Input device interface

Types of input devices

To create an input device use

/*Register at least one display before you register any input devices*/
lv_indev_t * indev = lv_indev_create();
lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_...);   /*See below.*/
lv_indev_set_read_cb(indev, read_cb);  /*See below.*/

The type member can be:

read_cb is a function pointer which will be called periodically to report the current state of an input device.

Visit Input devices to learn more about input devices in general.

Touchpad, mouse or any pointer

Input devices that can click points on the screen belong to this category.

lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_POINTER);

void my_input_read(lv_indev_t * indev, lv_indev_data_t*data)
  if(touchpad_pressed) {
    data->point.x = touchpad_x;
    data->point.y = touchpad_y;
    data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_PRESSED;
  } else {
    data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_RELEASED;

To set a mouse cursor use lv_indev_set_cursor(indev, &img_cursor).

Keypad or keyboard

Full keyboards with all the letters or simple keypads with a few navigation buttons belong here.

To use a keyboard/keypad:

  • Register a read_cb function and use LV_INDEV_TYPE_KEYPAD type.

  • An object group has to be created: lv_group_t * g = lv_group_create() and objects have to be added to it with lv_group_add_obj(g, obj)

  • The created group has to be assigned to an input device: lv_indev_set_group(indev, g)

  • Use LV_KEY_... to navigate among the objects in the group. See lv_core/lv_group.h for the available keys.

lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_KEYPAD);


void keyboard_read(lv_indev_t * indev, lv_indev_data_t*data){
  data->key = last_key();            /*Get the last pressed or released key*/

  if(key_pressed()) data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_PRESSED;
  else data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_RELEASED;


With an encoder you can do the following:

  1. Press its button

  2. Long-press its button

  3. Turn left

  4. Turn right

In short, the Encoder input devices work like this:

  • By turning the encoder you can focus on the next/previous object.

  • When you press the encoder on a simple object (like a button), it will be clicked.

  • If you press the encoder on a complex object (like a list, message box, etc.) the object will go to edit mode whereby you can navigate inside the object by turning the encoder.

  • To leave edit mode, long press the button.

To use an Encoder (similarly to the Keypads) the objects should be added to groups.

lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_ENCODER);


void encoder_read(lv_indev_t * indev, lv_indev_data_t*data){
  data->enc_diff = enc_get_new_moves();

  if(enc_pressed()) data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_PRESSED;
  else data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_RELEASED;

Using buttons with Encoder logic

In addition to standard encoder behavior, you can also utilize its logic to navigate(focus) and edit widgets using buttons. This is especially handy if you have only few buttons available, or you want to use other buttons in addition to encoder wheel.

You need to have 3 buttons available:

  • LV_KEY_ENTER: will simulate press or pushing of the encoder button

  • LV_KEY_LEFT: will simulate turning encoder left

  • LV_KEY_RIGHT: will simulate turning encoder right

  • other keys will be passed to the focused widget

If you hold the keys it will simulate an encoder advance with period specified in indev_drv.long_press_repeat_time.

lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_ENCODER);


void encoder_with_keys_read(lv_indev_t * indev, lv_indev_data_t*data){
  data->key = last_key();            /*Get the last pressed or released key*/
                                     /* use LV_KEY_ENTER for encoder press */
  if(key_pressed()) data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_PRESSED;
  else {
      data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_RELEASED;
      /* Optionally you can also use enc_diff, if you have encoder*/
      data->enc_diff = enc_get_new_moves();


Buttons mean external "hardware" buttons next to the screen which are assigned to specific coordinates of the screen. If a button is pressed it will simulate the pressing on the assigned coordinate. (Similarly to a touchpad)

To assign buttons to coordinates use lv_indev_set_button_points(my_indev, points_array). points_array should look like const lv_point_t points_array[] = { {12,30},{60,90}, ...}


The points_array can't go out of scope. Either declare it as a global variable or as a static variable inside a function.`

lv_indev_set_type(indev, LV_INDEV_TYPE_BUTTON);


void button_read(lv_indev_t * indev, lv_indev_data_t*data){
    static uint32_t last_btn = 0;   /*Store the last pressed button*/
    int btn_pr = my_btn_read();     /*Get the ID (0,1,2...) of the pressed button*/
    if(btn_pr >= 0) {               /*Is there a button press? (E.g. -1 indicated no button was pressed)*/
       last_btn = btn_pr;           /*Save the ID of the pressed button*/
       data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_PRESSED;  /*Set the pressed state*/
    } else {
       data->state = LV_INDEV_STATE_RELEASED; /*Set the released state*/

    data->btn_id = last_btn;         /*Save the last button*/

When the button_read callback in the example above changes the data->btn_id to 0 a press/release action at the first index of the points_array will be performed ({12,30}).

Other features


The default value of the following parameters can be changed in lv_indev_t:

  • scroll_limit Number of pixels to slide before actually scrolling the object.

  • scroll_throw Scroll throw (momentum) slow-down in [%]. Greater value means faster slow-down.

  • long_press_time Press time to send LV_EVENT_LONG_PRESSED (in milliseconds)

  • long_press_repeat_time Interval of sending LV_EVENT_LONG_PRESSED_REPEAT (in milliseconds)

  • read_timer pointer to the lv_timer which reads the input device. Its parameters can be changed by lv_timer_...() functions. LV_DEF_REFR_PERIOD in lv_conf.h sets the default read period.


Besides read_cb a feedback_cb callback can be also specified in lv_indev_t. feedback_cb is called when any type of event is sent by the input devices (independently of its type). This allows generating feedback for the user, e.g. to play a sound on LV_EVENT_CLICKED.

Associating with a display

Every input device is associated with a display. By default, a new input device is added to the last display created or explicitly selected (using lv_display_set_default()). The associated display is stored and can be changed in disp field of the driver.

Buffered reading

By default, LVGL calls read_cb periodically. Because of this intermittent polling there is a chance that some user gestures are missed.

To solve this you can write an event driven driver for your input device that buffers measured data. In read_cb you can report the buffered data instead of directly reading the input device. Setting the data->continue_reading flag will tell LVGL there is more data to read and it should call read_cb again.

Switching the input device to event-driven mode

Normally the input event is read every LV_DEF_REFR_PERIOD milliseconds (set in lv_conf.h). However, in some cases, you might need more control over when to read the input device. For example, you might need to read it by polling file descriptor (fd).

You can do this in the following way:

/*Update the input device's running mode to LV_INDEV_MODE_EVENT*/
lv_indev_set_mode(indev, LV_INDEV_MODE_EVENT);


/*Call this anywhere you want to read the input device*/


that lv_indev_read(), lv_timer_handler() and _lv_display_refr_timer() can not run at the same time.


For devices in event-driven mode, data->continue_reading is ignored.

Further reading

  • lv_port_indev_template.c for a template for your own driver.

  • INdev features <indev> to learn more about higher level input device features.