I have a Surface Pro 3 that I use a lot. And more than 90% of the time, I am on desktop. When I don’t have the touch cover attached, I do find a few annoyance how on-screen keyboard behaves. For example,
- it’s not always initiated when needed. You put the cursor in a textbox wish the soft keyboard will pop up automatically but ended up having to manually bring it up.
- it’s not always disappeared when it needs to be. Again, you ended up having to manually minimize it.
- when it pops up, it often covers the portion of the window where you need to look and type.
If any of these also are bothering you on Surface or any Windows tablet, this is a tool called Tabtip On-Demand you definitely need to check out.
It’s a neat tool that works out of the box in the background without any tweaking needed. You can just install it, let it run and engage, and eventually forget it. It also comes a few features that could be quite handy as well.
For example, you can disable the on-screen keyboard from popping out for 10 minutes, 1 hour, or until next reboot.
You can set it up so the keyboard can be only triggered by Touch only or by Mouse as well. Touch Only is for Tablet and Touch/Mouse works on both Tablet and desktop.
You can also initiate the keyboard by either one single tap or double-tap. This setting is quite thoughtful because it could be useful in cases where you need to scroll up and down the content before engaging in typing.
The option “Scroll into view” will shift the Window upwards so it won’t be covered by the popping up on-screen keyboard. This feature alone is worth the time I spent on testing out this tool.
Tabtip On-Demand works on Vista and above, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. It’s free of charge for 7 days, unfortunately. But hey, if you like, it only costs $1.99, which is less than a cup of Starbucks coffee. To me, it’s a must-have tool for Surface Pro or any Windows tablet. It’s well worth more than $1.99 for sure.