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Type without using the keyboard with On-Screen Keyboard in Windows Vista

Instead of relying on the physical keyboard to type and enter data, you can use On-Screen Keyboard. On-Screen Keyboard displays a visual keyboard with all the standard keys. You can select keys using the mouse or another pointing device, or you can use a single key or group of keys to cycle through the keys on the screen.

To open the On-Screen Keyboard:

  • Click on the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Ease of Access, then click on On-Screen Keyboard.

Select a layout for On-Screen Keyboard

You can adjust the layout, alignment, or number of keys that appear on the On-Screen Keyboard.

To change the keyboard layout

You can display On-Screen Keyboard in two different views (Standard Keyboard or Enhanced Keyboard) to promote faster typing or maximize the number of available keys.

  • Click Keyboard, and then select Enhanced Keyboard or Standard Keyboard.

To organize keys either in rows or like a keyboard

Block layout displays the keys in vertical and horizontal rows, which can make selecting the keys easier. The regular layout displays the keys in overlapping rows, simulating a physical keyboard.

  • Click Keyboard, and then select Regular Layout or Block Layout.

To add extra keys to the keyboard

When using the regular layout, you can add extra keys to your keyboard layout by selecting the number of keys you want from the Keyboard menu.

Select the number of keys from the Keyboard menu:

  • 101 keys displays a standard keyboard.
  • 102 keys displays an extra backslash (\) next to the SHIFT key in the lower left.
  • 106 keys displays extra characters useful for typing Japanese.

Change how information is entered into On-Screen Keyboard

There are three ways to enter data in On-Screen Keyboard:

  • Clicking mode.
    In clicking mode, you click the on-screen keys to type text.
  • Hovering mode.
    In hovering mode, you use a mouse or joystick to point to a key for a predefined period of time, and the selected character is typed automatically.
  • Scanning mode.
    In scanning mode, On-Screen Keyboard continually scans the keyboard and highlights areas where you can type keyboard characters by pressing a hot key or using a switch-input device. Use scanning mode to select keys with a single button or key.

To change the On-Screen Keyboard input mode

  • Click Settings, click Typing Mode, and then select the mode you want:
  • To use clicking mode, click Click to select.
  • To use hovering mode, click Hover to select.
    You can change how long the On-Screen Keyboard waits before it selects the key on the Minimum time to hover menu.
  • To use scanning mode, click Joystick or key to select.
    You can set the speed for how quickly the keys are scanned on the Scan interval menu.

Tips:

  • To use a mouse, joystick, or other pointing device instead of a keyboard key, click Advanced. In the Scanning Options dialog box, select the Serial, parallel, or game port checkbox. Plug in a joystick, gamepad, or other pointing device, and On-Screen Keyboard will work with it.
  • To change the key you use to select keys in On-Screen Keyboard, click Advanced. In the Scanning Options dialog box, select the Keyboard key checkbox, and then click the key you want to use in the drop-down menu.

Change the font for On-Screen Keyboard keys

The On-Screen Keyboard might be more comfortable to use if you change the font used to illustrate the screen's keys. The fonts that most people find easiest to see on the screen are Verdana and Arial.

  • Click the Settings menu, and then click Font.
  • In the Font box, select a font, and then click OK.

Set On-Screen Keyboard to use audible clicks

You can have On-Screen Keyboard make an audible click when a key is pressed.

  • Click Settings, and then select Use Click Sound to hear clicks when you select keys using On-Screen Keyboard.

Track free space on your computer with SpaceMonger

One of the software tools I use quite often client systems is SpaceMonger. SpaceMonger is a tool for keeping track of the free space on your computer. It shows graphically the size of each folder and file on your computer.

SpaceMonger

Each file or folder on a given drive is displayed in a box in the main window whose size is a relative comparison to all the other files in your system. So, for example, if the "Windows" box takes up 90% of the screen, the "C:\Windows" folder and all its sub-folders and files are taking up 90% of your "C:" drive.

SpaceMonger runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Click here to download the latest version

Using Disk Defragmenter in Windows Vista

Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Disk Defragmenter rearranges fragmented data so your hard disk can work more efficiently. Disk Defragmenter runs on a schedule, but you can also defragment your hard disk manually.

Click on the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools.

Click on Disk Defragmenter. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Note:
Here's another way to open Disk Defragmenter: Click the Start button. In the Search box, type Disk Defragmenter or defrag, and then, in the list of results, double-click Disk Defragmenter.

Click Defragment Now.

Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.

Free Microsoft Tools for Windows Vista

These free applications can add fun and functionality to the Windows Vista experience.

SyncToy v2.1
SyncToy helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers quickly and easily.
Click here to download

Microsoft Network Monitor 3.3
A tool to allow capturing and protocol analysis of network traffic.
Click here to download

Windows SteadyState 2.5
Whether you manage computers in a school computer lab or an Internet cafe, a library, or even in your home, Windows SteadyState helps make it easy for you to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them.
Click here to download

Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows Vista
WinHlp32.exe is required to display 32-bit Help files that have the ".hlp" filename extension. To view .hlp files on Windows Vista, you need to install this application.
Click here to download

Windows PowerShell 2.0 for Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting language designed for system administration and automation. Built on the .NET Framework, Windows PowerShell enables IT professionals and developers to control and automate Windows and applications' administration.

Windows NT Backup - Restore Utility
Utility for restoring backups made on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 to computers running Windows Vista and Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008.
Click here to download

Windows Easy Transfer for Windows XP
Download Windows Easy Transfer for your Windows XP-based PC so you can automatically copy your files, photos, music, e-mail, settings, and more to your new Windows Vista based PC. This software enables you to transfer data with Easy Transfer Cables or across a network, external drive, or CD/DVD.
Click here to download

Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4
Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator allows users to create or modify keyboard layouts.
Click here to download

Windows explorer keyboard shortcuts

Windows File Explorer keyboard shortcuts


Press To
END Display the bottom of the active window.
HOME Display the top of the active window.
NUM LOCK + ASTERISK on numeric keypad (*) Display all subfolders under the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + PLUS SIGN on numeric keypad (+) Display the contents of the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + MINUS SIGN on numeric keypad (-) Collapse the selected folder.
LEFT ARROW Collapse the current selection if it's expanded, or select the parent folder.
RIGHT ARROW Display current selection if it's collapsed or select the first subfolder.

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. We aim to give the highest quality of service  from computer repair, virus removal, and data recovery.

Bring your computer to us and save

Diagnosing PC problems can be time-consuming. From running memory checking software to scanning for viruses, these are processes can take some time. We base our in-shop service on the actual time we work on your computer, not the time it takes your computer to work!

Contact us

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4722 East Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
(602) 795-1111

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in servicing laptop and desktop computers. Since 2008, our expert and knowledgeable technicians have provided excellent computer repair, virus removal, data recovery, photo manipulation, and website support to the greater Phoenix metro area.

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