How to Download and Use the On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) in Windows
The On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) is a virtual keyboard that can be used instead of a physical keyboard to type on your PC. You can use a mouse, touch screen, pen, or any other pointing device to select keys on the OSK. The OSK can be useful for people who have difficulty using a physical keyboard, or who want to use an alternative input method for convenience or accessibility reasons.
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In this article, we will show you how to download and use the OSK in Windows 11 and Windows 10. We will also introduce some alternative on-screen keyboards that you can try if you are looking for more features or customization options.
How to Download the OSK in Windows
The OSK is a built-in feature of Windows, so you do not need to download it from a third-party source. However, you may need to enable it or add it to your taskbar for easy access. Here are the steps to do so:
Go to Start, then select Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard, and turn on the On-Screen Keyboard toggle.
A keyboard that can be used to move around the screen and enter text will appear on the screen. The keyboard will remain on the screen until you close it.
To add the OSK to your taskbar, right-click on the taskbar and select Toolbars > Touch Keyboard. A keyboard icon will appear on the taskbar, which you can click to open the OSK anytime.
Note: To open the OSK from the sign-in screen, select the Accessibility button in the lower-right corner of the sign-in screen, and then select On-Screen Keyboard.
How to Use the OSK in Windows
The OSK has all the standard keys that you would find on a physical keyboard, such as letters, numbers, symbols, function keys, and modifiers. You can use your mouse or another pointing device to click on the keys, or use a physical single key or group of keys to cycle through the keys on the screen. You can also resize, reposition, or dock the OSK on your screen according to your preference.
To change how information is entered into the OSK, you can select the Options key on the OSK, and choose from the following options:
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 OSK to have keys for repositioning it on your screen.
Turn on numeric keypad: Use this option to expand the 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 at OSK keys. The characters you point at are entered automatically when you point at them for a specified time. Use the Hover duration slider to adjust the delay.
Scan through keys: Use this mode if you want the 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 the Scanning speed slider to set a speed that suits your preferences.
Use Text Prediction: Use this option if you want the OSK to suggest words for you as you type so you don't need to type each complete word. You can also select if you want to insert a space after each predicted word.
Note: Text Prediction is available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. If you want to use one of these languages and it isn't installed, install the language files for that language.
Alternative On-Screen Keyboards for Windows
If you are not satisfied with the OSK that comes with Windows, or if you want more features or customization options, you can try some alternative on-screen keyboards that are available online. Here are some examples:
Comfort On-Screen Keyboard: This is a virtual keyboard that supports multiple languages, layouts, and themes. It also has gesture support, word auto-complete, key sounds, and customizable settings. You can download it from [here].
Hot Virtual Keyboard: This is another virtual keyboard that offers a variety of features, such as programmable keys, gestures, word auto-complete, key sounds, and more. It also supports multiple languages and layouts. You can download it from [here].
Free Virtual Keyboard: This is a simple and lightweight virtual keyboard that works well on touch screens. It has a resizable window, adjustable transparency, and basic settings. You can download it from [here].
The On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) is a useful feature of Windows that can help you type on your PC without using a physical keyboard. You can enable it from the Settings or the taskbar, and customize it according to your needs. You can also try some alternative on-screen keyboards that offer more features or options. We hope this article has helped you learn how to download and use the OSK in Windows.