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A "soft keyboard" is a virtual keyboard based on a software component that allows a user to enter characters.

A virtual keyboard is a software component that allows a user to enter characters.[1] A virtual keyboard can usually be operated with multiple input devices, which may include a touchscreen, an actual computer keyboard and a computer mouse.

Virtual keyboards are commonly used as an on-screen input method in devices with no physical keyboard, where there is no room for one, such as a pocket computer, personal digital assistant (PDA), tablet computer or touchscreen equipped mobile phone. It is common for the user to input text by tapping a virtual keyboard built into the operating system of the device. Virtual keyboards are also used as features of emulation software for systems that have fewer buttons than a computer keyboard would have.