On-Screen Keyboard overview

On-Screen Keyboard is a utility that displays a virtual keyboard on the screen and allows users with mobility impairments to type data using a pointing device or joystick. On-Screen Keyboard is intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with mobility impairments.

On-Screen Keyboard has three typing modes you can use to type data:

In clicking mode, you click the on-screen keys to type text.

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.

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.

In On-Screen Keyboard you can also:

View an enhanced keyboard that includes the numeric keypad, or a standard keyboard that does not include the numeric keypad.

Display the keyboard with the keys in the standard layout, or in a block layout in which the keys are arranged in rectangular blocks. Block layout is especially useful in scanning mode.

Display the U.S. standard keyboard (101 keys), the universal keyboard (102 keys), or a keyboard (106 keys) with additional Japanese language characters.

Use Click Sound to add an audible click when you select a key.

Use Always on Top to keep your keyboard displayed on your screen when you switch programs or windows.

Open On-Screen Keyboard


Related Topics

Utility Manager overview

Accessibility Wizard

Select the font for On-Screen Keyboard keys

Use hovering mode

Use scanning mode

Use clicking mode

Select a keyboard layout

To open On-Screen Keyboard, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, and then click On-Screen Keyboard

The program in which you want to type characters must be active while you are using On-Screen Keyboard. 

Utility Manager enables users to check an Accessibility program's status and start or stop an Accessibility program. Users with administrator-level access can designate to have the program start when Utility Manager starts. Users can also start Accessibility programs before logging on to the computer on by pressing the Windows logo key () + U at the Welcome to Windows dialog box that appears when Windows starts.

The accessibility tools that ship with Windows are intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with special needs. Most users with disabilities will need utility programs with more advanced functionality for daily use. For information about accessibility products and aids for Windows operating systems, see the accessibility page on the Microsoft Web site.

Web addresses can change, so you might be unable to connect to the Web site or sites mentioned here. 

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