Making your keyboard easier to use

Windows has a number of features to make your keyboard easier to use. These can all be accessed via the Accessiblity options in the control panel. The following instructions refer to Windows XP.

I can't hold down two keys at once. 

Sticky Keys allows you to issue commands that would normally require holding down several keys, by just pressing one key at a time. So instead of holding down the Shift Key and pressing three to type the pound sign you can press Shift and then press three.

To activate Sticky Keys:-

  1. Choose Control Panel from the Windows Start Menu
  2. In the Control Panel select Accessibility Options and press ENTER
  3. Ensure Use StickyKeys is ticked by pressing ALT+U. Pressing ALT+S will allow you to customise the settings
  4. Press Enter to save your settings

I never know if the Caps Lock is on or off

Normally the status of the caps lock and num lock keys is indicated by lights on the keyboard. When the Toggle Key is switched on, your computer will emit a tone, when either the caps lock, num lock or scroll lock keys are pressed. A high tone indicates that the key is switched on a low tone indicates that the key is switched off.

To activate Toggle Keys:-

  1. Choose Control Panel from the Windows Start Menu
  2. In the Control Panel select Accessibility Options and press ENTER
  3. Ensure Use Toggle Keys is ticked by pressing ALT+T
  4. Press Enter to save your settings

I keep typing extra letters by mistake

Computer keyboards are very sensitive and this causes problems for people with poor motor function. If you hold down a key for too long the keyboard will repeat the letter you've pressed until you release the key. Often people find they've typed several lines on the same letter before they realise what's happening. If you have a tremor or poor co-ordination you may inadvertently hit other keys instead of the key you want to press.

Filter Keys allows you to adjust the sensitivity of your keyboard and have windows ignore brief or repeated keystrokes.

To Switch Filter Keys on:-

  1. Choose Control Panel from the Windows Start Menu
  2. In the Control Panel, select Accessibility Options and press ENTER
  3. Ensure Use Filter Keys is ticked by pressing ALT+F. You can customise the Filter Keys settings by pressing ALT+E
  4. Press ENTER to save your settings

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