Windows 7 On Screen Keyboard

Windows 7 On Screen Keyboard


OK this is a demonstration of the new on-screen
keyboard that will appear free with Windows 7. The keyboard has many improvements over
the version that currently ships with Windows XP so we’re just going to have a look at those. OK so at first glance they keyboard has a
slightly different layout. The keys are a different color but it works in exactly the
same way as the old keyboard in Windows XP. So I’m just using my mouse here to select
the letters that I want to send up to Wordpad. Now I’m sending these letters to Wordpad but
you could easily do this to Microsoft Word or even Internet Explorer. Now one feature
that’s been really missing from the current XP keyboard is the ability to resize the keys.
Now with this latest version you can use the mouse to make the keyboard bigger – just by
dragging. This makes it much easier for headpointer users and people who find it difficult to
click on the small buttons. I should point out that for those people that
are currently using the Windows XP on-screen keyboard it’s possible to resize the keyboard
by downloading a free, very small utility from my website which is www.bltt.org and
just aim for the section on on-screen keyboards. In there you’ll find the utility called DOSK
(D.O.S.K) which resize the Windows XP on-screen keyboard and dock it up against an existing
application. Now because using an on-screen keyboard can
be extremely slow Microsoft have bundled in a very usable prediction engine. So I’m just
going to turn that on here. And now you’ll see that we’ve got an extra line here and
this will contain the words that we’re, that it predicts. So I’ve put in an ‘I’ and here we are it’s
predicted the word ‘include’ here and I select that and going to add an ‘S’ to the end – I’ve
saved myself a lot of keypresses there. So I’m saving a lot of keypresses and the
program learns your high-frequency words. The reason ‘accelerates’ typing came up after
an ‘A’ and a ‘T’ is because it knew that I’ve used it before when I was practicing. If you,
if it doe4sn’t come up, then you just carry on typing the letters that you want until
the word appears. OK. An then another welcome new feature is
the ability to access the keyboard usign a single switch. So we’ll just go back into
the options menu here – and we’ve got a scanning option. This uses the block scanning technique,
uses row and then block, We’re going to combine this with prediction to produce text quite
quickly. The keyboard continues to offer the dwell
delay feature which they call ‘Hover over keys’ which allows access for people who have
difficulty using the left click – so a headpointer user, or somebody who is finding it very difficult
to click the mouse button but can hold the mouse steady over the key. The dwell delay
feature was very useful in the Windows XP On-Screen Keyboard but because the keys were
so small it was very difficult for people to keep the cursor over the key for long enough.
But now the keys can be resized, made a lot bigger, it’s much easier to use dwell delay.
So I’m just going to turn that on there and going to keep prediction on. Now as I hover
over the keys, once they fill up it chooses – as you can see… Hovering… There it is. There you go. And just one thing to point out that we can
see here that we’ve got a space before the full stop. That’s because when I chose a predicted
word it automatically adds a space in at the end which means that I don’t then have to
keep going to space every time, especially if I’m using a switch but it does mean that
when I put punctuation in it you do end up with extra spaces. With some other commercial
software that space would be removed automatically but with the Windows XP on-screen keyboard
that doesn’t happen but I don’t think it’s too much of a problem because you can backspace
it out if you need to – or if it’s something that is particularly troublesome you can turn
off that option there. And that’s the Windows 7 on-screen keyboard.
Should be due out as part of the Windows 7 operating system sometime toward the end of
next year.