wikiHow to Type With a Virtual Keyboard

Two Methods:PCMac

Both Mac and PC computers have virtual keyboards that, once opened, let you type by clicking (instead of typing) letters. Virtual keyboards are great for keeping your keystrokes anonymous when typing sensitive information on the internet, as well as for people who have an easier time using the mouse than the keyboard.

Method 1
PC

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    Open the Start menu. This will give you access to all of your computer's basic programs.[1]
    • You can also press the Win button on your keyboard to open the Start menu.
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    Open the "All Apps" menu. This menu lists all of your applications.
    • On some systems, the "All Apps" folder will be labeled "All Programs" instead.
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    Find the "Windows Ease of Access" folder. Since the "All Apps" contents are organized alphabetically, head to the "W" section.[2]
    • On older operating systems, open the "Accessories" folder, then find the dedicated "Ease of Access" folder within "Accessories".
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    Open the "Windows Ease of Access" folder. This folder houses applications like text-to-speech and the virtual keyboard.
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    Locate the "On-Screen Keyboard" icon. Click this to open Windows' virtual keyboard.
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    Click the virtual keyboard keys to type. For special keys, like the Shift key, click once to activate the function (for example, temporary upper-case) and click again to negate the function.
    • If you need to access special characters or characters from a language other than English, you can use the Windows "Character Map" or Google Translate, then copy and paste.

Method 2
Mac

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    Open the Apple menu. It's located in the upper left corner of your screen.
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    Select "System Preferences".
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    Open the "Keyboard" folder. This should open a menu with your keyboard's settings.
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    Click the "Show Keyboard & Character Viewers" box. You should now have a "Keyboard and Character Viewers" icon in your upper right-hand menu bar.[3]
    • After you check the relevant box, you can exit out of System Preferences and the Keyboard menu.
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    Open the Keyboard Viewer from your menu bar. This should open your "Keyboard Viewer" menu.
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    Click "show keyboard viewer". The on-screen keyboard should appear on top of any open applications.
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    Click the virtual keyboard keys to type. For special keys, like the Shift key, click once to activate the function (for example, temporary upper-case) and click again to negate the function.
    • If you need to access special characters or characters from a language other than English, you can use the Windows "Character Map" or Google Translate, then copy and paste.

Tips

  • Having a mouse--rather than a trackpad on a laptop--will make on-screen typing much easier, since you have more control over your cursor.
  • Certain viruses and malware can log your keystrokes as you type, thereby stealing your information. It's a good idea to use a virtual keyboard when changing your password, entering credit card information, or typing out your social security number, since keyloggers won't be able to track your keystrokes.

Warnings

  • Although the on-screen keyboard is a great temporary fix for an unresponsive keyboard, malfunctioning hardware is often symptomatic of underlying issues that you'll want to get checked out.
  • On-screen keyboards are great for security against keyloggers, but you should still never enter your personal information into a site that you don't trust.
  • As with extensive regular typing, it's important to take frequent breaks from virtual typing in order to give your hands a rest from the repetitive motion.

Article Info

Categories: Software | Typing Skills