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Use Your Keyboard To Control The Mouse

How To Set Up Your Computer So That You Can Use The Numeric Keypad In Place Of A Mouse.

 

If you find using a standard mouse difficult, choosing an alternative input device may help, but you may find that pressing keys on the keyboard to control the mouse is the easiest option. These guides explain how to customise your operating system (Windows or Mac ), so you can control the mouse pointer by using the number pad on your keyboard, a feature often called Mouse Keys.

Here’s how to do this…

  • Use your keyboard to control the mouse

Set up your computer so that you can use the numeric keypad in place of a mouse.

  1. Windows 7
  2. Mac OS X

How To Use Your Keyboard To Control The Mouse In Windows 7

This page explains step-by-step how to customise your computer setup so you can use your keyboard’s number pad in place of the mouse. In Windows 7, this feature is called ‘Mouse Keys’. Many people who cannot use a standard mouse find this the easiest option, rather than using an alternative input device such as a head-mouse or joystick.

  • Set up your keyboard to control the mouse
  • How to use the keyboard to control the mouse

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.

Set up your keyboard to control the mouse

Step 1: Turn on Mouse 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, to open the window shown in Fig 1.

Under the ‘Control the mouse with the keyboard’ header, tick the box next to ‘Turn on Mouse Keys‘ by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + M.

Fig 1

Step 2: Customise Mouse Keys

To customise your settings, click on ‘Set up Mouse Keys‘, or press Alt + Y, to open the ‘Set up Mouse Keys’ window (shown in Fig 2).

Fig 2

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

To use the keyboard shortcut to turn Mouse Keys on and off, tick the box next to ‘Turn on Mouse Keys with left ALT + left SHIFT + NUM LOCK‘ by clicking on it, or press Alt + K to tick it.

(Note: if you have difficulty holding down three keys at the same time, see the Use the keyboard with one hand guide.)

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

Step 3: Adjust the mouse pointer’s speed

You can customise the pointer speed when using Mouse Keys by moving the sliders (shown in Fig 2 below the ‘Pointer Speed’ header) to slow down or speed up the rate at which the pointer moves.

Click on the slider below ‘Top speed‘, and move it to set the maximum speed the pointer will move across the screen when one of the direction keys is held down. Alternatively, press Tab until the slider is highlighted and then use the arrow keys to move the slider to the maximum speed you want.

In the same way, you can adjust the slider below ‘Acceleration‘ to set how quickly the mouse pointer will accelerate to the maximum speed.

When using Mouse Keys, you can use the Ctrl (faster) and Shift (slower) keys to temporarily control the mouse pointer’s speed, by holding one of them down while pressing a direction key on the number pad. To turn this option on, tick the box next to ‘Hold down CTRL to speed up and SHIFT to slow down‘, or press Alt + W to tick it.

Step 4: Further options

Scroll down to the ‘Other Settings’ header (shown in Fig 3), where you can set how you want to be able to use the numeric keypad when you are not using Mouse Keys.

Fig 3

Below the ‘Use Mouse Keys when NUM LOCK is:‘ header, click the radio button for the setting you want. If you want to be able to use the number pad for data entry, click ‘Off‘. If you instead want to use the number pad for navigation and for the Insert and Delete keys, click ‘On‘. Alternatively, press Alt + O to use Mouse Keys when Num Lock is off, or press Alt + N to use Mouse Keys when Num Lock is on.

Tick the box next to ‘Display the Mouse Keys icon on the taskbar‘ by clicking on it, or press Alt + Y to tick it. A small icon will appear in the bottom right corner of your screen to remind you that Mouse Keys is on. It is also useful because it shows whether the primary or secondary mouse button is currently active.

Click the ‘Save‘ button, or press Alt + S, 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 to control the mouse

After you have set up your keyboard to control the mouse, you can use the number pad to move the mouse pointer, as well as click, double-click and select and drag, as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1

Step 1: Move the mouse pointer

You can move the mouse pointer in any direction (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) by using the number keys as shown in Fig 1. Press 4 and 6 to move left and right. Press 2 and 8 to move down and up. Press 1, 3, 7 and 9 to move diagonally.

Step 2: Click the mouse

Before you can click the mouse using the number pad, you need to let it know what type of click you want to make. Press ‘/‘ (slash) for a primary click, which is the same as a left-click on a standard mouse. Press ‘‘ (minus) for a secondary click, which is the same as a right-click on a standard mouse. Press ‘*‘ (asterisk) for the middle button of a mouse.

(Note that if you have your mouse set up for left-handed use, the primary and secondary buttons will also be reversed on the number pad.)

Once you have selected a click type, press 5 to click the mouse. The click type will stay the same until you change it, so if you have chosen a left-click, every time you press 5 it will make a left-click until you choose another option. (If you have set it up so that the mouse icon appears in your status bar, the icon should show which click type is currently active.)

Step 3: Double-click the mouse

While you can press 5 twice in a row quickly to make a double-click, it is much simpler to press ‘+‘ (plus) to double-click the mouse automatically.

Step 4: Select and drag

Move the cursor to the starting point of the area you want to highlight, or place it on the item you want to drag. Make sure the primary button (left-click) is chosen by pressing ‘/‘ (slash) and then press 5 to make a left-click.

Press 0 to start selecting or dragging – this is the same as holding down the mouse button. Use the number keys (as described in Step 1) to move the pointer to the end of the area you want to highlight, or to where you want to drag the item. Press ‘.‘ (full stop) to release the mouse button.



How To Use Your Keyboard To Control The Mouse In Mac OS X

This page explains step-by-step how to customise your computer setup in Mac OS X so you can use your keyboard’s number pad in place of the mouse. In Mac OS X, this feature is called ‘Mouse Keys’. Many people who cannot use a standard mouse find this the easiest option, rather than using an alternative input device such as a head-mouse or joystick.

Areas in this guide:

  • Set up your keyboard to control the mouse
  • How to use the keyboard to control the mouse

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.

Set up your keyboard to control the mouse

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: Set up the number pad to control the mouse

In the ‘Universal Access’ window (shown in Fig 3), make sure the ‘Mouse‘ 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 ‘Mouse Keys’, as shown in Fig 3, or press Tab to highlight the ‘Off‘ radio button and then press the left arrow key to switch Mouse Keys on.

You can turn Mouse Keys on or off at any time by pressing Alt five times. To enable this keyboard shortcut, tick the box next to ‘Press the Option key five times to turn Mouse Keys on or off‘ by clicking on it, or press Tab until the box is highlighted and then press the Spacebar to tick it. (In some setups, such as the one shown in Fig 3, this shortcut is automatically enabled if the ‘Allow Universal Access Shortcuts’ box is ticked).

Click and drag the slider beside ‘Initial Delay‘ to change the length of time between when you first start pressing a direction key and when the cursor starts moving. Alternatively, press Tab until the slider is highlighted and then use the arrow keys to make the delay shorter or longer.

In the same way, you can adjust the slider beside ‘Maximum Speed‘ to set the top speed at which the pointer will move across the screen when one of the direction keys is held down.

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

How to use the keyboard to control the mouse

After you have set up your keyboard to control the mouse, you can use the number pad to move the mouse pointer, as well as click, double-click and select and drag, as shown in Fig 1.

Fig 1

Step 1: Move the mouse pointer

You can move the mouse pointer in any direction (vertical, horizontal, diagonal) by using the number keys as shown in Fig 1. Press 4 and 6 to move left and right. Press 2 and 8 to move down and up. Press 1, 3, 7 and 9 to move diagonally.

Step 2: Click and double-click the mouse

Press 5 to click the mouse. Press 5 twice in a row quickly to make a double-click.

Step 3: Select and drag

Move the cursor to the starting point of the area you want to highlight, or place it on the item you want to drag, and then press 5 to click.

Press 0 to start selecting or dragging – this is the same as holding down the mouse button. Use the number keys (as described in Step 1) to move the pointer to the end of the area you want to highlight, or to where you want to drag the item. Press ‘.‘ (full stop) to release the mouse button.


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