Operating Windows 10 without a mouse: 10 tips

Did you know that working with just a keyboard can be just as efficient as using a mouse? And fortunately, because that means that operating Windows 10 without a mouse is one of the options. With the ten tips in this article we will help you on your way.

1. Install the manufacturer’s software

The first tip we would like to give you is to check whether your keyboard manufacturer has software written specifically for your keyboard. Usually it is supplied with the keyboard, but because Windows recognizes almost all hardware nowadays, we hardly ever look at the CDs supplied.

For example, you may be able to easily configure keys on your keyboard so that you can activate certain functions and programs more quickly. If not, don’t worry, there is also software available that isn’t written for a specific brand. More below.

2. Remapping keys

In principle, you have no control over which key does what on your keyboard. When you buy the keyboard, it contains numbers, letters and symbols, and the keys shown do exactly what they represent. The default format works fine for most people. But what if you don’t want a qwerty layout, but would like to decide for yourself what the keys do, despite their print? In that case you can get the free program SharpKeys to download.

With this software you can easily assign other functions to keys. For example, you can make sure that you type the letter S when you hit the key with the letter O. This way you can adjust all keys exactly to your hand. However, we recommend that you also adjust the actual physical keys, so that you still know how you have adjusted the keys after a week. If you don’t like it, you can undo everything at the touch of a button.

3. Repeat speed

Turning your keyboard into a super controller starts by making its operation more efficient. You undoubtedly know the frustration of pressing a key a bit too long while you are typing, after which the letter you typed is displayed thirty times. That happens to all of us, but did you know that you can decide how and when that happens?

Search within it Control Panel to the menu Keyboard. There you can in the tab Speed indicate how long you want to press a key before Windows 10 activates the repeat function, and also how quickly the letters follow each other.

4. Operate the mouse pointer after all

When we say that Windows can be fully controlled with the keyboard, there are always people who add quite cleverly: “But you cannot control the mouse pointer with the keyboard”. That is nonsense, because that is indeed possible. When you press the Windows key and the search term Mouse you will see the option Control the mouse with a keypad. When you open this menu and you enable the option, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to control the mouse pointer.

The plus sign on the numeric keyboard is now the right mouse button and the Enter key is the left mouse button. It’s not as efficient as controlling the cursor with the mouse itself, but it can be super handy when you don’t have any other options.

5. Work with keyboard shortcuts

The previous step is a bit of a gimmick, but you really don’t need a mouse to control Windows. Let’s say you want to email an image to someone. A drama without a keyboard? No, no. Press the Windows + E key combination to open Windows Explorer. Then use the keyboard to navigate to the folder and file you want to send. Is the image on its side? No problem. By pressing the key combination Shift + F10, you call up the right-click menu.

Use the arrow keys to navigate to the option Turn counterclockwise or Turn clockwise; press Enter to apply the operation of your choice. You have now rotated the images without opening them. In the same right-click menu you can choose Share or Open with. That way, you can easily attach the images to a new email message.

Dive deeper into Windows 10 and completely customize the operating system using our Tech Academy. Check the Windows 10 Manage online course or go for the Windows 10 Management bundle including technique and practice book.

6. Sticky Keys

Windows and the programs you run on it can be controlled with a dizzying amount of handy key combinations. It is not easy for everyone to activate those key combinations, especially when you have added complex combinations yourself for lack of other free combinations. Of course you can do all kinds of acrobatic revolutions to press all those keys at the same time, but you can also just use sticky keys.

You do not have to hold down keys, but Windows remembers which key (reserved for Shift, Ctrl, Alt or the Windows key) you pressed, so you can easily make combinations. All you need to do to activate Sticky Keys is to press the Shift key five times in a row and then click Yes when Windows asks if sticky keys should be enabled.

7. Start programs

You can go a long way with keyboard shortcuts in Windows, but starting programs with that is not yet possible. Fortunately, there are programs that can help you with that. Launchy is a program specially made to help start programs as soon as possible. When you have installed this program, call up the mini-window with the key combination Alt + Space, after which one letter is often enough to find the program you want to start.

That may resemble the functionality of the Start menu, but it is more efficient. Because not Windows, but you decide which programs can be found. This prevents the letter W in addition to Word and WinZip from resulting in thirty other search results that are of no use to you at that time.

8. Control Chrome with keyboard

Let’s take a closer look at three programs / sites that we visit a lot on our Windows PCs. Chrome can also be fully operated with the keyboard, for example. This is how you open a new window in Chrome with Ctrl + N; add a Shift in between for incognito mode. With Ctrl + Tab you can browse through the open tabs (like Alt-Tab does for Windows).

With the Tab key you navigate through clickable items and with the Enter key you actually “click” on such a clickable item. You can activate even hard-to-reach options such as Clear browsing data with a key combination, namely Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

9. Keyboard shortcuts for Gmail

And yes, Gmail is also fully controllable without even touching the mouse. This is how you compose a new message with the C key, reply to a message with the R key (or A for ‘reply all’), insert a link with the Ctrl + K key combination and send the message with Ctrl + Enter. But the best thing about Gmail is that the site offers you the possibility to define key combinations yourself.

When you have enabled keyboard shortcuts in the tab General in the settings, a tab will appear on the right side Shortcuts. When you click on this, you can set your own shortcuts.

10. Shortcuts for Facebook

We often don’t think about it, but there are many more websites that have key combinations built in. They are often very useful. Finally, Facebook. Sometimes you scroll through your newsfeed with your mouse, but you shoot past the things you wanted to see. Or you accidentally click on something, after which you can no longer find what you were looking for on your timeline. In that case, it is good to know that you can also control Facebook with your keyboard.

For example, when you press the letter J, you automatically scroll to the next item in your newsfeed. With the letter K you go back one item. With the letter L you indicate that you like the message (or you can remove the like) and by pressing the letter C you indicate that you want to leave a comment, after which you can type. So you don’t need your keyboard at all for Facebook!


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