In this tutorial we are going to see how to use the external computer keyboard while debugging the application in Windows Phone emulator. In the emulator by default we can use the onscreen keyboard to input the details and in order to use the physical keyboard which is attached to the computer device we need to follow the steps to use it as an onscreen key input types to fasten the input. Basically this is for debugging the application quicker as in real time the application deployed to the device may or may not need the physical keyboard support. [more]
Let us see how we can achieve this task while debugging the application in Windows Phone Emulator. Open Visual Studio 2012 IDE in administrator mode and create a new Windows Phone project with a valid project name as shown in the screen below.
Clicking on OK will create the project and the solution with the list of default files and folders that are required to run the application. It will take some time to create these files based on your system configuration, so once everything is ready we can see the Visual Studio IDE with the project as shown in the screen below.
Let us add some input controls like textbox which will be used to demonstrate the usage of the physical keyboard while debugging the application in the Windows Phone Emulator as shown in the screen below.
Build and execute the application by simply pressing F5 from the keyboard and we can see the application will be deployed to the Windows Phone Emulator (Check the type selected if device or Emulator in the top ribbon menu) as shown in the screen below.
Here the emulator takes the onscreen keyboard (check this article on how to use Onscreen Keyboard effectively), in order to use the physical keyboard to input the data Press the PAGE UP key or PAUSE/BREAK key so that the physical keyboard gets the scope as shown in the screen below.
To disable using the Physical Keyboard just use the keys PAGE DOWN or PAUSE/BREAK key again to get out of the scope to use the Onscreen keyboard.