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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 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 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. 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 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 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 check box. Plug in a joystick, game pad, 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 check box, and then click the key you want to use in the drop-down menu.

Change the font for On-Screen Keyboard keys

On-Screen Keyboard might be easier to use if you change the font used to illustrate the keys on the screen. 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.

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