Windows 8.1 – Using your keyboard to control the mouse

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Windows 8.1 – Using your keyboard to control the mouse




Most people think that a computer has to be operated with the mouse and that, if you cannot use a

mouse, you cannot use your computer. This is not the case. In fact not only your computer can be

operated entirely from the keyboard, but doing so can often be faster and easier than using the

mouse.

Method 1: Using the ‘Ease of Access Center’ in the Control Panel

This method has more configuration options than Method 2, but it is recommended for users with a

keyboard and/or a mouse – the interactive elements are small and therefore difficult to tap. If

you are using a tablet or a phone, you will probably prefer Method 2.

To open the ‘Ease of Access Center’ in the Control Panel

From a computer with a keyboard and a mouse

Press the ‘Windows’ key + U.
Or

Move the mouse pointer to the upper right hand corner of the screen to reveal the charms.
Click on the ‘Search’ charm – the one with the magnification glass icon.
Type the query ‘Ease of Access Center’ in the search box (Fig 1).
Click on the button ‘Ease of Access Center’.
From a touch enabled device

Swipe in from the right hand edge of the screen to reveal the charms.
Tap on the ‘Search’ charm – the one with the magnification glass icon.
Type the query ‘Ease of Access Center’ in the search box.
Tap on the button ‘Ease of Access Center’.
                                Figure 1: Using the search to go to the Ease of Access Center
                                                  Figure 2: Ease of Access Center
To control the pointer with the keyboard

From the ‘Ease of Access Center’:

Select ‘Make the keyboard easier to use’, under ‘Explore all settings’.
Check the option ‘Turn on Mouse keys’ to use the numeric keypad on a standard keyboard as a three
button mouse.
                                           Figure 3: Mouse functions in the numeric keypad


  • Click ‘Set up Mouse Keys’ to customise this feature.
  • You can turn on the keyboard shortcut Alt + left Shift + Num Lock to allow you to turn on and off the Mouse keys as you need to use them. To use this option, select the checkbox (Fig 4). You can turn on a visual warning ‘Alt’ + ‘A’ when Mouse keys is turn on or click to play a sound ‘Alt’ + ‘U’ when it is turned on or off.
                                                                         Figure 4

  • Pointer speed when using Mouse Keys can be tailored to suit your needs by slowing down or speeding up the rate which it moves (Fig 5). Press ‘Alt’ + ‘W’ or click to select the option to alter these settings, by using the Ctrl key to speed up and Shift to slow down the mouse pointer. Top Speed is the maximum speed of the pointer when the mouse key direction key is held down. Acceleration is how quickly the mouse pointer accelerates to its maximum speed.
                                                                              Figure 5

  • Under ‘Other Settings’, click to select to Use Mouse Keys when the Num Lock is selected or when NUM LOCK is ‘Off’ (Fig 6). Press ‘Alt’ + ‘N’ to Use Mouse Keys when NUM LOCK is ‘On’. To select Use Mouse Keys when NUM LOCK is Off, ‘Tab’ to ‘On’ and press the down arrow or click to select.

                                                                             Figure 6

  • Click on OK or press ‘Alt’ + ‘O’ to save your options.

Method 2: Using the Ease of Access Center in the PC settings

This method is recommended for users with touch enabled devices such as tablets or phones.

To open the ‘Ease of Access’ section in PC settings

From a computer with a keyboard and a mouse


  • Move the mouse pointer to the upper right hand corner of the screen to reveal the charms.
  • Click on the ‘Settings’ charm – the one with the cog icon.
  • Click on the link ‘Change PC settings’.
  • Click on the button ‘Ease of access’ (Fig 7).

From a touch enabled device


  • Swipe in from the right hand edge of the screen to reveal the charms.
  • Tap on the ‘Settings’ charm – the one with the cog icon.


  • Tap on the link ‘Change PC settings’.
  • Tap on the button ‘Ease of access’ (Fig 7).

Figure 7: PC settings, which includes ‘Ease of Access’ (second option from the bottom)
To control the pointer with the keyboard

From the Ease of Access section (Fig 7):


  1. Click or tap on the link ‘Mouse’.
  2. Turn on the option ‘Use numeric keypad to move mouse around the screen’ (Fig 8).

                                                Figure 8: The 'High contrast' section

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to

local IT policies – contact your local IT support for further help.

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