How to change the keyboard settings in Gnome 2.2

This page explains step-by-step how to change the keyboard settings in Gnome for Linux. Bounce Keys and Slow Keys provide you with the ability to control the pace of repeated keystrokes and to slow down the acceptance of keystrokes (if required), helping you to avoid accidental keystrokes.

Video how to guide

Text version

Changing the keyboard settings in Gnome 2.2

Set up Bounce Keys or Slow Keys

Step 1: Open the 'Keyboard Preferences' window

Click on 'System' in the menu bar, then 'Preferences' and then 'Assistive Technologies' to open the 'Assistive Technologies Preferences' window shown in Fig 1. Alternatively, press Alt + F1 and then use the arrow keys to move to 'System', then 'Preferences', then 'Assistive Technologies', and then press Enter.

Fig 1Detail from 'Assistive Technologies Preferences' window

Click the 'Keyboard Accessibility' button, or press Alt + K, to open the 'Keyboard Preferences' window.

The 'Accessibility' tab should be selected by default. If it is not, click on the 'Accessibility' tab, or press Tab until any of the tabs is highlighted, then press the left or right arrow keys until the 'Accessibility' tab is brought to the front, as shown in Fig 2. You can now turn on Bounce Keys (see Step 2) or Slow Keys (see Step 3).

Fig 2Detail from 'Keyboard Preferences' window

Step 2: Turn on Bounce Keys

Bounce Keys are helpful for people who find they hold a key down too long and so get a string of unwanted characters. Bounce Keys introduces a delay after a key press, during which time the same key cannot be used again.

Beneath the 'Bounce Keys' header, tick the box next to 'Ignore fast duplicate keypresses' by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + I.

Click and drag the slider below, or press Alt + E and use the left and right arrow keys, to change the amount of time the computer waits before letting you repeat a keypress.

Click 'Close' or press Alt + C to save your changes and return to the Gnome desktop.

Step 3: Turn on Slow Keys

Slow Keys are helpful for people who tend to accidentally press keys they don't want. With Slow Keys switched on, a key has to be held down for a specified length of time.

In the 'Keyboard Preferences' window (shown in Fig 2), tick the box below the 'Slow Keys' header labelled 'Only accept long keypresses' by clicking on it or by pressing Alt + O.

Click and drag the slider below, or press Alt + D and use the left and right arrow keys, to change the amount of time you need to press down on a key before it is recognised.

Click 'Close' or press Alt + C to save your changes and return to the Gnome desktop.

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.

Back to How to guides - I find a keyboard or mouse hard to use

More ways to: Make your keyboard easier to use

Use the keyboard with one hand

Set it so you don't have to hold down multiple keys at once

Turn on and customise the on-screen keyboard

Use a mouse or other pointing device instead of a keyboard

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