A dynamically variable keyboard terminal system having a keyboard display unit using an input panel with a plurality of touch-sensitive locations thereon and a keyboard display unit in alignment therewith. The system includes means for generating and storing information concerning symbols which make up one or more working symbol sets, such symbol information being author definable in accordance with a predetermined terminal definition language. The symbol information can include a symbol configuration for display, if applicable, or a symbol action to be performed, if applicable. Means are also provided for generating and storing information concerning a plurality of keyboard images which use such symbols and which keyboard information can be used for displaying a keyboard image at the keyboard display unit. A user can selectively touch one or more such locations so as to obtain symbol information for display on the keyboard display unit or on a monitor display unit, if applicable, or for performing an action associated with such symbol, if applicable.