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A framework that makes it easy to add hardware keyboard control to iOS and Mac Catalyst apps.
.package(url: "https://github.com/douglashill/KeyboardKit.git", from: "4.4.0")


KeyboardKit makes it easy to add hardware keyboard control to iOS and Mac Catalyst apps.

Keyboard control is a standard expectation of Mac apps. It’s important on iOS too because a hardware keyboard improves speed and ergonomics, which makes an iPad an even more powerful productivity machine.

Apps created with AppKit tend to have better support for keyboard control compared to UIKit-based apps. I believe the principal reason for this is that most AppKit components respond to key input out of the box, while most UIKit components do not. KeyboardKit aims to narrow this gap by providing subclasses of UIKit components that respond to key commands.



KeyboardKit supports iOS 12.0 onwards on iPad, iPhone and Mac Catalyst (both scaled and optimised). tvOS is not supported. The latest Xcode 12.x is required.

Both Swift and Objective-C apps are supported. Since KeyboardKit is implemented in Swift, it’s not possible subclass KeyboardKit classes from Objective-C. However all other features of KeyboardKit are available to Objective-C apps.



  1. Clone this repository.
  2. Drag KeyboardKit.xcodeproj into your Xcode project.
  3. Add the KeyboardKit target as a dependency of your target.
  4. Add KeyboardKit.framework as an embedded framework.

Swift Package Manager

Add KeyboardKit to an existing Xcode project as a package dependency:

  1. From the File menu, select Swift Packages › Add Package Dependency…
  2. Enter "https://github.com/douglashill/KeyboardKit" into the package repository URL text field.

This Swift package contains localised resources, so Swift 5.3 (Xcode 12) or later is required.

Swift Package Manager requires the Swift and Objective-C sources to be separated into modules. The KeyboardKitObjC module is used internally by KeyboardKit and does not need to be imported explicitly by your app.


  1. Add the following to your Podfile:

    pod 'Keyboard-Kit'
  2. Run the following command:

    pod install

Please open a pull request if you notice any integration problems.


Import the framework:

import KeyboardKit

Instead of creating or subclassing a UIKit class directly, use the subclasses from KeyboardKit instead. All KeyboardKit subclasses are named by changing UI to Keyboard. For example replace

class SettingsViewController: UICollectionViewController {


class SettingsViewController: KeyboardCollectionViewController {

Or create KeyboardKit subclasses directly:

let tabBarController = KeyboardTabBarController()
tabBarController.viewControllers = [
    KeyboardNavigationController(rootViewController: SettingsViewController()),

In order to receive key commands, an object must be on the responder chain.

You can see more in the KeyboardKitDemo app, and each class includes API documentation in their Swift source file.

Approach to API and testing

The public API is currently kept minimal. Exposing more API without first understanding use-cases would increase the chances of having to make breaking API changes. If there is something you’d like to be able to customise in KeyboardKit, please open an issue to discuss.

KeyboardKit does not have many automated tests yet. This is a deliberate choice to invest time on the project where it is most valuable. If functionality is ever reported to be breaking then automated tests should be added at that point.


KeyboardKit is a project from Douglas Hill with the kind help of contributors. Some concepts were originally developed for PSPDFKit and reimplemented in Swift for KeyboardKit. I use KeyboardKit in my reading app.

Learn more


I’d love to have help on this project. For small changes please open a pull request, for larger changes please open an issue first to discuss what you’d like to see.


MIT license — see License.txt


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Last commit: 2 weeks ago

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