Space bar narrow width is making me want to switch to Android

This Make the space-bar longer in native virtual keyboard -

From 2014.

I own all Maemo and Meego devices, that’s how long I’ve been on the boat.

Amount of times I’m hitting . between.words, and back/delete to fix it, is making me want to switch to Android. It’s just bloody exhausting. Does this describe the daily driver UX pain accurately enough?

Is everyone just silently suffering with Sailfish virtual keyboard layout, or is it really an edge case issue? TJC thread sort of says it’s not. My finger / hand size is definitely mid-range, rather than large.

Your thoughts?


Not an edge case. It is annoying indeed. There is a patch on openrepos to increase width of space bar.
Myself I use my own layouts, which have many improvements such as number line, characters on popup keys, emojis, etc. Multi Keyboard Layouts | — Community Repository System

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Yep, I’ve been using it, but after every Sailfish update there’s a period where this patch fails to apply.

Plays into that “exhausting” territory :persevere:


Same here. Again and again.


Sadly, I’m one of the big fingertip people, but like you layouts nevertheless (number line!) Have you ever asked a Jolla staffer if they’d include your improvements? I noticed you posted about Arabic layouts… Might be worth a survey and bringing up at a community meeting?

The keyboard needs some love. It’s the way to input data to the OS.
Besides adding new languages (I mean, Jolla you should add at least one layout per world language in 2021!), a few things to improve:

  • A wider space bar
  • An optional number line. I’ve asked for it in the old forum, and without an official solution, I made my own layouts. Actually, that’s the reason I created my app and layouts in the first place.
    Since then, I’ve experimented with adding a variable that will show the number line if true, so I guess Jolla/Community/maybe me, can add an optional number line for all layouts that can be toggled on/off.
  • Resizing the keyboard
  • Different layouts per language (english azerty, etc. for many more)



I also find it a constant irritation having to keep re-typing to get a space instead of a ‘.’ between words. I wonder if a solution might be to make the “?123” and “Return” keys on the bottom left and right smaller (as they are used less often) and the space bar correspondingly bigger (which is obviously used in between every word). I would personally prefer a proper drawn square or rectangular outline to the keys rather than a very faint fading line between them as I believe that would also draw the eye to target a key within a definite ‘hard’ perimeter rather than just an approximate stab towards the centre of the letter or number, but I recognise that the way it is is probably a styling decision.

You are so right.
I deinstalled patchmanager recently since it is unusable with the current SFOS. The thing I miss the most is the patch for a wider space bar.

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I installed Multi Keyboard Layouts | — Community Repository System and seems like maybe I won’t have to switch to Android. Thanks for the tip!

I marked your reply as Solution.

Jolla should still take note, though. This UX is pretty ridiculous. My Sailfish colleague (I gifted him Xperia X) just confirmed his same experience today, when I remembered to ask.

Feels a bit like designer X is fixated on some geometry thing about VK layout instead of actual usability of the thing, while simultaneously also not being able to combine the 2 vectors. Have seen it only too many times in my own product team.

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Check Space bar narrow width is making me want to switch to Android - #10 by lkraav

For those who don’t want to install additional layouts or patches, you can modify and tweak the size of the space bar manually in your device.

Open the qml file of your language file (in /usr/share/maliit/plugins/com/jolla/layouts/, and modify the EnterKey and SymbolKey to reduce their width.
I use 0.8 width for both in my layouts:

SymbolKey {
    implicitWidth: symbolKeyWidthNarrow * 0.8
EnterKey {
    implicitWidth: functionKeyWidth * 0.8

Nice thing about SF… If you want to make some such tiny mod on Android, it’s 15 minutes of decompile, recompile, build, sign, push, reboot, etc…

Sure, but its probably way more secure. And allowing such easy modifications to the system keyboard might be convenient, but not exactly good (security wise) in the first place :slight_smile:

Same here, I still have N810, N900 and N9 in the bookshelf. I wish Swype from N9 would make an appearance on Sailfish, but that’s not the point.

I just now noticed how small the space bar is. One fifth, maybe a bit more. No wonder I hit the dot all the time…

Welp, time to edit some layouts :crazy_face:

Please Jolla fix this. People shouldn’t have to hack around to get such a basic thing to be usable :slight_smile:

Been a problem from the very beginning.

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I miss the N9’s Swype keyboard too, but OKboard on OpenRepos is pretty close .

It doesn’t work on XA2 Ultra, and my skills are not enough to build Finnish dictionary/whatitwas…

I checked the .qml files and found these specifications only in a few files. Will I have to define the complete row or will those two keys alone do the job?

Just modify these 2 keys in the main layout of your keyboard. For example, if it’s english, just modify en.qml.