Adding a Persistent Paging Button

Polycom phones using Ringfree service normally come with a Paging button that is available only while the phone is idle. Some users may occasionally find it inconvenient, impractical, or counter-intuitive to have the button only available while the phone is in an idle state, instead preferring to be able to pick up the handset prior to pressing the button. Fortunately Polycom phones support custom softkey configurations in such a capacity that the paging button can be made persistent in a variety of phone states.

Polycom phones using Ringfree service do not seem to support editing the softkey configuration using the .cfg files located within the PPT container as the local device configuration appears to override any softkey changes made there. Therefore in order to make changes to the device softkeys, it is necessary to log into the phone’s web interface. Once logged into the web interface, locate the Utilities menu and select the Soft Key Configuration option.

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Note that there are several default softkeys. Depending on configuration and firmware version there may be some combination of New CallTalkPagingForward, and *DND. Make a note as to whether or not there is a Paging button already as this will affect our configuration choices later on.

Click the Button labeled Add Soft Key and in the provided Label field, please enter Paging or another label as specified by the end user. Next locate the checkbox labeled Edit Macro Code and click to put a check in the box and reveal a field labeled Macro Code. In the Macro Code field, please enter the following:

$FPage$

Once done, click the Add Soft Key button a second time to add the soft key and click Yes in the confirmation box. The softkey configuation will then reload without the phone requiring a reboot.

At this point, go back to the Utilities menu and select the Import & Export Configuration option. When the page loads, locate and click the line labeled Export Configuration to expose the Export Configuration File option.

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From the Export Configuration File dropdown, please select All Configuration (except Device Settings) and click the Export button to download the file.

Once the file has been downloaded, open it with a text editor of your choice and search for softkey. You should find a section that appears similar to the following:

softkey.1.action="$FPage$"
softkey.1.enable="1"
softkey.1.label="Paging"
softkey.1.precede="1"
softkey.1.use.idle="1"

Note that the softkey may be identified by an integer other than 1 if there are other custom softkeys configured on the phone. Also note that the softkey.1.label field may contain a different string if you entered a different name for the button in the web interface.

The field that we’re most interested in here is the softkey.1.use.idle. Thought not immediately available within the file, there are a number of other softkey.1.use fields that define the availability of the button during the various states of the phone. If the phone you are configuring already has a Paging button, then we only need to add the new button to states other than idle, otherwise if the phone does not already have a Paging button, we can leave the idle state alone and simply add fields indicating additional states.

Here is a sample of what the config might look like with additional states if the phone already has a Paging button:

softkey.1.action="$FPage$"
softkey.1.enable="1"
softkey.1.label="Paging"
softkey.1.precede="1"
softkey.1.use.idle="0"
softkey.1.use.active="1"
softkey.1.use.alerting="1"
softkey.1.use.hold="1"
softkey.1.use.dialtone="1"
softkey.1.use.proceeding="1"
softkey.1.use.setup="1"

Note the additional states: activealertingholddialtoneproceeding, and setup. A value of 1 indicates that the button is available during that state whereas a value of 0 indicates that the button is not active during that state. Once you have adjusted the states to the required preferences, save the file and return to the phone’s web interface.

Locate the Import Configuration File field within the phone’s web interface and click the associated Choose File button. Browse your file system for the newly modified configuration file and then click the button labeled Import to upload the new configuration into the phone. Once the file is uploaded, the phone will reload the configuration and the newly configured button will be available. No reboot is required.