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Windows On-Screen Keyboard Provides Alternative Input Option

Utility Enables Data Entry Using Switch or Pointing Device


Windows On-Screen Keyboard Provides Alternative Input Option

The Windows 7 On-Screen Keyboard provides an alternate means of data entry for those who find using a standard PC keyboard difficult.


Some mobility impairments make typing on a standard keyboard difficult or impossible. One option for PC users is Windows On-Screen Keyboard.

Windows On-Screen Keyboard, one of its many accessibility features enables users to enter text by selecting characters on the screen.

Options for pressing keys include:

  • Clicking on them with the mouse
  • Cycling through them using the arrow keys or a switch
  • Using a wand or pointing device
  • Touching the screen (touch monitor required).

To activate the On-Screen Keyboard:

  • Click Start, Control Panel, Ease of Access Center
  • Click Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard
  • Check On-Screen Keyboard
  • Click OK.

To change how you enter data, click Options, choose preferred method, and then click OK.

Using On-Screen Keyboard

With Windows On-Screen Keyboard, keys briefly light up when they are clicked.

To make typing easier and faster, Onscreen Keyboard will predict words you're trying to type.

When you enter letters, On-Screen Keyboard displays a list of probable words. Click on one to enter it into your text.

Making the Standard Windows Keyboard Easier to Use

Those who prefer the standard keyboard, but find some moves difficult to execute can activate special keys to make typing easier.

Sticky Keys enables users to press required key combinations one key at a time, e.g. pressing Delete while holding down Control + Alt + simultaneously to reboot the computer. Sticky keys keep a key active until another is pressed, enabling slower typists to execute commands.

Toggle Keys play alerts when a user presses the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys. The alerts prevent the frustration of unintended keystrokes.

Filter Keys ignore keystrokes occurring in rapid succession, or resulting from keys that are unintentionally pressed for several seconds.

Underline Shortcut and Access Keys enable users to type just one letter of a command, making keyboard access in dialog boxes easier.

To enable special keys:

  • Click Start, Control Panel
  • Click Ease of Access Center
  • Check desired key option.
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