I recently bought Better Terminal Emulator Pro, and I like it, but how do I use the Escape key and directional keys? For instance, I'd like to switch between modes in vi or use the up and down arrows to cycle through my command history.

I have a Samsung Fascinate. No D-pad.

4 Answers 4


BTEP has a "Using Better Terminal Emulator Pro" page on their wiki which explains most of the special shortcuts and keys. The basic breakdown of what you're looking for is:

For directional input: Either use a keyboard that supports this or use BTEP's virtual direction pad feature. You can access it by tapping the screen when the keyboard is visible, long-pressing the screen when it isn't, or pressing the Search button. The cursor should change to a > character to indicate you're in VDP mode, and you can swipe your directional input (i.e. swipe up for the up key).

For ESC: This is usually mapped by default to the volume up key, but you can remap it to any of the available programmable shortcut keys. You can also press the Search button then press [, since Search is mapped to the control character on devices that lack a trackball or dpad (as well as activating VDP mode) and ^[ (CTRL-[) is the ESC character.


Hacker's Keyboard - use a full soft keyboard on Android

You can use the free, open source, app call Hacker's Keyboard to gain access to the buttons of a full keyboard:

“Are you missing the key layout you're used to from your computer? This keyboard has separate number keys, punctuation in the usual places, and arrow keys. It is based on the AOSP Gingerbread soft keyboard, so it supports multitouch for the modifier keys.

This keyboard is especially useful if you use ConnectBot for SSH access. It provides working Tab/Ctrl/Esc keys, and the arrow keys are essential for devices such as the Xoom tablet or Nexus S that don't have a trackball or D-Pad.”



The Android keyboard does not have directional keys; you need a keyboard that has them.

Your Fascinate should have both the Samsung keyboard and the Swype keyboard, which do have arrow keys. Press and hold the 123 button (Samsung) or swipe from the Swype key to the SYM key (Swype).


There are useful answers here, but have you considered mapping something like "jj" in insert mode to the escape key? Here's how:

Assuming you are in "termux" or similar terminal emulator and you're using vim as installed there. In the home folder (type pwd to see current directory), create a file called ".vimrc" and put the following text into it, without quotes: "inoremap jj <esc>" And save. Next time you are in insert mode in vim, simply press "j" twice in quick succession. Presto :)

Now add other keybindings to simulate other commands.

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