Last night we were confronted with a predicament we never could have imagined possible: we went to use our desktop computer and our mouse was gone! Immediately we remembered that we had brought the mouse to school for a presentation but left it there overnight. But what were we to do? Our laptop was also at school which left us only with our iPhone. It was quite a paralyzing experience to be sure! But not for long. We quickly did some research and found excellent ways how you can control your computer entirely from your keyboard in case you ever run into such a catastrophe.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, we should say it would be beneficial to keep a spare mouse laying around the house. Just like that extra toilet paper hidden under the sink for that emergency situation, an extra mouse could be a crucial addition to a well functioning workspace. If you have roommates or a family this is less likely to be an issue.
To start, lets mention the most general (and perhaps obvious) shortcut keys on the keyboard which will help you increase productivity on a daily basis if you learn to adopt them. Here is the full, official list provided by Apple for keyboard shortcuts and here are the shortcut keys for Windows users.
By law, all operating systems must be fully functional without using a mouse. This is thanks to Universal Access rights for people who are only able to use a keyboard. Knowing this, we can figure out how to enable what is called Mouse Keys on a Mac or a PC. Mouse Keys is a program which allows you to use the numeric keypad to adjust the motion of the cursor as you would a standard mouse.
PC: Navigate to the Accessibility Options in the Control Panel. Once there, select the Mouse tab. There will be an option to select “Use MouseKeys”. Once enabled you can also access the MouseKeys settings from the same tab. Microsoft also provides an efficient way to enable MouseKeys if you don’t have a mouse in the first place.
iPhone: We like the iMouse app (despite its terribly unoriginal name). The interface is simple and it does exactly what you would expect it to do to. In order to make this work, however, you need to download the software from their website first. Once the software is installed you must enter your IP address in order for your iphone and your computer to communicate. Once setup you now have the ability to click, scroll, and access a full keyboard straight from your mouse.
- Alt + Tab ↹ — Switch between currently open windows.
- Alt + F4 — Close the currently open app or window.
- ⊞ Win + D — Minimize all open windows to show the desktop.
- Ctrl + Esc — Open the Start menu.
- ⊞ Win + E — Open the File Explorer.
- ⊞ Win + X — Open the Advanced settings menu.
How to use your Computer without mouse (Use your Keyboard as a Mouse)
How to use keyboard controls with no mouse
There are several steps you can take to learn how to use a keyboard with no mouse:
1. Enable mouse keys
Mouse keys is a PC function that allows you to move and use the pointer with your keyboard. You can find the mouse keys option in the control panel on your device or by pressing the “Windows” button to open the start menu. Typing in “mouse keys” can find the settings for this function.
If you still have a mouse when setting up, you can click the option to turn on mouse keys. With the keyboard, press “Tab” until you select this option and press “Enter” to change it. You can close the window by pressing “Alt” and “F4.” Once you enable mouse keys, you can quickly activate it by pressing “Alt,” “Left Shift” and “Num Lock.” A pop-up appears to confirm you want to turn it on, and you can use the arrow keys to navigate to “Yes” and press the spacebar to confirm.
2. Learn the basic navigation functions
With mouse keys enabled, you can start to use basic mouse functions like moving the pointer and clicking. Checking that “Num Lock” is on, you can use the number pad to move your mouse. Each key on the number pad has a specific function:
With these controls, you can navigate the pointer. Selecting the “/” and “5” keys performs the left click function to access links, close windows and navigate to new tabs or windows. The “-” and “5” keys function as a right-click, where you can navigate to options on a screen.
3. Practice additional functions
Once you have the basic mouse navigation functions, you can learn how to perform additional functions, including quickly switching between tabs, opening new windows and navigating features on a website. Here are some additional shortcuts you can discover:
What are the advantages of using your keyboard without a mouse?
There are several advantages to using your keyboard without a mouse:
Tips for optimizing computer accessibility
On your computer, there are built-in features that allow access to special settings that will assist you on your device. Below are several ways that you can optimize the accessibility on your computer:
Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
How do you control the cursor without a mouse?
- Press the Windows key on your keyboard.
- In the box that appears, type Ease of Access mouse settings and press Enter .
- In the Mouse Keys section, toggle the switch under Use numeric pad to move mouse around the screen to On.
How can I use my keyboard as a mouse?
Can you control a computer with just a keyboard?