Assistance using Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows XP has a built in On-Screen Keyboard utility, which is free although a little limited in use.
As their disclaimer says:
"On-Screen Keyboard provides a minimum level of functionality for mobility-impaired users. Mobility-impaired users will need a utility program with higher functionality for daily use."
However, if you find it is satsfactory for regular use, the
advantage is that it is a built-in utility with
Windows and is free.
Once it is switched on, you will have an image of a keyboard on your screen and you can use the mouse to point to keys and click on them as if you had pressed one. The keyboard continues t operate as normal.
Below are instructions for switching on the On-Screen Keyboard:
|Action||Using the mouse||Using the keyboard|
|Click once on the start button.||Press the Windows key ()on the keyboard or hold the Ctrl key down and press Esc (called the Escape key).|
|Move the mouse to "All Programs". If an additional menu does not automatically appear, click once.||Press P on the keyboard and the press the Enter key or the right arrow key.|
|Click on or move the mouse over the Accessories option until another menu appears next to it.||Press A to go to the first option starting with that letter. If it is not the Accessories option use the uparrow and downarrow keys to find it and the press enter.|
|Click on or move the mouse over the Accessibility option until aonther menu appears next to it.||Press A to go to the first option starting with that letter. If it is not the Accessibility option use the uparrow and downarrow keys to find it and the press enter.|
|You should then see the accessibility menu.||You should then see the accessibility menu.|
|Click on the On-Scrren Keyboard option||Use the arrow keys to highlight the On-Screen Keyboard option and press enter.|
If you find the keyboard instructions above a little difficult to follow, there is an alternative below:
|Action||Using the keyboard|
|Press the Windows key (with the symbol on it).|
The "Run" window should be displayed.
Type in the word osk (short for On-Screen Keyboard).
|Notes: A message box with a link to more information
about the Microsoft On-Screen Keyboard may appear. To close the box, press
To turn off the keyboard, click on the X button in the top right corner of the keyboard or press Alt+F4 with the window active.
You can also change the font used in the on-screen keyboard to display the keys and make it click when you "press" a key:
With the on-screen keyboard running, select settings and you
should see a menu like the one below.
Select "Use Click Sound" (shown switched on above) to enable audible clicks when a key is pressed and select Font to change the style and size of the font used o display the keys. Note that the keyboard does not adjust in size to accommodate larger fonts, so some care is needed when changing the size. However, the effect is immediate so you can see what you have changed it to.