There are other alternative virtual keyboard for X that may fit your needs better than Florence. Here is a list of the main keyboard alternatives.

  1. GOK is the default GNOME onscreen keyboard. It provides more features than Florence for disabled people. It can be used with special devices like switches and joysticks. GOK provides complete access to the desktop. It can be used to move and resize windows and to use any widget. It is application aware and provides a predictive dictionary that make it an effcient keyboard. It is more focussed on accessibility than on aestetics. The high number of features makes it more complex. Florence is arguably prettier and easier to use for people who can easily use a pointing device. GOK is the only option for disabled people who can't use a pointing device.

  2. XVKBD is a simple and very mature virtual keyboard. It does not depend on GNOME. Like GOK, it provides word completion. Like Florence, it has an auto-click feature but it lacks an auto-hide mode and does not integrate with GNOME as much as Florence. This is the perfect keyboard for simple window managers. Florence is arguably prettier and better integrated in GNOME.

  3. Onboard is the default Ubuntu keyboard. It runs with python, which is common in modern linux distributions. It focuses on simplicity rather than features. It is pretty and easy to use. It is less customizable than Florence and does not provide an auto-hide feature. Perfect for casual usage on Ubuntu.

Table 1. Keyboards features

keyboardtransparencyauto hideauto clickscanningword completion

There are other non-keyboard alternatives that can be used to input text.

  1. Dasher provides a predictive gesture based method to input text. This is a very efficient and natural input method. It can be used to input text only with eye movements when combined with opengazer

  2. CellWriter is a hand writing recognition tool. It is a good text input method for tablets. CellWriter also provides a virtual keyboard.