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Apple OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – Using the keyboard to control the mouse

This page shows you how to use ‘Mouse Keys’ on your keyboard to simulate a mouse

Mac key convention: ‘Ctrl’ is used for ‘Control’, ‘Apple’ is used for ‘Command’ and ‘Alt’ is used for the ‘Option’ key.

Note: For keyboard access, make sure ‘Full keyboard access’ is turned on – you can turn it on or off; by pressing ‘Ctrl’ + ‘F1’ at any time.

Step 1

  • Make sure you are in ‘Finder’ – press ‘Apple’ + ‘Tab’ if necessary to cycle through open applications until you return to ‘Finder’.
  • Click on the ‘Apple’ menu or press ‘Ctrl’ + ‘F2’.
  • Click on ‘System Preferences…’ as shown in Fig 1 or press the down arrow key to highlight it and then press ‘Enter’.


Fig 1

Step 2

  • Click on the ‘ Accessibility ‘ icon or press ‘ Tab ‘ repeatedly (you might need to press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ first) to cycle through the icons until the ‘ Accessibility ‘ icon is highlighted and then press the ‘ Spacebar ‘. Fig 2


Fig 2

  • Click on the ‘ Mouse ‘ or ‘ Mouse & Trackpad ‘ option if using a laptop, or press ‘ Ctrl ‘ + ‘ F7 ‘ (once or twice) to highlight one of theoptions for example ‘ Display ‘ and then press the up or down arrow key to select the ‘ Mouse ‘ or ‘ Mouse & Trackpad ‘ option.


Fig 3

  • Click on the ‘Enable Mouse Keys’ checkbox as shown in Fig 3 or press ‘Tab’ to highlight the ‘Enable Mouse Keys’ checkbox and press the ‘Spacebar’.
  • You can also change the way the mouse pointer behaves by the ‘Initial Delay’ and ‘Maximum Speed’ options.
  • To change the ‘Initial delay’ (the time between you pressing a key and the cursor moving) click the ‘Options’ button or press the ‘Tab’ key until the ‘Options’ button is highlighted and then press the ‘Enter’ key.



Fig 4 

  • Click on the ‘Initial Delay’ gauge bar, to the left to shorten the delay or to the right to lengthen the delay, or press ‘Tab’ until the ‘Initial Delay’ gauge pointer is selected and use the right or left arrow keys to select the delay time you want.
  • To change the ‘Maximum Speed’ of the mouse pointer click on the ‘Maximum Speed’: gauge bar, to the left to slow the pointer down or to the right to speed it up, or press ‘Tab’ until the ‘Maximum Speed’: gauge pointer is selected and use the left and right arrow keys to choose the speed you want.
  • You can turn ‘Mouse Keys’ on or off at any time by pressing ‘Alt’ fives times.
  • With ‘Mouse Keys’ on, you can move the pointer in different directions by holding down the numberpad keys, Fig 5. If your computer does not have a numeric keypad, use the Fn (Function) key together with the corresponding number.

Fig 5 

  • You use the ‘5’ key to click (and double click), and the ‘0’ key to drag. The ‘.’ (decimal point) key turns off dragging.

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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