Assistance using Microsoft Windows XP

The keyboard:

There are a number of options to help you with the keyboard. Below are a list of common problems and solutions. If you don't find your particular problem here, try the different possible solutions listed - one may just help you out!

Problem - The keyboard repeats characters too quickly.

Problem - I cannot hold one key down and press another, when I need to press something like Ctrl+C.

Problem - I find the keyboard automatic repeat is a problem even if set at a slow rate.

Problem - I cannot tell if the Caps Lock or Num Lock is switched on.

Problem - I can use a pointing device like a mouse but cannot use a keyboard.

 

Problem (1)
The keyboard repeats characters I press too quickly.

Solution (1)
Adjust the repeat rate using the following option:

Action Using the mouse Using the keyboard
Open the Control Panel Click on Start, then click on Control Panel Press the Windows () key, or press Ctrl and Esc, the press C for the Control Panel option. If Control Panel is not highlighted use the arrow keys to select it then press ENTER.
If the screen looks like the one shown opposite with a "Switch to Classic View" option, click on it. If the screen looks like the one shown opposite with a "Switch to Classic View" option, press the Tab key until the option is highlighted (with a box round it) and press ENTER.
You should now have a screen something like the one opposite. You should now have a screen something like the one opposite.
Double click on the keyboard icon in the control panel Press K and if the keyboard icon shown opposite is not selected, use the arrow keys to highlight it. Press ENTER
You should have a window like the one opposite.
Use the mouse to adjust the Repeat delay (the time before keys held down start repeating). Use the mouse to adjust the Repeat rate (the speed with which a held key repeats).
Click in the box title "Click here and hold down a key to test repeat rate" nd then try holding a key like it says and you will see the effect of your changes.
When you are happy with the keyboard repeat rate, click OK. To leave it unchanged, click Cancel.
You should have a window like the one opposite.
Press the Tab key repeatedly until there is a box around the "Long Short" area under Repeat delay. Use the arrow left or right keys to move the indicator to one of the markers.
Press Tab to put a box round the "Slow Fast" area under Repeat Rate. Use the arrow left or right keys to select a different repeat rate.
Press Tab to put the blinking line in the "Click here and hold down a key to test repeat rate" area. The hold down a character key to see how it repeats. You can repeat this process until you have a keyboard rate that you are happy with. Then press ENTER to keep the changes, otherwise press Esc to cancel any changes and leave the keyboard as it was.

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Problem (2)
I cannot hold one key down and press another, when I need to press something like Ctrl+C.

Solution (2)
Switch on "Sticky Keys" using the following option:

Action Using the mouse Using the keyboard
Open the Control Panel Click on Start, then click on Control Panel Press the Windows () key, or press Ctrl and Esc, the press C for the Control Panel option. If Control Panel is not highlighted use the arrow keys to select it then press ENTER.
If the screen looks like the one shown opposite with a "Switch to Classic View" option, click on it. If the screen looks like the one shown opposite with a "Switch to Classic View" option, press the Tab key until the option is highlighted (with a box round it) and press ENTER.
You should now have a screen something like the one opposite. Double click on the Accessibility options. You should now have a screen something like the one opposite. Press A to highlight the Accessibility Options, use the arrow keys to select it if it is not selected. Press ENTER.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected.
Click on the box next to "Use StickyKeys" so that a check or tick mark appears in it.
If you are happy with the changes, click OK, otherwise click Cancel.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Sticky Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected. Press the space bar so that a check or tick mark appears in the box next to "Use StickyKeys". If it doesn't, press space again to unselect whatever was switched on and use the Tab key to move around the window until a box appears round Use StickyKeys and the press space to select it.
Press ENTER to save the changes or Esc to cancel them.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Sticky Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

Test it!

Open an application (the calculator or a Word Processor will do), then press Alt once. Then press the F4 key once and the application you opened should close.
If you have sound, a double beep should be heard when you press the first key. That indicates the keystroke has been registered and remembered.

If you press an actual double keystroke like holding Alt and pressing F4, this may switch the feature off (this is an option under Settings).

Open an application (the calculator or a Word Processor will do), then press Alt once. Then press the F4 key once and the application you opened should close.
If you have sound, a double beep should be heard when you press the first key. That indicates the keystroke has been registered and remembered.

If you press an actual double keystroke like holding Alt and pressing F4, this may switch the feature off (this is an option under Settings).

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Problem (3)
I find the keyboard automatic repeat is a problem even if set at a slow rate.

Solution (3)
Disable the repeating by switching on "FilterKeys" using the following option:

Action Using the mouse Using the keyboard
Select Accessibility Options in the Control Panel Use the first 4 steps in Solution2 above. Use the first 4 steps in Solution2 above.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected.
Click on the box next to "Use FilterKeys" so that a check or tick mark appears in it.
If you are happy with the changes, click OK, otherwise click Cancel.
Click on the Settings option to test the changes.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Filter Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected. Press Tab so that a box appears round the "Use FilterKeys" option. Press the space bar to put a check or tick mark next to the option.
Press Tab until a box appears on the Settings button and press ENTER to test the changes.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Filter Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

You should now have a window like the one opposite.

Click in the box under "Click and type here to test FilterKey settings:" Then hold a key down until it would normally repeat. Nothing should happen, it will be necessary for you to release and press a key again to make it repeat.
If you are happy with these settings, click OK and the OK on the previous window to save them. Clicking on Cancel on each window will leave things as they were.

You should now have a window like the one opposite.

Press Tab pepeatedly util a blinking cursor appears in the box under "Click and type here to test FilterKey settings:" Then hold a key down until it would normally repeat. Nothing should happen, it will be necessary for you to release and press a key again to make it repeat.
If you are happy with these settings, press Tab repeatedly until the OK box is highlighted and press ENTER. Repeat this action for the previous window. Use the Cancel option if you do not wish to save any changes made.

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Problem (4)
I cannot tell if the Caps Lock or Num Lock is switched on.

Solution (4)
Many keyboards have lights which tell you the status of these switches by lighting up when one is switched on. Wndows XP also displays a brief notification in the lower right of the screen when one is changed. However, you can also have sound notifications (if your computer has sound) of these keys being pressed with the following option:

Action Using the mouse Using the keyboard
Select Accessibility Options in the Control Panel Use the first 4 steps in Solution2 above. Use the first 4 steps in Solution2 above.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected.
Click on the box next to "Use ToggleKeys" so that a check or tick mark appears in it.
If you are happy with the changes, click OK, otherwise click Cancel.
Click on the Settings option to test the changes.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Toggle Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

You should have a window like the one opposite, with the Keyboard tab at the top left selected. Press Tab so that a box appears round the "Use ToggleKeys" option. Press the space bar to put a check or tick mark next to the option.
Press ENTER to save the changes or Esc to cancel them.

The Settings option lets you adjust further settings for the Toggle Keys function but usually the default settings are satisfactory.

Test it! Press Caps Lock to switch it on or off. A tone should be heard with each change. Ahigh tone when it is switched on and a lower one when it is switched off. Press Caps Lock to switch it on or off. A tone should be heard with each change. Ahigh tone when it is switched on and a lower one when it is switched off.

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Problem (5)
I can use a pointing device like a mouse but cannot use a keyboard.

Solution (5)
Try using the on-screen keyboard. Click anywhere on this text for details.

 

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