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Use The Keyboard With One Hand

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.

Here is a way to do this…

  • Use the keyboard with one hand

Change the settings in your operating system so that you do not need to press multiple keys at the same time.

  1. Windows 7
  2. Mac OS X

How To Use The Keyboard With One Hand In Windows 7

This page explains step-by-step how to set up Windows 7 so that you can use the keyboard with one hand. Some commands require a number of keys to be held down at the same time (for example, Ctrl + Alt + Delete). Sticky Keys enables you to select one key at a time.

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 Sticky 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 Sticky Keys‘ by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + R.

Step 2: Customise Sticky Keys

To customise your settings, click on ‘Set up Sticky Keys‘, or press Tab until it is highlighted and then press Enter, to open the ‘Set up Sticky Keys’ window (Fig 1).

Fig 1

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

You can now activate the shortcut that allows you to turn Sticky Keys on and off using the keyboard. Tick the box next to ‘Turn on Sticky Keys when SHIFT is pressed five times‘, or press Alt + K to tick it, as shown in Fig 2.

Fig 2

Tick the box next to ‘Display a warning message when turning a setting on‘, or press Alt + M, if you want this feature enabled.

Tick the box next to ‘Make a sound when turning a setting on or off‘, or press Alt + A, if you want this feature enabled.

Under the ‘Options’ header (Fig 3), you can set it so that if you press the Ctrl, Alt, Shift or Windows key twice in a row, the key remains active until you press the same key for a third time. To select this option, tick the box next to ‘Lock modifier keys when pressed twice in a row‘, or press Alt + L to tick it.

Fig 3

You may want to change the settings so that Sticky Keys will turn itself off if the Ctrl, Alt, Shift or Windows key, plus another key, are pressed at the same time (for example, Ctrl + S to save). This is useful if you share your computer with another user. To activate this option, tick the box next to ‘Turn off Sticky Keys when two keys are pressed at once‘, or press Alt + O to tick it.

Under the ‘Feedback’ header (Fig 4), tick the box next to ‘Play a sound when keys are pressed‘, or press Alt + Y, if you want this feature enabled.

Fig 4

Tick the box next to ‘Display the Sticky Keys icon on the task bar‘, or press Alt + I, if you want this feature enabled.

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 Use The Keyboard With One Hand In Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to set up Mac OS X so that you can use the keyboard with one hand. Some commands require a number of keys to be held down at the same time (for example, Apple + S to save). Sticky Keys enables you to select one key at a time.

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.

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

Step 2: Turn on Sticky Keys

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.

Fig 3

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

You can customise the settings for Sticky Keys to turn the audio and visual warnings on or off by ticking or unticking the boxes below. For example, if you tick the box next to ‘Show pressed keys on screen‘, you will see images of the keys you’ve pressed appear in the middle of the screen (Fig 3 shows how it looks when Shift and then Apple have been pressed).

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

Step 3: Using Sticky Keys

To use Sticky Keys, simply press one or more of the modifier keys (Ctrl, Alt, Apple and Shift) in sequence. Then when you press the final key in the sequence, the shortcut will be activated. For example, Shift + Apple + 3 (which takes a picture of the screen).

To turn Sticky Keys on or off at any time, press the Shift key five times.



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