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How to Use the On-screen Keyboard on Windows 7, 8, And 10? (2020)

An on-screen keyboard is one of the best ways to input information for people who may have a physical disability.

The on-screen keyboard presents the picture of a keyboard on the screen, which can be used to type and enter information.

It serves to provide accessibility to users and serves as an alternative for the keyboard.

Method to Get On-Screen Keyboard Using Command Prompt 

The universal method to open the on-screen keyboard is as follows:

How to Use the On-screen Keyboard on Windows 7, 8, And 10?
  1. 1
    On the physical keyword, press the Windows logo key and letter ‘R’ at the same time.
  2. 2
    This will open the Run box.
  3. 3
    Type OSK in the Run box and click 'OK.'
  4. 4
    This will open the on-screen keyboard. 

This is a fast and convenient way to open the on-screen keyboard.

Using the On-screen Keyboard in Windows 7

To open the keyboard on your monitor, you need to click on the 'start' button in Windows - go to the control panel and click on 'Ease of access.' The ease of access center provides a variety of ways to help users with physical limitations and improves accessibility. 

Click on the 'Start on-screen keyboard' button in the center. You can also increase the size of keys to improve visibility. You can also optimize the way the keyboard on your screen works by adding sounds and also add text prediction.

This feature allows you to complete the word without having to type the remaining letters. To quickly use the keyboard on your screen, you can also pin it to the taskbar. Just click on the keyboard icon and select ‘pin this program’ to the taskbar. 

Using the On-screen Keyboard in Windows 8

  1. 1
    To open the keyboard on your screen in case of Windows 8, you need to swipe in from the right side of the screen and tap Search. 
  2. 2
    In case you're using a mouse, move to the lower-right corner of the screen, then move the mouse pointer up and click Search.
  3. 3
    Type 'On-screen keyboard' in the search box and then click on the option to select it' A keyboard will appear on the screen, which can be used to enter text on the screen. 
  4. 4
    In case you need to open the keyboard from the sign-in screen, click on the 'Ease of access' button in the lower-left corner of the sign-in screen and click 'On-screen keyboard.' 

You can also change or customize the keyboard in the following ways:

  1. 1
    Click sound: You can use it to hear a sound when you press a key.
  2. 2
    Turn on the numeric keypad: You can use the numeric option to expand the keypad and show the numbers. 
  3. 3
    Click on keys: Use this feature if you want to tap the on-screen keys to enter text. 
  4. 4
    Hover over keys: You can use this mode if you are using a mouse to point out a key. The characters where you point are entered automatically. 
  5. 5
    Scan using keys: You can use the scan mode to highlight areas where you can type out the characters by using a keyboard shortcut. 
  6. 6
    Using text prediction: The keyboard can also suggest words if you enable this feature to complete each word.

The prediction of words is available in languages that include English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. You can also install a language file for the one which is not available. 

Using the On-screen Keyboard in Windows 10

  1. 1
    To open the On-screen keyboard in case of Windows 10, go to the ‘Start’ option and select Settings. 
  2. 2
    Move to the 'ease of access' option and click on the 'Keyboard' option. Click on the use of the' on-screen keyboard' to bring the keyboard to the desktop. The keyboard can be used to move around and will remain on screen until you close it. 
  3. 3
    You can also use the keyboard from the sign-in screen. Select the 'Ease of access' button in the lower right corner of the sign-in screen and select the 'On-screen keyboard.' 
  4. 4
    Once you’ve opened the keyboard, you can click or tap the buttons to send in the input. It is similar to using a normal keyword. You can try a sample, by opening up a notepad or Word document and typing using the keyboard. 

The on-screen keyboard provides additional features as compared to the physical keyboard. You can click on the sound button to hear a sound whenever you press a key while on-screen typing. To improve on text prediction and suggestion of words, you can enable this feature on the keyboard. 

You can also use the hover mode to point the keyboard and enter characters when you hover over them. 

Comparison between Windows 8 Vs. Windows 7 On-screen Keyboard

The on-screen keyboard in Windows 8 is similar to the keyboard in Windows 7. In the case of Windows 8, the keyboard has a slightly better look and feel. The Windows 8 keyboard also has an additional row with options present on the right side. 

The options which are provided include the following:

  • Nav - It minimizes the keyboard and displays a row with keys to navigate the system. It includes Tab, Enter, Space, Up, Down.
  • Mv up - It moves the keyboard to the top of the screen. 
  • Mv dn - It moves the keyboard to the bottom of the screen. 
  • Dock - It docks the keyboard to the bottom side of the screen. 
  • Fade - It makes the keyboard transparent. However, it is present in the background and can still be used. 

How to Enable or Disable the Onscreen Keyboard in Windows

Operating the On-screen Keyboard

The on-screen keyboard can be used by opening a program or window where you can type. For example, you can use a notepad or word processing software of your choice. Then, select the area where you need to type using a mouse.

Ensure that the cursor indicates the place where you need to type. Simply, use the cursor over the keyboard and click over with the mouse. The on-screen keyboard is an alternative to the physical keyboard to help type on the computer. In case you suffer from any physical limitations, it is a good feature to help you type and work on the computer. 

The use of a keyboard displayed on the screen is useful in case of situations that require special characters or additional languages. It can also be used in the case of an emergency, such as a broken physical keyboard or if the hardware port is not working.


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Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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