How to Enable & Use the Virtual Keyboard in Mac OS X

The Digital Keyboard characteristic of Mac OS X is strictly what it appears like, it’s a software-based keyboard that can be utilized as an auxiliary onscreen keyboard to sort something on a Mac. These digital keys are pressable by clicking on them with a cursor, relatively than tapping the bodily keys on a {hardware} keyboard.

Enabling this display screen keyboard is a little bit hidden away in system preferences, but it surely’s very straightforward to point out, conceal, and use, as soon as it has been made accessible:

Use Digital Keyboard on Mac OS

  1. Go to the  Apple menu then open System Preferences
  2. Go to “Keyboard” desire panel, after which select the “Keyboard” tab
  3. Verify the field subsequent to “Present Keyboard & Emoji / Character Viewers in menu bar”
  4. Pull down the newly seen Keyboard menu and select “Present Keyboard Viewer”
  5. Place the keyboard on display screen within the desired location, and resize the newly seen keyboard as crucial by dragging the corners

This onscreen keyboard can enter textual content anyplace, so not solely can or not it's used for traditional typing however it may be used for coming into passwords, and even key presses for video games and different apps.

The digital keyboard may even at all times hover atop of current home windows or display screen content material on the Mac, and in loads of methods it’s just like the software program keyboards on iOS units, minus the contact display screen in fact, however it's equally as universally relevant throughout all the pieces on the Mac.

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A Useful Modifier Key Trick for the Digital Keyboard on Mac

If it's essential use modifier keys and keyboard shortcuts, like copy and paste, or the rest with the Command / Apple / possibility / management keys, enabling Stick Keys could be a massive assist.

Go to “Accessibility” within the System Preferences after which go to the “Keyboard” part, then select to “Allow Sticky Keys”


Sticky Keys lets you use the digital keyboard with modifier keys by permitting these modifier keys (fn, command, possibility, management) to be held down with out having to bodily press down that key.

Closing the Mac Digital Keyboard

Closing out the display screen keyboard have to be achieved by clicking the precise shut button on the keyboard window itself, or by going again to the keyboard menu and selecting “Disguise Keyboard Viewer”. It's deliberately unresponsive to the conventional Command+W shut window keyboard shortcut.

Digital keyboards are primarily aimed toward offering a typing answer for individuals who discover it simpler to make use of a cursor than keyboard and it does wonders for that, however it may well serve different functions too. It’s wildly helpful in the event you wind up in a scenario the place the {hardware} keyboard on a Mac immediately stops working, be it from water harm or in any other case, particularly when the liquid publicity methods didn’t work out. And, as an educator lately confirmed me, it may well operate as an extremely useful instrument to be taught touch-typing, significantly for individuals who are studying to sort with out taking a look at their fingers (cardboard field over the fingers and all!), as a result of the keys being pressed present as such on display screen.

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Sure there are apps on the market that serve the identical operate, however that is already constructed into Mac OS X, which makes it a wonderful instantly usable answer that doesn’t require downloads or purchases.

The digital keyboard is out there on principally each Mac, no matter Mac OS system software program model operating on the pc, and also you’ll discover it obtainable as an possibility in MacOS Catalina, MacOS Mojave, MacOS Excessive Sierra, Sierra, Mac OS X El Capitan, Mac OS X Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard, Leopard, Tiger, and earlier releases of Mac OS X and presumably all future variations of MacOS as properly.

If in case you have any extra suggestions, methods, or perception to utilizing the digital keyboard on a Mac, share within the feedback beneath!

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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.