About Zebra EKB Designer

Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.9

See what's new in EKD 1.9


Enterprise Keyboard Designer (EKD) is a free GUI tool for Windows that can be used to create customized key layouts to enhance an application and enable efficient and accurate data entry. Layouts created with EKD work on Zebra Android devices that use Zebra's Enterprise Keyboard (EKB) 3.2 (and later), and can be displayed programmatically using Android intents or through DataWedge 7.4.44 (and later) when specific input situations arise. Learn more about Enterprise Keyboard and configuring DataWedge for EKB.

EKD employs a drag-and-drop interface with control over fonts, images, key codes, layout transparency and many other layout properties. As many as 20 custom key layouts can be created, and are stored in a "layout definition file," which is deployed to devices and called by apps as needed to match specific types of input. Zebra Enterprise Keyboard (EKB) must be installed and set as the default input method to make use of custom EKD layouts. EKB is preinstalled on many Zebra devices and available as a user app for others. See supported Zebra devices for more information.

Sample layouts made with Enterprise Keyboard Designer. Click image to enlarge, ESC to exit.


  • Numerical and/or symbolic input layouts
  • Function-key layouts
  • Layouts that combine function keys with buttons for scanning or other purposes
  • Key and button layouts with custom colors, images and levels of transparency
  • Layouts of custom size or shape (i.e. narrow, vertical, horizontal, etc.)
  • Customized responses that pop up in a list when a button is pressed
  • Custom key layouts for Zebra Enterprise Browser (EB 2.5 or later only)


  • To create a general-purpose device keyboard replacement
  • On devices that do not have Zebra Enterprise Keyboard 3.2 (or later) installed and set as the default


  • Computer running Windows 7, 8 or 10
  • Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.2 (or later) installed (how to download)
  • One or more supported Zebra devices running Android 7.x Nougat or later
  • To display layouts on a device, it must have Zebra Enterprise Keyboard 3.2 (or later) installed and set as the default input source. Learn more about Enterprise Keyboard.

Usage Snapshot

EKD features a simple drag-and-drop UI to allow quick creation of purpose-built key layouts configured for specific key actions that can be modified for different devices and screen resolutions. A device simulator helps ensure that what is seen in the tool is similar to the layouts being deployed.

Click image to enlarge, ESC to exit.


  • Enterprise Keyboard Designer must be used only in full screen mode. Resizing the EKD application window after starting a project can result in unpredictable behavior.
  • Enterprise Keyboard 3.2 (or later) must be installed and set as the default input method on the device to display layouts made with EKD.
    Learn more about Enterprise Keyboard.
  • Only one keyboard or custom key layout can be displayed on the device screen at a time. When a custom key layout is displayed, all other keyboards are hidden, including the standard Enterprise Keyboard alpha-numeric layout.
  • To display an EKD layout, it must be called by an app using intents (see EKB APIs section).
  • Apps on the device can access only a single EKD project file, but as many as 20 layouts can be saved in that single project file and called independently through intents.
  • EKD projects are saved and deployed as encrypted files that can be decrypted on the device only by Enterprise Keyboard and Enterprise Browser.
  • Layout files can be imported into EKD and modified or supplemented with additional keys and/or layouts.
  • When using DataWedge to switch layouts, the EKB fixed layout is sometimes shown briefly or until the focus changes again.
  • When custom layouts are displayed, all EKB settings, preferences and functions are suspended.
  • The terms “button” and “key” are used interchangeably in this guide.

NOTE: This tool is NOT intended for creating layouts to replace any general-purpose keyboard.

What's New in v1.9


Platform Notes:

  • On Zebra ET40, ET45, TC15, TC53 (and other 6375- and 6490-platform devices), Android restrictions prohibit the adb “push” command for file deployment to devices, even when the device is in developer mode. The EKD deployment feature for custom layouts is therefore not functional for such devices.
  • To deploy custom layout files to 6375-platform devices, use a desktop file explorer and copy files to:
  • Administrators can continue to mass-deploy custom layout files to:


Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.9.8


Enterprise Keyboard Designer 1.9.8

  • Consolidates target-selection menu by device skin and screen resolution

Note: Layouts created with EKD 1.9.8 can be rendered only on supported devices with EKB 3.9.11 (or later).

Features Introduced in EKD 1.9

  • Undo feature reverses each of the last 10 actions
  • Deploy button automatically exports the custom key-layout definition file (an encrypted file) to a USB-connected device
  • RepeatKeys function sends multiple keycodes by long-pressing a key
  • Macros feature can combine multiple keycodes, presses or actions into a single key Action
  • New predeveloped sample layouts can be downloaded and deployed immediately or customized to suit the needs of an enterprise

MDNA Enterprise License

Beginning with EKB 3.9, an MDNA Enterprise license is now required to use Enterprise Keyboard on Zebra Professional-series devices, including the TC21 and TC26. These devices arrive with a non-functional EKB “dummy” client, which must be replaced with the functional EKB v3.9 (or later) client after purchasing a Zebra MDNA Enterprise license. When unlicensed, EKB displays a “license required” prompt (see below) whenever app focus comes to a text input box. Learn more about MDNA licensing.

Click image to enlarge, ESC to exit.

Version History

Added in v1.4

New Features

  • A new Canned text feature allows a list of predefined text messages to be assigned to a key in EKD and displayed in a drop-down list on devices running Enterprise Keyboard when the key is pressed. This can help simplify, quicken and standardize responses to common questions or situations. Requires EKB 3.4 or later.

  • Set Default Layout now allows selection of a custom keyboard layout to be used as the default layout in the device, to appear whenever any input field receives focus. Requires EKB 3.4 or later.

  • A new Home button simplifies project start-up and importing of saved projects:
    Click image to enlarge, ESC to exit.

  • EKD layouts can now be used with Enterprise Browser 2.5 or later.

New Tutorials