Making the keyboard and mouse work for you!

This month we're going to look at some really basic but useful techniques to help you get the best from the keyboard and mouse at work. For devices that are so basic, you can actually make a lot of little changes to help you more effectively when you are at work. It doesn't matter if you have a Mac or a PC. They both share the same universal accessibility options.

Hitting two keys at once?

So for instance the use of filter keys and sticky keys can help you if you have conditions which mean you end up hitting two keys at once (or for the matter if you need to hold two keys down at once). if you are wondering where to find the settings they are in the control panel under Ease of Access!

The point to remember about what I've just described is that it just takes a few minutes to set-up and this is something that your IT department will be able to help with. Or following our simple instructions at My Computer My Way.

Something that doesn't need any time to set-up at all is the use of keyboard shortcuts. We all know the basic shortcuts...CTRL+P is print, CTRL+V is paste and CTRL+C is copy.

If you have an Apple computer this Macworld magazine article will help you out.

Using a keyboard as a mouse

Hang on though.....before we start talking about how to change the settings on the mouse it might be worth pointing out that you can use the keyboard as a mouse (and lots of people do). There's a really useful function called Mouse Keys. This basically means if you've got an issue where you find mouse movement difficult but the keyboard isn't an issue for you then you can convert the keyboard to control the mouse. Once again have a look at My Computer My Way website for further info. 

Actually while we're talking about the keyboard being a good way to use the computer we ought to point out how you can easily use the keyboard to navigate through a form. The information is available on My Computer My Way.

So onto the mouse. So if you have any number of disabilities you will find that the mouse seems to move around a little too quickly on the screen. Don't fret as you can slow it right down so that it is a bit more manageable.

How can AbilityNet help?

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.

Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.

We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.

My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.