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Keyboard on screen

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Apple's on-screen keyboard (Keyboard Viewer) isn't a good replacement for a keyboard. I think more of it as a variation on the Character Palette application. And Apple must know about this, because Keyboard Viewer isn't part of Universal Access (though many think it is). For instance, key-combos like Command-Q for quitting an application don't work in Keyboard Viewer.


I wanted an application to emulate a real keyboard on screen, because my computer table is "width challenged". There are times I want to use my Wacom Intuos 3 tablet and put away the keyboard (which normally stands on top of the tablet). Still, I need a keyboard, because most graphics software assumes there is one connected to the Mac (I just don't have proper access to it, because it is pushed aside). My Intuos 3 has 8 keys on it, but often that isn't enough, and it's easy to mistake one key for another (no labeling).


I found this neat shareware application, called VirtualKeyboard, which can be found through sites like Versiontracker (link to VirtualKeyboard). It works like a real keyboard, but with a disabled person in mind (with the default preferences you can't type as fast as on a real keyboard). However, you can tweak the key repeat preferences to suite an able person (see screenshot). And then you have to get used that the key modifiers (Control, Shift, Option, Command, and Escape) are sticky for one key press (there's also a Lock key, which locks Shift), which makes sense if you select keys with a mouse (or other pointing device, like an art tablet).



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