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Customising your keyboard or mouse

Keyboard and mouseMost people don’t even scratch the surface when it comes to using all the features their computer offers. Did you know you can slow down the mouse, turn on Māori macrons or use an onscreen keyboard?

 

This post looks at some of the free options for customising your keyboard or mouse that are available through your operating system.

Laptop keyboard and mouse options

Finding your keyboard & mouse options

Windows 7 & Windows 8: Control Panel→ ease of access OR mouse

Mac: System Preferences→ keyboard OR mouse OR accessibility

Chromebook: Settings→ show advanced settings→ accessibility OR device for mouse OR keyboard

Laptop keyboard and mouse options

Finding your keyboard & mouse options

Windows 7 & Windows 8: Control Panel→ ease of access OR mouse

Mac: System Preferences→ keyboard OR mouse OR accessibility

Chromebook: Settings→ show advanced settings→ accessibility OR device for mouse

Keyboard options

  • Sticky Keys - press one key at a time rather than holding down multiple keys simultaneously (e.g. shift-control-alt pressing one key at a time)

  • Filterkeys/Slow keys - ignore brief keystrokes, or repeated and slow keystrokes (Win & Mac only)

  • Onscreen keyboard - can operate the keyboard with a mouse click or touchpad. The Windows version is also switch accessible.

  • Toggle Keys - makes a sound when you press the Caps Lock key (Win only)

  • Māori Macrons - add a line above a vowel to indicate that it should be spoken as a long vowel e.g. Māori. To enable macrons set up a Maori keyboard:

Mouse options

  • Cursor - make your cursor bigger or easier to see

  • Mouse speed - speed up or slow down the mouse movement

  • Scrolling – make the scroll wheel move more or less lines per rotation

  • Clicklock (Win, Mac only) - allows the user to click and drag without holding down the mouse

  • Double click speed (Win, Mac only) - can be slowed for people who cannot complete this action quickly.

  • Chromebook offers dwell click -  automatically click when the cursor stops (click without using your mouse)

iPad keyboard options

  • Split Keyboard: Use thumb and index finger to split the keyboard (quick firm action) OR press and hold keyboard icon (bottom right key)

  • Macrons: Press and hold key to see macron and then slide finger and release to select

  • Numbers: Press and hold number key and slide to number and keyboard returns to alpha keyboard

  • Full stop: double tap the spacebar

  • Move your keyboard: press and hold the bottom right keyboard icon to undock and then move around by dragging the icon.

  • Turn on or off other keyboard options (Settings→ General→ Keyboard) including:
    • auto capitalisation

    • auto correction

    • check spelling

    • word prediction

    • enable dictation (speech recognition)

Ipad split keyboard

For more on alternate iPad keyboards see our earlier blog: iPad Keyboards – Sype, Keedogo and Fleksy

Android keyboard options

Unfortunately I don’t have an Android tablet to play with but try the Android4SpecialNeeds youtube channel for a series of videos about accessibility features on your Android that might be useful.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

Using technology to support students with disabilities and special learning needs.