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Customizing Softkeys

Cisco CME 3.2 and later allow you to customize the set of softkeys displayed to the phone user in each stage of a phone call. For example, by default in the connected call state, a Cisco 7960 IP Phone shows the following six softkeys:

  • Acct (account code entry)
  • Confrn (three-party conference)
  • Endcall
  • Flash (sends a hookflash signal to the PSTN line)
  • Hold
  • Trnsfer (call transfer)

Because a Cisco 7960 IP Phone has only four physical softkey buttons, the phone displays a more softkey as the rightmost button to allow the phone user to scroll to access all the keys. Because the more softkey itself uses one of the physical buttons, the user sees the feature softkeys in two sets:

  • Hold
  • Trnsfer
  • EndCall
  • More

  • Confrn
  • Acct
  • Flash
  • More

The softkey customization feature allows you to change this default behavior, and choose the set of keys you want to display. It also allows you to control the order of the keys so that you can move the more frequently used keys to the first page. For example, you may choose to remove the Acct and Flash keys from the connected state key set, leaving just the following four keys:

  • Hold
  • Trnsfer
  • EndCall
  • Confrn

Because this reduces the number of keys to just four, there is no need for a more softkey, allowing you to use all four physical phone buttons and present the softkeys as a single page.

The ephone-template command is used to provide this configuration, as shown in Example 5-35. The order of the command options determines the order in which the softkeys appear on the phone.

Example 5-35 ephone-template Command

router#show running-config
ephone-template 1
 soft-key connected hold trnsfr endcall confrn
ephone 1
 ephone-template 1

Cisco CME 3.2 and later allow you to create up to five different ephone templates. Each template lists the softkeys available for each of the four configurable call states:

  • Idle
  • Seized
  • Alerting
  • Connected

The ringing call state for inbound calls cannot be configured because it offers only two softkeys: Answer and DND. As soon as you have created the ephone templates, you can apply them on a per-ephone basis. This allows you to optimize the soft key sets to support several different types of phone users. It also allows removal of softkeys in cases where you need to restrict access to certain functions for some phone users.

Table 5-1 shows the full set of customizations for all customizable call states.

Table 5-1 Softkey Support Per Call State

Call State

Available Softkeys


Redial, CFwdAll, DND, PickUp, GPickUp, Newcall, Login


Redial, CFwdAll, PickUp, GPickUp, EndCall


Acct, EndCall, CallBack


Acct, Confrn, Hold, Trnsfr, Endcall, Flash, Park

The Seized call state is the initial dial tone state after going off-hook to place an outbound call. The Alerting state is the name of the call state after the telephone number has been dialed and the user is waiting for the called number to answer (or hears busy tone).

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