Windows 8.1 Accessibility Features : On-Screen Keyboard

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In addition to the Ease of Access Center, Windows includes three programs that can make it easier to interact with your computer.

Magnifier. Magnifier is a program that magnifies a portion of your computer screen, making it easier to read. For more information about using Magnifier, see Make items on the screen appear bigger (Magnifier).

Narrator. Narrator is a program that reads the text on your screen aloud. For more information about using Narrator, see Hear text read aloud with Narrator.

On-Screen Keyboard. On-Screen Keyboard is a program that lets you use your mouse or other device to interact with a keyboard on the screen. For more information about using On-Screen Keyboard, see Type without using the keyboard (On-Screen Keyboard).

Windows also has On-Screen Keyboard (OSK), an Ease of Access tool. OSK displays a visual keyboard with all the standard keys. You can select keys using the mouse or another pointing device, or you can use a physical single key or group of keys to cycle through the keys on the screen.


To open On-Screen Keyboard

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then clickSearch.)
  2. Enter On-Screen Keyboard in the search box, and then tap or click On-Screen Keyboard.A keyboard appears on the screen that can be used to move around your PC and enter text. The keyboard will remain on the screen until you close it.


To change how info is entered into On-Screen Keyboard

  • With OSK open, tap or click the OSK Options key, and then select the options you want:
    • Use click sound. Use this option if you want to hear a sound when you press a key.
    • Show keys to make it easier to move around the screen. Use this option if you want the keys to light up as you type.
    • Turn on numeric keypad. Use this option to expand OSK to show a numeric keypad.
    • Click on keys. Use this mode if you prefer to click or tap the on-screen keys to enter text.
    • Hover over keys. Use this mode if you use a mouse or joystick to point to a key. The characters you point to are entered automatically when you point to them for a specified time.
    • Scan through keys. Use this mode if you want OSK to continually scan the keyboard. Scan mode highlights areas where you can type keyboard characters by pressing a keyboard shortcut, using a switch input device, or using a device that simulates a mouse click.
    • Use Text Prediction. Use this option if you want OSK to suggest words for you as you type so you don’t need to type each complete word.