Changing Keyboard settings in Windows 95,98,2000, Me

Step-by-step instructions on how to turn on and use FilterKeys

Turning Filterkeys on

  1. Bring up the ' start ' menu by clicking the ' start ' button or alternatively by pressing the ' Windows ' logo key or pressing ' Ctrl ' + ' Esc '.
  2. Click ' Settings ' or press the letter ' S ' on the keyboard.
  3. Click ' Control Panel ' or press the letter ' C ' on the keyboard.
  4. Double click on ' Accessibility ' Options or press the ' A ' key repeatedly until ' Accessibility ' Options is highlighted and then press ' Enter ' . The ' Accessibility ' Options properties box should now be displayed and as default this window will display the current keyboard settings. (see Fig 1).

The Accessibility Options properties box
Fig 1

If for any reason your machine does not display this icon:


The Accessibility Options icon

Windows Accessibility has been optionally removed, or not installed. You will need to install it from your original Windows CD-Rom. You can consult either the manual, or the Windows Help for details on how to reinstall these options onto your computer.

  1. If you are not already looking at the Keyboard tab, either click on it or press ' Ctrl ' + ' Tab ' until it is at the front.
  2. Click the checkbox marked ' Use FilterKeys ' or alternatively press ' F ' on the keyboard, which puts a tick in the box.
  3. Click ' OK ' or press ' Enter ' to confirm your choice and exit the Accessibility Options properties.

Changing FilterKeys settings

FilterKeys has a number of settings, which can be changed by clicking on ' Settings ' or pressing ' Alt ' + ' E ' with the keyboard. (See Fig 2).

Settings for Filterkeys  dialog box
Fig 2

  1. If the ' Use shortcut ' is enabled, ' FilterKeys ' can be turned on or off by using a hot key (which is holding down the ' Right Shift ' for eight seconds).
  2. Click on ' Use Shortcut ' or press ' Alt ' + ' U '.
  3. ' FilterKeys ' has two modes. The first is aimed at tuning repeated keystrokes only, whereas the second goes into fine detail as to how the keyboard reacts to the user. At this level you have the option to check any adjustments you may have made within the test area. This provides you with a quick way of ensuring that the changes you have made actually do what you want them to do.
  4. Click in the test area or press ' Alt ' + ' C ' to enter the test area.
  5. The Notification options within FilterKeys can be very useful. By checking the ' Beep when keys pressed or accepted ' option, the user is notified upon each selection being entered into the computer. Many users find this reassuring and allows them to concentrate on their input device rather than the screen, as and when they wish.
  6. Click the ' Beep when keys pressed ' or accepted check box or press ' Alt ' +' B '.
  7. When the ' Show FilterKeys ' status on screen option is checked, a small stopwatch will appear in the system tray near your clock as shown in Fig 3.
  8. Click the ' Show FilterKeys ' status on screen checkbox or press ' Alt' + ' H ' .

Settings for Filterkeys  dialog box
Fig 3

Advanced Settings for FilterKeys Filter Options - Ignore repeated keystrokes

When you click on ' Ignore repeated keystrokes ' and then click on ' Settings ' which is next to it, a separate dialogue box appears (see Fig 4). From here you can tell the computer to ignore keystrokes repeated faster than a time of your choosing:

Settings for Filterkeys  dialog box
Fig 4

  1. Click the ' Ignore repeated keystrokes ' checkbox or press ' Alt ' + ' O '.
  2. Click the ' Settings ' button or press ' Alt ' + ' S ' to display the 'Advanced settings' dialog box (see Fig 4 ).
  3. Click and drag the slider to the time you want, or press ' Alt ' +' I ' to select the slider and use the left and right arrow keys to adjust it.
  4. Click ' OK ' or press ' Enter ' to return to the Filter Keys options.

Filter options - ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate

When you click on ' Ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate ' and then click on ' Settings ' which is next to it, a separate dialog box appears (see Fig 5). From here you can tell the computer next to ignore keystrokes repeated faster than a time of your choosing:

Advanced Settings dialog box
Fig 5

  1. To use these feature click on the ' Ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate ' checkbox, or press ' Alt ' + ' N '.
  2. Click on the adjacent ' Settings ' button or press ' Alt ' + ' E '.

From this dialog box you can choose to either switch all keyboard repeating off completely, or customise it to match your own preferences.

Repeat delay and repeat rate are split into two separate options. This allows you to set the length of time you wish the computer to wait before it repeats the keystroke for the first time, differently to those subsequent. To modify the repeat rate and repeat delay:

  1. Click the ' Slow down keyboard repeat rates ' checkbox or press ' Alt' + ' S ' ( Fig 5).
  2. Click and drag the repeat delay slider to the setting you want or press ' Alt' + ' D ' to select the repeat delay slider and use the left and right arrow keys to adjust it.
  3. Click and drag the repeat rate slider to the setting you want or press ' Alt ' + ' R ' to select the repeat rate slider and use the left and right arrow keys to adjust it.

By setting the repeat rate to a higher speed than the repeat delay, the keyboard will accelerate when a key is held beyond the first repeated keystroke. This is important for tasks such as backspacing over an entire word. You would not necessarily wish to wait up to 2 seconds for every single keystroke.

' SlowKeys ' enables you to tune the amount of time the computer waits, whilst you are holding a key down, before it accepts it. This means that you can press hundreds of keys by accident without the computer processing a single one, until it is held down for a specific length of time. To adjust the setting for slow keys:

  1. Click and drag the slider below the heading ' Keys must be held down for ' ,and drag the slider to the setting you want, or press ' Alt ' + ' K ' to select the slider and use the ' left ' and ' right ' arrow keys to adjust the slider.
  2. Again, within this dialog box there is a test area, which you can use to test any changes you may have made to the default keyboard settings. Click in the test area or press ' Alt ' + ' T ' to jump to the test area.
  3. When you have finished setting up the advanced options, click ' OK ' or press ' Enter ' to return to the ' FilterKeys ' dialog box.
  4. Click ' OK ' or press ' Enter ' again to return to Windows.

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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  • Windows

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