In most cases where the keyboard is needed, it pops up automatically. However, I am trying to play Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup Webtiles on my tablet, and it does not bring up the keyboard. Is there any way to bring it up manually? I'm on a Nexus 7, running Jelly Bean. Ideally, there would be something that did not show up on the status bar, but sat in the notification drawer, and I could tap that to bring up the keyboard.

Actually, even better would be something that sat down in the bottom, next to the navigation controls, but I don't believe that's possible without modifying the framework.

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    On some of my devices, long-pressing the menu key pops up the on-screen keyboard. I don't know the Nexus 7, so I cannot tell if that works there...
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 17:35
  • That's an old thing, from Gingerbread, I believe. The N7 doesn't have a menu button, anyways.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 17:38
  • Was afraid of that -- as they said so before ICS, they would "remove the keys". Which is why I didn't place it as an answer -- but thought a suggestion wouldn't hurt. OK, sorry for that... I have no ICS. Hopefully somebody else knows a solution.
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 18:05
  • At one point I remember hearing something about a 'hacker keyboard' that had this feature, but I can't find it now, and I would rather something that worked on any keyboard. Shouldn't be too hard, it just needs to pass to the framework whatever trigger causes the keyboard to pop up.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 19:30

4 Answers 4


As I see an alternative keyboard may solve your issue, and this seems to be an acceptable solution, and you even mention something you cannot find -- hereby I proudly present:

Hacker's Keyboard

Checking its Guide, there's in fact a section suggesting such a feature:

You can configure the gesture used for this in the keyboard's "Gesture and key actions" settings menu. If the swipe action is too hard to trigger, try binding the "close keyboard" action to the "Volume down" hardware key. This won't interfere with normal use of the volume button while the keyboard is closed.

Though this applies to "close": If there are gestures you can configure, it might as well be able to have one for "open". The FAQ may reveal some more clues.

SaintWacko notes in the comments:

To be able to open it anywhere, you go into the settings for the keyboard and check the box for 'permanent notification'. It will then keep an entry in the notifications which you can tap to bring up the keyboard at any point.

So this would be an alternative possibility -- the hook being it is hooked to this special keyboard.

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    Hey, it mostly works! The part you have there for "how to open" is just how to enable it. To be able to open it anywhere, you go into the settings for the keyboard and check the box for 'permanent notification'. It will then keep an entry in the notifications which you can tap to bring up the keyboard at any point.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 20:53
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    Oh, that's annoying. I have to have the Hacker's Keyboard selected as the input method to be able to open it. Hmm... I'm going to leave this question open for now, to see if I get a better answer. I'd really prefer something that can just open the selected keyboard, whatever it is.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 21, 2012 at 20:55
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    As it turns out, this was exactly what I needed. I didn't think about it at the time, but DCSS uses some ctrl+* key combos, and the Hacker's Keyboard has ctrl and alt and esc and all those keys that are missing on other android keyboards. I do, however, wish that I could switch to Hacker's Keyboard for this, and Swype for everything else, without having to do it manually. Perhaps I'll look into Tasker.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 12:39
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    Oh, do you use Tasker? Would something like this work? I'm thinking of downloading a second web browser, setting its home page to the DCSS lobby, and treating it as a DCSS app. Could I set up Tasker so whenever I launched that browser, it would switch to the Hacker's Keyboard, and when I closed it, switch back to Swype?
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:40
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    Tasker can react on the app in foreground, sure -- but it probably cannot switch IME. All it can is popup installed IMEs to let you chose from -- see groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/tasker/bHknbZEq5jw
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 13:59

My math lab problem solved with the hackers keyboard! Download the hackers keyboard, then go into settings and enable ''use permanent notification''. This puts the hackers keyboard logo at the top right of your screen next to the clock and settings button. Click on the settings bar or clock at the bottom right and press ''Show Hackers Keyboard''. It will popup for you in flash and other times when it doesn't do it automatically.


I had that same problem and bought a Bluetooth keyboard in order to get around it.


I used a combination of "Hacker Keyboard" and "Smart Status Bar". Both free, no root required.

I set "permanent notification" in the Hacker Keyboard settings. Now, all I have to do in my full screen game is swipe from the top of the screen to bring down the notification menu, and then I select Hacker Keyboard.

Simple as that now.

  • for some reason the show hacker's keyboard thing in notifications does NOT open any keyboard in landscape mode with physical kb present
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 2, 2013 at 19:05

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