2001 Conference Proceedings

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KEYBOARD VIRTUOSITY:
CUSTOMIZING WINDOWS FOR MOUSE-FREE OPERATION

Copyright (c) Alan Cantor 2001. All rights reserved.

Alan Cantor
Cantor + Associates
Workplace Accommodation Consultants
32 Queensdale Avenue
Toronto Ontario M4J 1X9 Canada
phone 416 406 5098
fax 416 406 5498
acantor@interlog.com
 www.interlog.com/~acantor

Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind and who have low-vision; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-pointers, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries; and who have certain learning disabilities. In addition, knowing how to operate Windows without a mouse assists laptop owners, Windows UI programmers, Help Desk and other IT professionals, assistive technology trainers, and anyone requiring faster, less mouse-intensive ways to operate a PC. People who master the Windows keyboard-only interface can complete many tasks significantly quicker and with less energy expenditure than they can using a mouse or other pointing device.

When Windows and most Windows applications are installed, the default settings are not, in general, conducive to mouse-free operation. On the contrary, standard installations often feature objects that are hard (or impossible) to access by keyboard alone. During this session, I will describe and demonstrate dozens of ways to modify the appearance and operation of Windows and Windows applications to enhance keyboard-only access. Many of these techniques are undocumented or poorly documented.

Topics covered in this presentation include:

This material is based on a chapter in the presenter's forthcoming book on how to operate Windows without a mouse. For information about availability of the book, contact the presenter.


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