Using the colorForth QWERTY Keyboard

When you begin text entry mode with the QWERTY keyboard behavior selected, the hinting area displays the annunciator "qwer" and you may enter words or numbers, one at a time. The software is designed to behave as simply and naturally as feasible in the majority of cases.

After typing a word or number you may enter it using the space bar, or alternatively the enter (some may know it as carriage return) key. The keyboard normally continues in text entry mode, expecting you to enter another word or number. However, when in the Interpreter, the word you just entered may run another application which can redefine keyboard operation until you return to the Interpreter, as we'll see later.

To erase a word or number before you have entered it, use the backspace key. To exit text entry mode, use the escape key. This doesn't do anything in the Interpreter, but some applications, such as the Editor, can "call" the text entry mode and in those cases you need to indicate when you are through by using "escape".

When you begin typing a word or number, the keyboard software needs to determine which you are entering. Like classical Forth, colorForth allows you to define words that start with numeric digits, or even words that consist entirely of numeric digits. The keyboard software makes its decision with the first key you strike:

The behavior above allows you to just type words and numbers naturally in the great majority of cases. There are only two situations that require you to do anything more:

Decimal and Hexadecimal

There is a persistent flag indicating whether the human interface is in decimal or hexadecimal mode.

Decimal Mode

By default the human interface is in decimal mode. The stack is displayed in decimal, each digit you key into a number is shifted into it using base 10, and the only keys accepted during number entry are zero through 9 and the minus sign.

Switching Modes

You may place the human interface in hexadecimal mode by pressing the F1 key. Actually this key toggles between decimal and hexadecimal mode. The F1 key is recognized any time the hint area shows just the "qwer" annunciator, or both "qwer" and "num". It instantly sets the other mode, affecting the stack display and subsequent digit entry.

Hexadecimal Mode

When in hexadecimal mode, the stack is displayed in unsigned hex. Each digit you key into a number is shifted into it using base 16. The first digit of a hex number must be one of the decimal digits 0..9 , but once number entry has begun any of the hex digits 0..9 a..f or the minus sign may be entered. Thus, to enter the hex equivalent of 255, type 0ff .