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Change The Keyboard Settings On Your Computer

How To Change The Settings So That The Keyboard Is More Accessible Or Can Be Used On-Screen.

 

There are a number of ways you can adapt your computer to make it easier to use the keyboard. These guides explain how to customise your operating system (Windows or Mac ), so that you can use the keyboard with one hand, for instance, or minimise accidental keystrokes. You can also set up the on-screen keyboard and learn shortcuts and other tricks to reduce the amount of typing you need to do.

There are a number of ways to do this…

  • Change the keyboard settings on your computer

Change the settings in your operating system to control the pace of repeated keystrokes and avoid accidental keystrokes.

  1. Windows 7
  2. Mac OS X

How To Change The Keyboard Settings In Windows 7

This page explains step-by-step how to change the keyboard settings in Windows 7. Filter Keys provides you with the ability to control the pace of repeated keystrokes and to slow down the acceptance of keystrokes (if required), helping you to avoid accidental keystrokes.

Note: The ‘Ease of Access Center’ has replaced ‘Accessibility Options’ (which was used in earlier versions of Windows) in the ‘Control Panel’ of Windows 7.

Step 1: Turn on Filter Keys

Open the ‘Ease of Access Center’ window by pressing the Windows key + U, or by clicking the ‘Start‘ button, followed by ‘Control Panel‘, then ‘Ease of Access‘, then ‘Ease of Access Center‘.

Under the ‘Explore all settings’ header, click on ‘Make the keyboard easier to use‘ or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter.

Under the ‘Make it easier to type’ header, tick the box next to ‘Turn on Filter Keys‘ by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + I.

Step 2: Customise Filter Keys

To customise your settings, click on ‘Set up Filter Keys‘, or press Alt + L, to open the ‘Set up Filter Keys’ window (Fig 1).

Fig 1

The box next to ‘Turn on Filter Keys‘ should be ticked. If it is not, click on it or press Alt + L to tick it.

To use the keyboard shortcut to turn Filter Keys on and off, tick the box next to ‘Turn on Filter Keys when right SHIFT is held down for 8 seconds‘ or press Alt + K to tick the box.

If you want the additional features listed, tick the box next to ‘Display a warning message when turning a setting on‘ or press Alt + M. Then tick the box next to ‘Make a sound when turning a setting on or off‘ or press Alt + A.

Step 3: Turn on Bounce Keys

Bounce Keys prevents a keystroke being recorded should your finger accidently repeatedly touch a key on the keyboard. To turn this function on, click the radio button next to ‘Turn on Bounce Keys‘ or press Alt + B, as shown in Fig 2.

You can set the time that a key has to be held down before it is recorded by clicking on the drop-down button and selecting a time limit or pressing Tab until it is highlighted and using the up and down arrow keys.

Fig 2

Step 4: Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys

To prevent brief keystrokes from being recorded, click the radio button next to ‘Turn on Repeat Keys and Slow Keys’, or press Alt + R.

Fig 3

Step 5: Further options

If you want to hear a sound when keystrokes are accepted, tick the box next to ‘Beep when keys are pressed or accepted‘, shown in Fig 4, or press Alt + W to tick it.

Fig 4

If you want a reminder that Filter Keys is on, tick the box next to ‘Display the Filter Key icon on the taskbar‘, or press Alt + I to tick it.

Click the ‘OK‘ button, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter, to save your changes.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies – contact your local IT support for further help.



How To Change The Keyboard Settings In Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to change the keyboard settings in Mac OS X. By adjusting the speed with which the keyboard responds, you can control the pace of repeated keystrokes and slow down the acceptance of keystrokes (if required), helping you to avoid accidental keystrokes.

Areas in this guide:

  • Change your computer’s delay rate and repeat rate
  • Set up Slow Keys

Note: The following abbreviations for keys on the Mac are used: Ctrl is used for the Control key, Apple is used for the Command key, and Alt is used for the Option key. For keyboard access, make sure ‘Full keyboard access’ is turned on – you can turn it on or off by pressing Ctrl + F1 at any time.

Change your computer’s delay rate and repeat rate

There are two keyboard settings you can adjust to help you with your typing, so you can set one length of time for how long the computer waits before repeating a keystroke for the first time, different to further keystrokes. By setting the repeat rate to a higher speed than the delay rate, the keyboard will accelerate when a key is held beyond the first repeated keystroke. This is important for tasks such as backspacing over an entire word, so you don’t have to wait as long for every single keystroke.

Step 1: Open the ‘Keyboard & Mouse’ window

Make sure you are in ‘Finder’. If necessary, press Apple + Tab to cycle through the open applications until you return to ‘Finder’.

Click on the ‘Apple‘ icon on the menu bar or press Ctrl + F2.

Click on ‘System Preferences‘, as shown in Fig 1, or press the down arrow key to highlight it and then press Enter.

Fig 1

In the ‘System Preferences’ window (shown in Fig 2), click on the ‘Keyboard & Mouse‘ icon, or press Tab repeatedly (you might need to press Ctrl + F7 first) to cycle through the icons until the ‘Keyboard & Mouse’ icon is highlighted and then press the Spacebar.

Fig 2

In the ‘Keyboard & Mouse’ window (shown in Fig 3), make sure the ‘Keyboard‘ tab is selected. If it is not, click on it, or press Ctrl + F7 to highlight one of the tabs and then press the left or right arrow key to select it.

Step 2: Adjust the repeat rate

To change the rate at which a key repeats when it is held down, click on the ‘Key Repeat Rate‘ slider as shown in Fig 3 to select a more comfortable repeat rate, or press Tab until the slider is highlighted and use the left and right arrow keys to select your speed.

Fig 3

To test the new setting, click in the ‘Type here to test settings‘ box, or press Tab until the text in the box is highlighted, and then type something to test the key repeat rate.

Step 3: Adjust the delay rate

To change the delay before a key starts repeating when it is held down, click on the ‘Delay Until Repeat‘ slider as shown in Fig 4 to select a more comfortable delay rate, or press Tab until the slider is highlighted and use the left and right arrow keys to select your speed.

Fig 4

To test the new setting, click in the ‘Type here to test settings‘ box, or press Tab until the text in the box is highlighted, and then type something to test the key repeat rate.

When you are finished, click on the window’s red close button or press Apple + W.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies – contact your local IT support for further help.

Set up Slow Keys

Slow Keys enables you to adjust the amount of time the computer waits after you press a key before it accepts it. This means that you can press hundreds of keys by accident but they will be ignored unless a key is held down for a specific length of time.

Step 1: Open the ‘Universal Access’ window

Make sure you are in ‘Finder’. If necessary, press Apple + Tab to cycle through the open applications until you return to ‘Finder’.

Click on the ‘Apple‘ icon on the menu bar or press Ctrl + F2.

Click on ‘System Preferences‘, as shown in Fig 1, or press the down arrow key to highlight it and then press Enter.

Fig 1

In the ‘System Preferences’ window (shown in Fig 2), click on the ‘Universal Access‘ icon, or press Tab repeatedly (you might need to press Ctrl + F7 first) to cycle through the icons until the ‘Universal Access’ icon is highlighted and then press the Spacebar.

Fig 2

In the ‘Universal Access’ window (shown in Fig 3), make sure the ‘Keyboard‘ tab is selected. If it is not, click on it, or press Ctrl + F7 to highlight one of the tabs and then press the left or right arrow key to select it.

Step 2: Turn on and customise Slow Keys

Click the ‘On‘ radio button next to ‘Slow Keys’, as shown in Fig 3, or press Tab to highlight the ‘Off‘ radio button and press the left arrow key to switch Slow Keys on.

Fig 3

By default, a click sound is made when you hold down a key. If you want to turn off this warning, untick the box next to ‘Use click key sounds‘ by clicking on it, or press Tab to highlight it and then press the Spacebar to untick it.

You can also adjust how long the computer waits after you press a key before it recognises it. To do this, click on the ‘Acceptance Delay‘ slider to lengthen or shorten the delay, or press Tab until the slider is highlighted and then press the left and right arrow keys to adjust the delay.

When you are finished, click on the window’s red close button or press Apple + W.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies – contact your local IT support for further help.


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