delete (or backspace), delete previous word, delete from cursor to beginning of line.

So I’m not sure why you are having an issue with this, unless there is more detail I need to see the difference.

I had just never seen the “X” key in the upper-right corner of the TextBlade described as the “Delete” key. When I highlighted a few e-mails, then pressed that “X” key in the upper right corner of the TextBlade, nothing happened, so it doesn’t function exactly as the Backspace key would. In order for it to delete the selected e-mails I also had to hold down the Command position on the Spaceblade.

Well, first thing I’d suggest is you go to the TB app and select your map layout and see what the map shows in the spot on the main layer and then what it shows on the green layer in that spot.

In my case, the main layer has delete/backspace - which I think is how it comes if you don’t customize it. The green layer I believe I did customize. At present for me that is the forward delete.

If your main layer is the same as mine, I’d ask what mail app you are using because it works fine on Apple mail.

Just did another test, holding the space bar so it would do the green layer (forward delete for me). It also worked to delete a group of emails.

You could try a couple things if it isn’t working the same for you. One would be to go to apps, change something, change it back, then install it again (I make the change and change it back in case it needs to register a change to install it from scratch - I don’t know if it matters).

If that doesn’t correct it, I change that spot, install it, go and change it back and install it.

It is possible something got corrupted.

Oh, I’ve also usually made it a practice, when a new app version comes out, I go to the setting and “apply” it - just in case there is something new that needs to be applied. There isn’t anything new in this latest one, but perhaps some earlier update needed to be “applied”.

Looking at the keyboard map in the TB app, if I touch the “X” in the upper-right corner of the TB keyboard I am told it’s Backspace / Delete, but nothing happens if I use the key that way to attempt deletion of selected e-mails in Thunderbird. Additionally, there is no representation of that key in the green layer. The green layer only shows the key as a Forward delete.

I’m happy having to depress the SpaceBlade with the Backspace / Delete key to accomplish a deletion. I was only concerned that the key by itself did not function as I expected, and that there was no description in the TB map of the Backspace / Delete key in green. The only green depiction shows the arrow on the right side of the “X” indicating a forward application of the delete function.

Well, obvious question would be does the main delete/backspace work for normal stuff, like deleting text? If not, than I would really suspect corruption so try a re-install of the map.

If that works, then maybe there is something about Thunderbird that interprets it differently. This is a bit out of my skill set, but as I recall, there are similar things where “Enter” is similar, but not always the exact same thing as “Return”. Or that on a PC, right and left alt can be different.

Your green layer is the same as mine for that key. Maybe that was the default!

The delete key on the upper right of the TB is a ‘backspace’ key and deletes the last character typed. The DEL key (also known as the forward delete key) that is shown on many keyboards is the one accessed via the green layer on the standard maps. In many apps the back delete and forward delete keys can give similar functionality, but that behaviour will be app specific.

I personally have remapped DEL to be on the main alpha layer accessed via shift but that is my personal preference.

I guess it is possible that a DEL key on a numeric keypad could send a different character code to the DEL key on the main part of the keyboard, but in testing on my own keyboards the code is the same on both the main keyboard and the numeric keypad.

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I just ran a test using the Backspace key on the TB with an e-mail in the composition window. It worked correctly. Apparently the malfunction is when I highlight a group of e-mails listed in the Inbox with Thunderbird, then attempt to delete the using the Backspace key without any other keys being depressed. I’ll check out possible corruption of the Backspace function in the morning and let you know what transpires. I need to hit the sack now. Thanks for the advice!

Good luck. I suspect it is just a matter of Thunderbird treating it differently and, I guess, whatever code the TB sends is not exactly the same as what your other keyboard sent.

@waytools should be able to clarify this.

I should know more tomorrow, and I’ll ask @waytools for clarification as well. 'Nite!

When you say

do you mean that you typed some text in the composition window and were able to use backspace to remove a letter at a time or do you mean that when you pressed backspace, it deleted the composition window email?

If it’s the former, sounds like everything is working as programmed and you need to use Command-Backspace to send the Delete command to Thunderbird as it is hard coded to only do that function with a Delete command. Some other mail programs will recognize the backspace key alone and work.

If it’s the latter, then it sounds like a Thunderbird bug to me.

I believe it worked for him going to the green layer where you get forward delete instead of the regular backspace/delete. Mine works either way but his just one way. But I guess he may have hit the command/hot corner so we’ll see when he posts again.

But I’d it was forward delete, I guess the question is, why won’t delete/back space work in thunderbird email since his other keyboard will? I’m really suspicious the are different versions of delete, like return and enter can be different in some situations.

The Backspace key on the TB works to backspace one space at a time in a composition window for an e-mail under the Thunderbird e-mail app. Conversely, if I view the Thunderbird Inbox, and select multiple e-mails for deletion, pressing the Backspace key alone has no effect. Holding down the bottom edge of the SpaceBlade anyplace along the length of that SpaceBlade, deletes the selected e-mails from the Inbox.

Conversely, if I select text in an e-mail I am composing, then press Backspace the action deletes one character at a time to the immediate left of the cursor position at the time of pressing Backspace. Holding down the SpaceBlade and pressing Backspace deletes one character at a time to the immediate right of the cursor.

If I highlight any text in a composition, then press the Backspace key, the selected text is deleted. That does not work with highlighted e-mails in the Thunderbird Inbox. To delete those I must also hold down the SpaceBlade when I press Backspace.

My concern is that there is no apparent documentation that tells me it is necessary to depress the SpaceBlade in order to accomplish that deletion of selected items in the Thunderbird Inbox. That works no matter where on the SpaceBlade I depress that SpaceBlade at the bottom edge.

It is obviously an inconsistency of function of the Backspace key, but the more I fiddle with this, the more I feel it is a quirk of Thunderbird, as opposed to a failing of the TB programming.

I would say it isn’t really a failure of either but a quirk in the programming of Thunderbird. It seems to be looking for a Delete key press from the keyboard to delete mass emails.

Your full size keyboard has this key and thus, Thunderbird operates properly. The TB also has this key, but it defaults to the green layer backspace key.

On the Normal layer, the Backspace key functions as a Backspace, deleting one letter at a time (or the selected text) to the left of the cursor.

On the Green layer, the Backspace key functions as a Delete key, deleting one letter at a time (or the selected text) to the right of the cursor.

This is due to the reduced number of physical keys on the TB compared to a full size keyboard. Luckily, with the TextBlade, this can be reconfigured if you so desire. Yuo can set the normal layer Backspace key to function as a Delete key press and the Green layer to function as a Backspace key press if it suits you more, or just continue holding the SpaceBlade when you press Backspace to get a Delete function.

I would also chalk the lack of documentation to the fact that these are TREG devices, not general release devices and that many/most/(all ?) documentation has not been completed yet.

I doubt any documentation would cover things like this since it may vary based on app. I once started to document all the ways certain items worked that in any way were similar to things like fast forward, rewind, etc. and I was only doing so with a limited number of apps. But it got so complicated that I lost any motivation to continue working on it.

I have it on a google spreadsheet. If I can find the link again I may post it so you can see.

Sorry to be so long in replying. My younger brother passed away unexpectedly and I am his closest kin. Plus he lived 500 miles away, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on the phone with the coroner’s office and the mortuary.

I agree that the issue is likely sourced in Thunderbird’s inability to correctly interpret the signals sent from the Backspace key in some circumstances. I’ll modify the response of the Backspace key eventually, but will live with the need to press the SpaceBlade to get rid of those highlighted e-mails in the Inbox. :slight_smile:

As a retired senior technical writer for the aerospace industry, and an instrument flying instructor for 20 years in the USAF, where I also wrote course material, I must say that five years is plenty of time to expand documentation further than we’ve seen for the TB, regardless of the TREG status of the device. They’re going to have to write something far more informative and supportive if they ever make a general release, and putting some effort into documentation now would give them a foundation for a decent document in support of a released product. :slight_smile:

You may well be right about “real” documentation possibly not covering things such as I’ve experienced with the Backspace / Delete key. However I would hope that some mention would be made about the need, and ability, to modify key responses so that they meet the expectations of the end users. I can sympathize with your experience in that trip down the rabbit hole you related. Been there. Done that.

Very sorry to hear about your brother. Same thing happened with my oldest brother some years ago.

One of the things Mark talked about on the first phone call with treg back in March 2016 was that part of what they would learn from us treggers would help them with documentation. Also that they wanted to keep it as simple as possible - I suspect that has to do with basic documentation. Extreme detail maybe would be online or even from 3rd parties - because it really can get so complicated to cover every possibility that having it all up front would just cause the average user to get confused.

It’s sort of the same reason I tell people, as they work to adjust to the textblade, that it may be best to start off with just focusing on text and the most basic punctuation (period, comma, quotes, question mark, exclamation point). No other symbols or numbers. This lets them both type the vast majority of stuff the average person would do, and lets you not get overwhelmed.

Oh, sure, if you need an asterisk, etc, you are going to be looking for where it is. I’m talking about typing practice. Once those basic are fairly familiar, you can add the rest.

Found the spreadsheet link. As I recall, if there is just an X an a cell, it means that instruction doesn’t do anything in the corresponding app.

It may also be outdated in some cases since there have been many updates since I did this. If I ever decide to do it again, it would be nice if I could not just have the name of the instruction, but have a picture of it too. But I don’t know if I’ll ever work on it again.