Onscreen Keyboard – A New Way to Type

Onscreen Keyboard

If using a standard computer keyboard is difficult for you, but you can use a mouse, trackball, or other pointing device, an onscreen keyboard can allow you to regain access to the keyboard.

An onscreen keyboard is just that – a picture of a keyboard on your monitor, and by clicking on the picture of the key you want to type, the letter is selected.

Picture of a Screen Shot showing Windows built in Onscreen Keyboard


For a video showing onscreen keyboards, click here.

I bet you did not know that your computer already has an onscreen keyboard available for you.

Here are the steps to load the built in onscreen keyboard in Windows:
– For Windows XP, click on the Start Button, then go to Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, On-Screen Keyboard.
– For Windows Vista or Windows 7, click on the Start Button, then go to Programs, Accessories, Ease of Access, On-Screen Keyboard.

For Apple Computers:

– In System Preferences, go to “Language and Text”
– Click on “Input Sources”
– Click on “Keyboard and Character Viewer”
A small square icon will show up in the Menu Bar on the right (close to the time).  Click on this icon and choose “Show Keyboard Viewer.”  You now have an onscreen keyboard that you can use your mouse to “type” on your computer.  You can even resize the keyboard to suit your needs.

Here is a picture of the Mac onscreen keyboard:
Picture of Mac onscreen keyboard

There is a free Windows onscreen keyboard called Click-N-Type that has some additional features such as word prediction and scanning.

Even for those that do not have a disability that prevents us from using the physical keyboard, and onscreen keyboard can come in handy if you are wanting to use a computer from a distance with only a mouse.  You can sit back and just point and type!

If you would need to rely on an onscreen keyboard for all of your typing needs, there are other software programs for purchase that have additional and better features that will help speed up typing.  For more information on what product would suit your needs best, contact us.

There is also a program called Dasher that is a totally different way of typing, but once mastered can allow someone with very little physical movement to type very quickly.  Click here to check it out.  This software is available for PC, Mac, and mobile devices.

If you or someone you are working with needs this type of technology to type, there are companion products that can help with clicking and speeding up typing.  Contact us to discuss your case for further assistance.

SHARE YOUR IDEAS
I would love to hear your ideas on this topic, leave your comments and/or suggestions below.

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About improveability

I am a rehab engineer trying to make the world a better place through assistive technology.
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